Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Things we won't say

This morning, riding in the elevator, I noticed a gentleman standing behind Ric that kept glancing down. I wasn't sure what he was doing, but it seemed like he kept staring at something on Ric. When he and I exited the elevator, Ric was in front of me and I could see what the guy had been looking at. Ric snagged his belt loop on the seat belt of his jeep, and it ripped a three inch hole in the back of his pants. Fortunately, Ric had a dress shirt on that was block-cut, so he untucked it and it covered the rip.

I was just playing this back in my head now, and I am wondering why the guy in the elevator didn't say anything to Ric. A simple "hey, I think your pants ripped" would have been nice. Instead, he let Ric leave the elevator and wander around. Nice, huh?

Why won't people say things when they notice them? Whether it's a zipper down, or something in someone's teeth, or a belt that missed a loop, what makes us afraid to say something?

Maybe there is the worry of being thought of as inappropriate. "What are you doing looking at my butt?" "Why are you staring at my zipper?" That sort of thing. But we all notice things and not because we are being crude. The hole in Ric's pants, for example, was obvious because the pants were black and the shirt underneath was white, so of course the eye would be drawn to it.

Well, I will continue to say something to people. Whenever I have, the reaction has always been the same - "oh, thank you!" And the next time I am walking around with toilet paper stuck to my shoe, I hope that someone around me is nice enough to let me know.