In one of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld, Elaine is standing in line at a movie theater concession stand when she learns that her boyfriend was in an accident and is hospitalized. Elaine decides on the spot to finish what she set out to do–order a box of Jujyfruits–and then heads to the hospital. Her boyfriend learns of this decision and breaks up with her.
This has weighed on me over the years. On one hand, the boyfriend is right to be frustrated. He was hit by a car, and in his moment of need, his girlfriend prioritized candy over him.
On the other hand, what difference did an extra minute make? Elaine isn’t a doctor–she’s just providing emotional support. And perhaps she can provide that support more effectively if it’s preceded by a dose of jujyfruits. If I were in the boyfriend’s position, I don’t think I would mind at all (especially if she also picked up a box of frozen Junior Mints).
So while Elaine was admonished for making this choice, was she really deserving of such judgment? In a life-or-death situation, every moment matters. But this was a case of a bruised hip–an extra minute is negligible.
I’ll say it: I’m siding with Elaine on this one. What do you think? What would you do? If someone else did this soon after you were hospitalized, how would you react?
Also read: The Postcard Nipple