Nothing will 180 my mood faster than offering a kind gesture and not even receiving a "Fuck you and everybody who lives in your house" in return. If I hold a door for someone and the person walks by without even acknowledging me, I cannot stop myself from shooting a smartass comment at him or her as I walk away. It's usually something simple, like "The correct response is 'thank you,' fuckass." But I always want to follow it up with a suplex and maybe an elbow to the neck.
So now I've created this explosively awkward situation where I look like I have split personality disorder, going from polite guy opening the door to arrogant douche, bazooka firing curse words at old ladies. Yes, I know it makes me a horrible person. I'm working on it.
What's hard to remember is that most of us have grown up in a society that teaches caution toward and exclusion of strangers. And with the sheer amount of violence and crime that spackles the news, I don't really blame them. I teach my kids to avoid strangers like Nickelback avoids depth. But here I am, a 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound man with a three-day stubble and an unintentional "I've been stalking you for hours" look in his eyes, positioning himself directly behind a complete stranger under what could be the guise of politeness.