Selective Observations

 I am the kind of person who straightens misaligned pictures and who picks up litter. I notice a lot of things that other people miss, and sometimes I even pride myself on it, so it comes as a disappointment to realize that I am failing to notice some significant things. Maybe I’m turning into a teenager. Teenagers are notorious for not noticing that their clothes are on the floor or their dirty dishes are not in the dishwasher.

I often fail to notice crosswalks. Edmonton’s pedestrian crossings are not painted on the roads, but instead they are indicated by signs at the curbs.  When I’m driving around I often don’t see these very large images of walking stick people.  That’s unfortunate because pedestrians have to wait a long time before drivers who are more aware than me will stop for them.

When I am a pedestrian I make a point of ostentatiously sticking out my arm if I want the traffic to stop at a crosswalk. It’s a bit infantilizing to do this because I remember it as the action I once taught my children to do, but it works.  Traffic stops.

Something else I have realized I failed to notice was that there is a quite large volume icon on my Garmin GPS system. I have occasionally complained that Jack’s voice was too loud, but couldn’t figure out how to change it.  When I’m driving I’m usually alone, and fiddling with the settings while on route is not a good idea. A couple of times, I’ve tried to do this but gave up before accomplishing my goal.  So, Jack remained annoyingly too loud until I was in the car with my youngest child. He cheerfully pointed out that the volume control wasn’t in the settings at all. It was right there on the main screen.  How had I missed that?

Other things I fail to see are doors marked “PUSH” that I inevitably try to pull instead, speedbumps in grocery store parking lots, and the notice that comes in the mail to tell me to renew my vehicle registration.

Clearly, I’m regressing. It’s a kind of selective Benjamin Button process. My body is getting older but my awareness is becoming younger, more like an adolescent. With any luck, I’ll get to the point where I don’t care what people think, either. I’ll thumb my nose at the world, wear outrageous clothes, and fall in love with bad boys.

Oh yes. I’m looking forward to that. When it happens, please pretend not to notice.


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