The leading headline in today’s Dickinson Press is: “Historic friendliness of ‘North Dakota Nice’ fading away” Ya think? Of course this all has to do with the Oil Boom. People are pouring into North Dakota to make a living working in the Oil Patch. The predictions are that the Oil boom isn’t going to Bust anytime soon like it has in the past. All indications are that Dickinson’s population will keep increasing at an alarming rate. I believe that most of us original North Dakotans are still nice and we want to be nice. But the growing pains of our little community are a double-edged sword. We want to be nice, friendly, and welcoming but too many people moving in too quickly has made us all grouchy, greedy and gruff. I can wake up in the morning with the greatest intentions of having a happy, positive day. That lasts until I back out of my driveway. I don’t like empty beer bottles in the gutter in front of my house. I don’t like having to pick them up not knowing who had their hands and lips on them and what could be inside. That makes me grouchy. After the clean up my good mood meter is down about 7%. I just don’t understand when tossing beer bottles in the street became acceptable. Traveling to Walmart I get to the first traffic light. Two people in front of me went through red so I am the first one stopped at the intersection. Now if you do not slam on the accelerator the second the light turns green the person behind you lays on the horn as if they have been waiting for 5 minutes for me to move. Still trying to keep my positive attitude I make a tight fist with my right hand fighting the urge to flip off the person behind me. My mood meter is down another 15%. At Walmart I try to find a parking spot. Of course all the spots closest to the doors are taken. Further back in the parking lot are the huge brand new pickups that take up two spaces. The pickup probably cost as much as my gross income for the year so I suppose I understand that they don’t want me parking to close to them. The wind could easily catch my door and bang it into their truck. Honestly if that happened I would feel bad and probably do the nice North Dakotan thing and leave a note with my contact information on the wind shield. Unless, of course, it was the person honking behind me at the stop light. Farther down the parking lot are campers and semis that spent the night in the Walmart parking lot. This means that the people that slept there are in the Walmart bathrooms cleaning up by taking a sink bath and dumping a load of Tex-Mex from the night before. I silently say a prayer that I don’t have to pee so I don’t have to go anywhere near the Walmart bathrooms. When I finally find a place to park I open the door to get out of my car only to find a mound of cigarette butts that I almost step into. Actually stepping on cigarette butts would be bad compared to stepping on a used diaper that came from a babies butt. As I gingerly step around left over fast food, Styrofoam coffee cups, oily rags, muddy socks and unidentifiable puddles of stuff. I feel like I missed a sign that reads: “The Walmart parking lot doubles as a garbage dump.” By now my good mood meter is down another 25%. [35% if I actually step into something unidentifiable] I just find it so disgusting. Once inside Walmart I take out my list. And, NO, my list is not on my new iphone. I have not gotten to that chapter yet in “iphone 5 for Dummies.” Besides I cannot imagine tapping the screen of my iphone to mark an item checked would bring any degree of satisfaction like using a pencil and physically crossing the item off the list. Unless I set the check off tone to Fanfare. Is there an app for that? I have already blogged about not being able to get everything on my Walmart list and how that frustrates me. Not finding 3 things on my list brings my good mood meter down another 13%. When I do find what I am looking for I sometimes buy all the rest on the shelf because I may not find that item again for months. In my opinion that makes me just another one of the greedy people out there. I don’t want to be that person, but if there are only 3 bottles of Gas-X on the shelf, they’re mine. I have noticed that the cashiers have stopped asking, “Did you find everything you needed today?” I can only imagine some of the gruff answers they would get and most of them would not be printable. Oh, and “Always Low Prices, Always” doesn’t apply to the Dickinson Walmart. It seems like the prices on anything and everything jumps 20-50 cents every week. When the cashier tells you your total it is staggering and all the items fit into one bag. Now my good mood meter is down another 20% which means I am off to work running on 20% positive attitude. That lasts about two minutes because the minute I walk in the door some guy asks for help on the computer. For some reason he can’t get into his e-mail. Before I even take off my coat I am trying to figure out what the problem is with his e-mail. When I see that the patron has typed his e-mail address in the internet search box I am now just about running on empty. I have just enough positive attitude to politely help the guy get to his hotmail account, help him get signed in and wait while he takes 10 minutes to type in the correct password. I am not being nosy but I can’t help but see that this guy has at least 10 e-mails from Rover. Either this guy’s family has a warped sense of naming their kids or it is the guy who is getting e-mails from his dog. In either case I am thankful that it isn’t the guy getting pictures of naked “Persian Kitties.” And I am not talking about the furry kind. The guy does thank me for helping him so my good mood meter is creeping back up to 30%. With any luck I will make it to lunch with at least 2% left in my good mood meter. A Baconater from Wendys will hopefully boost my spirits and I will be able to play North Dakota Nice the rest of the afternoon.