We're locked into the heart of winter in Chicago and most of the country. In downtown Chicago, it means snow and snowy sidewalks. There's something I've noticed and wonder if you have too. After it snows, some brave soul or souls, who get up way before me, trudge through the new fallen snow on the sidewalk and create a trail. The next person, striving to conserve energy, follows the same path. As does the next person and so on. Eventually there's just a well trodden narrow path down the middle of the sidewalk that makes it passable. All of this presumes that your neighbors do not shovel their sidewalks or that you are outside before they are able to do so. In my case, most of my neighbors have indeed shoveled before I get outside, but there's always someone who doesn't.
Anyway, so you have this path in the snow and all is grand as you trudge along to wherever you're going, until at some point, someone comes from the other direction. What happens now? There's only room on the trail for one person. You never have a discussion with the person to determine who started walking on the trail first, so "first come, first served" is out the window. Clearly if they are old or infirmed, you'll yield. If you're a guy, you might even yield to a woman, though when it's a balmy 2 degrees out, it's hard to tell what sex you're dealing with sometimes. So what happens? It's been my experience that we both abandon the trail and trudge through the deeper snow on either side. Can't there be a better solution? We both lose out currently and I'm not happy about it. Somebody optimize this for me!!!