Sometimes the smallest incidents reveal the deepest secrets. I was standing at the cross walk in front of our condo with my two sons in a double stroller, when a woman walked up and pressed the button to cross the street, “beep.” I had already pushed the button before she arrived, but I just smiled and waited for the light to change. “Beep, beep,” again the same woman pressed the button twice more. When the light did not change, she went in for another round, “beep, beep.” I could tell that she was getting upset that her desire to cross the street was not instantly gratified. In my younger days, I would have said, “you know, it’s on a timer don’t you. You can press it until it plays Mozart, but the light will not change any faster.” Instead, I just watched the light for crossing traffic turn yellow, then red. Then the left turn light lit up, but still the disembodied red hand mocked us from across the 4 lane expressway. “Beep,” the woman poked the button one last time in anger.
After dropping my kids off at school, I returned to the same cross walk. “Beep,” I pressed the button. I started to think about how much work I had to do at home after I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. “Beep,” I unconsciously pressed the button again. Have you ever done this? Why do we do this? Continue reading