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I'm cranky right now. I know I'm bitching about first world problems, but still.

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I'm in the market for a new book bag, so this morning my partner and I headed out to the mall known around here as Shopryland, located on the former site of the Opryland Theme Park, right next door to the Grand Ole Opry.

Most of the time it's an okay experience -- several outlets, some restaurants we like, a big loop to walk around out of the rain and the heat.

It doesn't take long, though, before I feel like an overstimulated, cranky toddler who needs to be put down for a nap. The noise and lights, the colors and music, are just teeth-clenchingly too much after a while.

But that's not what wears me out the most.

The worst part? Those people I'll call The Oblivious.

Sometimes they're tourists, sometimes locals. There aren't a lot of them, but they're always at the mall -- driving their cars willy-nilly in the parking lot, stopping where they please and parking their cars (and monster trucks) without consideration for anything other than their own convenience; wandering about inside in the same way, seemingly unaware of the meaning of "public place."

Here are some things The Oblivious need to hear:

1. Don't shuffle along five abreast at a pace that would be more appropriate for hacking through a thick jungle. Moving slowly is okay -- especially if great-grandma is along -- but move to the side so other people can do what they'd like to do. Life is short for all of us.

2. In a store where there's very little room to walk because the racks and displays are very close together, don't stand and talk on your phone about tomorrow's dinner. It blocks traffic and makes it impossible to look at whatever you're standing in front of.

3. I love children, but I like my knees, too, and would prefer children unrelated to me not to smack into them at a high rate of speed.

4. Sidewalks are for walking, not for mini-conventions. SideWALKS, people.

5. Don't spit on the sidewalk. Geez. Again, sideWALK. Other people will be WALKing there.

6. If you drive a really big vehicle, you need to take responsibility for it. Learn to park it without taking up two spaces or leaving too much of it hanging over either end. If you can't, then park in an open area farther away. You'll have to walk a little further, but that's called being considerate of others who do know how to handle their vehicles.

7. Sometimes you don't get to park right by the door.

8. Give public restrooms the same respect you give the one in your home. (I'm pretty sure your family doesn't use a litterbox.)

Anything you'd like to add? Anything that makes you mourn the death of public civility and courtesy?

(We're at the Farmers' Market for a while this evening so I won't be able to tend to comments until our return. My apologies.)

Originally posted to fiddler crabby on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by WYFP?.

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