Leaning up again my grocery cart (or “buggy” as I grew up saying in the Southern U.S.) in a

Imagelong snaking line at PennySavers Grocery in Canaan, Tobago, I watched a young man swoop in front of me and plop his hand basket on the floor with a wide, satisfied grin.

I looked at him. “Surely he isn’t cutting in line. Is he with the guy in front of me?” I thought to myself.

The guy in front of him looked at him crossly. I then realized he was for sure NOT with the guy in front of me.

“Are you cutting in line?” I asked.

“You see I only have a few items.”

“You see THIS?” I said pointing to my very large pregnant belly.

His eyes grew wide.

“Oh I am just resting it here. I will wait until you go.”

Then the guy behind me pitched in.

“You can’t just cut in line and not ask the people behind you.”

Realizing that there was more than one person who objected to his rudeness, the line cutter said “Oh … I am just resting my stuff here. I’ll come back when it’s my turn.” And he disappeared.

Still in line 10 minutes later (gotta love Tobago pace) but just about to starting placing my stuff on the grocery belt, I feel a bump behind me. ANOTHER 20-something-year-old man with a hand basket was squeezing his way to the front of the line without a word – but with a posse.

When I turned around to reveal my big and beautiful belly, the man stopped in mid-stride.

With hand to mouth he gasped, “Ah whooooo” (a popular expression in TnT).

“Yeah.” I said pointing to my stomach. “You can’t cut in front of a pregnant lady. This is my free pass.”

He stepped back immediately. I looked at the man who had been patiently waiting behind me since I got in line and just shook my head. He rolled his eyes in reply.

It has become so commonplace for people to boldly ignore basic proper social behavior and politeness – like waiting your turn in line. I encourage everyone to boldly protect politeness and civility needed to nurture a respectful society.