||[Mar. 7th, 2010|05:46 pm]
I had to run to the store for some OJ. When I got to the counter, there was a homeless guy in front of me. On top of being in a wheelchair, he seemed to have multiple physical disabilities.
He had some bills up on the counter and was counting out the rest of his change in coins. Although it was under two dollars, it took him several minutes to count it, and occasionally he'd just space out and stare into space for a while before resuming. By the time he was done, there was a sizeable line behind me.
Before I say anything further, I want to make it clear that I'm not blaming this guy. He seemed to be in pain and I can't imagine what it must be like to go through life as he does. He was probably doing the best he could.
That said, I find it absurd that as much as I would have liked to just give him two bucks to clear the line, I couldn't because it is socially unacceptable. It would be rude and patronizing, among other things. This is one of many ways in which society makes me pretend that my time has no value.
I'm perfectly happy to treat social norms as an arbitrary set of rules, and I have no trouble learning them and playing by them, but that doesn't mean any of it makes an iota of sense to me. It never has and probably never will.