What’s the Civility of Slow Walking People?

SidewalkI’ve got a raging debate going on within my close circle of friends regarding the “civility” of a recent situation I was involved in. Who was being rude/inpatient/intolerant/thoughtless here? This is what happened.

My husband and I attended a concert starring Mandy Patinkin last Friday night. I love Mandy Patinkin and buy a ticket to see him anytime I have the opportunity.

His performance was, as always, brilliant, and I left the theater feeling happy and uplifted. We were making our way to the parking garage with the crowd along a sidewalk lined with bushes and trees.

Walking hand-in-hand in front of us was an extremely obese couple who were taking up the entire sidewalk. I’m sure they were walking as fast as they could, but they were truly moving at a snail’s pace. My husband and I were getting antsy and I heard rumblings from behind us, wondering what the hold-up was?

When we came to a break in the bushes, we stepped onto the gravel bordering the sidewalk and passed the obstructing couple. I asked politely if they minded if we scooted past them, hoping that they’d take the hint. They didn’t respond and made no attempt to move over, walk in single file, or hurry up.

My husband and I both thought them rude and uncivil. If they wanted to walk hand-in-hand (which is very sweet), and they couldn’t walk at a normal pace, they should have waited for the crowd to clear out. Some of my friends agree with me, others think that I was being impatient and intolerant. That I need to chill out. How much time would we have been delayed – five minutes at the most? Which I concede is a fair point.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What is the socially appropriate – the civil – thing for both this couple and the rest of us impatient theatergoers to have done?
Mandy Patinkin