With Blog-Colored Glasses
A few people have asked me lately how I like contributing to the blog and while I’ve answered in better detail, the answer that is actually screaming inside my head is, “Cigarette Butt at Panera!”
“What in all holy heck?” you may ask. Well, allow me to explain.
Since I started contributing to GMG, I have discovered that intentionally or not, I look at things differently. Things that I may not have thought twice about, or even noticed, are now potential blog posts. I rate funny things I hear in everyday conversation as “blog worthy…or not so blog worthy.” Friends are beginning to learn that they can’t have a bite of their food or a sip of their drink before I photograph it. Even my own children ask, “are you going to put that on the blog?” when something makes me chuckle. I have found myself parked on the side of the road on Nugent Stretch at 7:25 a.m. because we know that there will be a train barreling alongside of us at 7:26. While I thought that video would be “blog worthy” it wasn’t as cool as it is in real life. I’ve found myself turning the car around to go back and try to capture a particular shot…and I’ve found myself photographing porta potties because I thought they’d make somebody laugh. I’m self diagnosed as “apostrophe intolerant” in that I feel mildly queasy when apostrophe’s are misused. See what I did there? If I ever send out a Christmas card that says, “Love the Schrafft’s” shoot me. So, I have found myself noticing grammatical errors on menus, store signs, and even on a window of a local restaurant and thinking, “does that make a decent blog post?” I told someone that I find myself looking at things through “blog-colored glasses.”
I digress. Back to the cigarette butt at Panera. With my older son off on a play date and the little guy in dire need of new baseball card holders for his big binder of cards, we headed out to Staples. After waiting in line for an eternity behind a woman with what felt like hundreds of questions (and pondering, “is this the makings of a blog post?”) we felt we had earned a Panera Mango Smoothie and Frozen Lemonade. I distracted Finn as we walked past the minefield of baked goodies in the display case in hopes of keeping his eyes on the prize. Five minutes later we were headed back into the sunshine and I was enjoying some long overdue one one one time with my boy. As I watched him hold the door for a lovely older woman, with a smoothie the size of his head in his mitts, and was in the midst of a “what a good boy he is moment” I looked down and saw a cigarette butt at his feet. Finn’s keen little eyes spied it at the same time. Not uncommon you may think, right?
Allow me explain this a bit better, so you can maybe understand why I found it offensive. When you enter Panera, you go through two doors. You’re on the sidewalk…you open a door…you take 3 steps… and you enter another door…this time leading into the actual restaurant. Someone had taken it upon themselves to chuck their cigarette butt down, right there on the carpet for the love of fire hazards, between the two doors. I mean, if you have to chuck your cigarette butt on the ground with the wildly inaccurate assumption that it isn’t actual garbage, then at least do it outside! Why in hell would someone chuck a cigarette down on a carpet….1/2 way inside a restaurant. I have an issue with cigarette butts being discarded anywhere other than an ash tray anyway. I have nothing against cigarette smokers, just their assumption that it isn’t trash. I am equally addicted to my cup of morning coffee…but, I’d never throw the cup on the ground. Likewise, on a similar scale, I might not say “no” to a Hershey’s Kiss…but I wouldn’t throw the little silver wrapper on the ground when I was done. Little or not…it’s still trash.
So I looked at the cigarette butt, Finn looked at the cigarette butt, and then a man began to enter and we stepped out of his way. In my head I was thinking, “go back…take a photo…blog post in the making”…but I was carrying a smoothie, holding my little bag and my car keys, and enjoying a moment with Finn in which he deserved my full attention. But, wouldn’t you know that as soon as he was buckled in and I had started my car, the little guy said, “Mama, you should have taken a picture of that cigarette trash and put it on the blog so more people would know not to do that.” Cigarette Butt at Panera. Enough said.
And….since I didn’t photograph the cigarette butt…here’s a photo of some serious porta pottage. Caption it if you’d like!!