Why are people so rude these days?
In one weekend, I was subjected to the following:
A woman at the bead show who, even though I was clearly perusing and picking through two trays of cabochons, shoved her way behind me to come up on my other sided and began snatching cabs as fast as she could out of one of my trays. I mean, it was amazing. There I am carefully looking at each cab – color, shape, design possibilities and trying to make decisions and she literally had half that tray gone and into her bag in about 30 seconds. Now, to my knowledge, there’s no book of “bead show booth etiquette” out there (maybe I should write one?), so I suppose there’s no hard and fast rule, but it sure seemed incredibly rude (and greedy!) to me and not at all the correct way to behave.
Same booth, different side, two women are standing in front of a set of trays, completely blocking all access to them, but not doing any shopping. They’re just chit-chatting away and are completely oblivious to the fact that I and a couple of other shoppers are quite obviously trying to make our way to that section to shop. Do they move? Heck, no. It’s sort of like those people who meander down the middle of the aisles in parking lots even though they KNOW there are cars behind them trying to get through, but they just keep on walking as sloooooowly as possible while trying to pretend they don’t know you’re there and then when you finally lose all patience and honk at them, they either glare at you or flip you off. It was like that.
Only without the honking.
Although, if I’da had a horn to honk, you can bet I would’ve.
I finally had to tap one of the women on the shoulder and say “excuse me, but if you’re not looking at that tray, would you mind moving down a bit or switching places with me?” She glared at me, chided me for interrupting her conversation and finally moved about, oh, maybe 2 inches away. Yeah, that was a BIG help. I exchanged perplexed/horrified looks with the other two ladies who wanted to get to that side of the booth as well. Finally, the booth owner had to take pity on us and ask these women to clear the booth if they were not shopping.
How can you not realize you’re being rude when the VENDOR asks you to VACATE HER BOOTH????
Then, that night, I took my son to the movies. My parents went with us to dinner beforehand and then we met for ice cream afterwards because they saw “The Bourne Ultimatum” and the kid and I saw “Underdog.”
Yes, this is what my life has become.
The “Underdog” movie.
Fortunately, for a kids’ movie, it wasn’t too bad. The kid and I sang the “Underdog” theme song all the way home:
“Speed of lightning, Roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
“Not bird, nor plane nor even frog. It’s just little old me, Underdog.”
But back to my story.
While we’re standing in the massive (and by massive, I mean it was out the door and around the corner) line at Coldstone Creamery, these two guys come running through the line and actually SHOVE my 70+-year-old dad out of the way. They basically all but knocked him off his feet. Now, if they’d been some rowdy teenagers, I still would’ve been appalled by the behavior, but it would’ve made more sense. However, these guys had to be in the 22-25 year old range.
And my oh-so-brilliant response to this totally outrageous behavior? I fixed them both with a steely glare and said “that was incredibly rude.”
Yeah, I know. It’s why I’m feared worldwide. Vicious, that’s me.
I did get a mumbled and totally insincere apology out of them, though. For whatever that’s worth.
On the other hand, the old me wouldn’t’ve said anything at all so I’ve made some progress in the “not willing to tolerate crap from others” department.
All of this behavior contrasts really strongly with other things I observed over the weekend. Y’see, with the exception of “Underdog”, I had kind of a “period” weekend in the arts and entertainment department. I watched the movie, “Miss Potter”, about the life of author/artist Beatrix Potter. I also re-read a couple of old favorite books, “Mairelon the Magician” and “Magician’s Ward” by Patricia C. Wrede. They are urban fantasy set in a Jane Austen-era London society. Whenever I delve into that period of history, one of the things that really stands out to me is the incredibly strict set of social rules of the time.
It seems we’ve evolved from one extreme to another. From a time of overly burdensome, complicated and strict codes of behavior to a time of no standards at all. Anything goes. Treat people as crappily as you want to.
While neither extreme is desirable, I can’t help but wish sometimes for that earlier era. I certainly had several occasions this weekend where I would have liked to exclaim, as Mairelon’s stuffy old aunt does when faced with a low-life criminal, “I do NOT wish to be presented to this person. See to it that we do not become acquainted!”
P.S. For those anxiously awaiting the end of the transformer story, I did go ahead and give the kid the small transformer for staying in bed all night. I did not replace the larger one that went to school and got destroyed. He continued to get a small transformer from the set for each night that he stayed in bed without getting up. However, he continued to ask for another big transformer, but he was doing so well with his sleeping rules that I came up with a way for him to earn one. He had to stay in bed every night for seven nights (1 trip to the potty being the only allowable exception). I made a sign with the numbers 1-7 and he got to cover one number with a sticker each morning if he’d followed the rules the night before. He made it all seven nights and got his big transformer.
The kid is now staying in bed without any rewards and he is the one who reminds ME every morning that he cannot take his toys to school.
He is also trying to come up with something else he can do to “help Mommy” so he can earn another big transformer. I proposed seven mornings of him putting his clothes on all by himself without help (which he’s perfectly capable of doing – just doesn’t like to).
He’s thinking over the proposal ;-)