Don’t mess with my bagel

David Friedlander

Last Tuesday, I was getting lunch with my girlfriend in the cafe. We walked through Cafe Q; she made herself a Caesar salad wrap and I sliced myself a bagel. My bagel was not extremely fresh, so I decided to toast it. Normally, this is a relatively easy process. You know, put the bagel in the conveyer toaster and wait a minute or two until it falls below.

However, this was no ordinary bagel-toasting experience. First of all, there was a line, so people were putting their bagels in the toaster as soon as there was enough space for it on the top. My turn came and my eyes lit up as my bagel lowered onto the metal grate. The next girl in line put hers in just as there was enough room, and I could tell something was wrong. She looked at me, looked at the toaster, then looked at me again; this time staring deep into my soul. And without losing eye contact, she CHANGED THE SETTINGS ON THE TOASTER. Keep in mind, my bagel was still in the toaster, so she changed the once-perfect settings for MY BAGEL.

So what happened then, you ask? I had to put my bagel through the toaster TWICE all because this one girl couldn’t wait one minute for my bagel to be finished. She didn’t care about my bagel, because she was so concerned about hers.

Now, I am a man of principle, and my double-toasted bagel that I had on that Tuesday afternoon was the least of my problems, but I think that this points to a bigger issue. There used to be some sort of mutual respect between strangers, but it seems that this is gradually diminishing. Society is getting more selfish.

People are more concerned with fitting as much productivity as they possibly can into a given amount of time rather than actually enjoying people around them. I see students drop their papers on Bobcat Way while other students walk over them or stare from a distance because apparently sticking to their schedule is more important than helping someone who needs it.

Even at the beginning of last year, many students would greet each other when they would cross paths in the hallway, but now it seems that they are all too absorbed in their own cell phone cyber-dimensions. How can scrolling through Instagram actually be more important than true human interaction? And how could someone think that his or her time is more important than my bagel? These are questions we need answered.