Excuse Me, You Dropped This

I went to Panera Bread for coffee this morning since they open the earliest. Considering how tired I was, it was also economical since you can have as much caffeine as you require. Do you think 12 refills may have been too many?

The mugs are small.

To my right was a table of little ladies eating their breakfast gabbing away in another language. To my left, a middle-aged man on his laptop and to the front of me was a cute couple in their 20s sitting so close they might have been mistaken for Siamese Twins.

Imagine, all this at 6 a.m.

I watched the ladies gather themselves before departing, leaving all their trash right where it was. In Panera you’re supposed to bring it to a side table when you’re done.

Okay fine, I thought, maybe they didn’t know.

Then the man got up to get more coffee leaving his napkin on the floor when it slid off of his lap.

The snugly couple got up to leave the same time I did. I watched the boy blow his nose in to his napkin and let it fall to the floor. Now I realize he was only operating with one arm since his other one was glued to the waist of his girlie-girl but come on. Who raised him, raccoons?

I didn’t say anything, wanted to but didn’t. It just felt bigger than me, this unconsciousness that seems to have gone viral.

It reminded me of my ex who would never pick his trash up or allow his daughter to in a movie theater. It would drive me crazy. “What do you think these people get paid for?” he’d say time and time again. That may have been the beginning of the end because if I picked up my own water bottle or candy wrapper, he wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. Once he even called me a peasant (it’s amazing I didn’t kill him).

I asked my pal Jacques, who’s one of the classiest men I know, if he picks up after himself at the movies. After he regained consciousness he said, “Of course I do, what kind of a question is that?”

I like asking that question. Unfortunately Jacques, along with myself, is in the minority.

Later on I was walking behind a mother with her young son who was around 10. She had bought him a cookie a few blocks back and when he was done she casually watched him throw the waxed paper onto the ground. This time I acted.

I picked it up and said with as much charm as I could fake when I really wanted to grab her by her Burberry collar, “Excuse me, you dropped this.”

She took it, I think from shock, before throwing it in the trash.

I then remembered something my late friend Beth Nelson taught her daughter Amy when she was very small.

Every time we litter the earth cries…


How’s that for parenting?


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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11 Responses to Excuse Me, You Dropped This

  1. Lack of consciousness has become a full-blown epidemic! I share this home with Captain Earth. Nothing gets in his way when it come from preventing “pigs” from destroying our planet. It truly is a miracle he is not in jail or dead after following a car where the driver emptied their ashtray at a traffic light. I was just in shock that someone actually used the ashtray for for something other than storing change.


    • I see cabbies do that once in a while. It’s just so odd to me. No one seems to care anymore. When I went to see Lincoln, when the lights went up it looked like a garbage heap. No one threw a thing away. It bothered me greatly. By the way, I was at JKF today and there was a security dog and guess what his breed was? Yes, it was a Chester…a Beagle on duty. First time I ever saw one working like that. Thought of you right away.


  2. Jed says:

    I couldn’t agree more. In a world with vast problems, this seems like an easy fix. You would think.


  3. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I love the way you handled that 🙂 I think I’ve given up expecting decent behavior out of human beings.


  4. Sandy Hansson says:

    You have said it in style. No wonder the earth is crying.


  5. Rob says:

    I lived in Singapore for two years. You don’t drop litter there and get away with it for long: they have floggings. I think that’s over the top but it was nice to walk along clean streets. The biggest crime is the acceptance. Well done to you!


    • Hope that you’re feeling better. So many things trouble me, you have no idea. It might help if I didn’t notice so much, but nothing gets by. becomes weighty. Floggings for littering, wow…that certainly must change things.


  6. Rob says:

    They definitely had floggings, though possibly not for dropping litter. I think I remember $1000 fine for dropping chewing gum though. It was a good place to live so long as you didn’t fall foul of the law. My second wife didn’t manage that and found herself in Changi gaol. Happy days.


  7. I always pick up after myself at the movies. And at the coffee shop and everywhere else that doesn’t have a sign saying to please leave the plates on the table. It’s the right thing to do


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