I know that we’re supposed to pretend that we’re all live and let live, and that we don’t give a shit about what anyone else does or how they do it and to each their own and all of that, but I think we all know that that’s pretty much a pile of crap.
I try my hardest to not judge the way other people live their lives, or the way people raise their children, or the things that people wear, or the choices that other people tend to make. There are a couple of reasons I try to keep this judging behavior under control.
1. We’re not supposed to judge. You’re just not supposed to. Good people don’t judge, supposedly. They don’t even have those errant thoughts creep into their heads. SO THEY SAY.
1. It’s no fun to judge when you have to keep your judging to yourself. And most of the time, do have to keep it to yourself, because it takes months – maybe even YEARS – to feel out a new friend to know if they would be receptive to joining you in a ruthless judging session. If you’re not careful, you can accidentally let a snotty statement slip to someone who is going to give you one of those sanctimonious, “Well, how does it even affect you?” responses and then you’ll have to punch them in the face and there goes THAT friendship. At least you can be sure that they won’t judge you for punching, because they’re so totally above judging.
Anyway, you know how at the start of this post I said that I try hard not to judge? That was pretty much a lie. I just didn’t want you to judge me for how I make no effort to reign in my judging, but I figure that if you judge me for that, you’re going to hell with me, so who are you to even TALK?
Anyway, as I get older, I find myself being somewhat less judgmental anyway, even though I do not make any specific efforts to curb it. I just have become less and less interested in what anyone else is choosing to to do with their time or lives. It’s not that I’ve become a better person in that I accept the fact that everyone is going to do their own thing. It’s more that I can’t be bothered to work up even an eyebrow twitch at most things these days. It’s more lack of crap to give than lack of being a crappy person. I’ve gotten less crappy by accident, not by design.
But like even the least judgy people are going to have their issue that they just can’t grasp, I have those things as well. I’m not talking about the standard, super divisive hot button issues, like all those parenting things people like to get all het up about. Not like, circumcision and breast feeding and attachment parenting and I don’t know, all of that stuff. I mean the littler stuff, the stuff that really just doesn’t affect you at all, but makes you THINK THOUGHTS about other people in a non-flattering way.
An example. Shopping carts. If I see you (the general you) push your shopping cart into the parking lot, unload your groceries, and then move your cart just out of the way enough so that you can leave, letting the cart loose in the parking lot, or up against someone else’s car, ESPECIALLY if the cart return is RIGHT THERE, I am just blown away. I think bad things about you, I really do. I mean, what the hell is wrong with you? You might as well march through the parking lot screaming “I AM SELF-ABSORBED!” Now, I’m not saying that this is a pet peeve. I’m not saying that this annoys me. I’m saying that if you leave your cart running amok in a parking lot, I actually think bad things about your character.
Another one – not a pet peeve, not an annoyance, but something that makes me wonder what the hell kind of person someone is – outdoor dogs. I mean, outside of farms and ranches and other very special situations – people who leave their dogs outside, 24/7. I don’t get it. Why would someone even have a dog, just to leave it outside all of the time? ESPECIALLY here in Arizona. There’s a red husky here on base – just around the corner – who is ALWAYS OUTSIDE. Never goes in the house. Not EVER. It’s infuriating. I just can’t grasp it. I get difficult dogs, I really do. Sheldon has to be kenneled when we don’t have our eyes on him. He has to be staked in the backyard so he doesn’t jump the fence. Our lives would be much easier and involve much less floor urine if we left him in the yard. Our lives would also be much easier and pee-free without a dog, period. I can’t help it. If I see a dog that is outside ALL THE TIME, I’m not annoyed, I’m not rolling my eyes. I am thinking un-nice things about what kind of people the dog owners must be.
I have annoyances, and I have pet peeves. Cellphones ringing in a movie theater – that’s an annoyance. People forget to turn off their phones, they ring, they disturb people, it happens. Young children being a little chatty in a movie, that’s a pet peeve. But kids talk, you know? Blocking the aisle in the grocery store – pet peeve. People who assume that everyone in a given public area is going to find their child as adorable as they themselves find him – annoying. I don’t have anything to say about those little things, pet peeves and annoyances, other than rolling my eyes. I mean, everyone gets annoyed or does something annoying. No big deal.
It’s those other things, though – shopping cart amok-ers, dog leaver outsiders – those things, I can’t help making unflattering assumptions about a person as a whole, not just their momentary unflattering behavior. Is judging nice? No, probably not. Do we all do it anyway? Absolutely. I mean, I assume so. I figure either you do judge people for certain things, or you’re going to judge me for saying that I judge certain things, in which case, you’re a total hypocrite.
You know who else I judge? Hypocrites. Man, those guys. Am I right?