30 January, 2014

Out of Line?

A few days ago I was in the grocery store, where I witnessed something that still has me stunned. There was an elderly man in the store, and I will be honest, he was not very clean. He was wearing dirty pajama pants and a his coat was quite soiled with various stains. His hair was greasy looking and not combed. And to be quite frank, his body odor was atrocious. I literally had to move away from him at one point because I thought I was going to vomit. His shopping cart was pretty well full, so he obviously was not homeless. What shocked me was that as I was coming up one of the aisles, I witnessed a very well dressed woman walk up to him and give him a verbal lashing. I mean she read him the riot act. The first words I heard her say was, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself for going out in public like this. You absolutely reek with the smell of filth and squalor!" She went on for several minutes about how there was no excuse for allowing oneself to be so filthy, and how that to inflict such stench on others was disrespectful. I was just stunned, but what she said next caught me so off guard that I had to turn around to keep from laughing. She said to him that it might be a good idea to put one of the cases of beer back on the shelf and to purchase some soap and shampoo.  I absolutely could not believe the way she tore into him. Granted, what she was saying was true, but I was thinking, "how rude!"  

A few minutes later that same woman approached me in another aisle and she told me that she had seen the look of shock on my face and she wanted to explain. She told me that she had known this man's family almost her entire life and that he was raised far better. She said that he had retired from a very good job, had more than enough money to live comfortably but that he had just become a slob since retiring and was drinking his life away. I did not say anything, but still I'm thinking and asking if she could not have talked with him privately rather than ripping him to pieces in public? I guess I'm not her judge, but that just seemed to be out of line to me.

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