Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good-bye Manners. Hello Anger.

Well, I've been chewing on this for a while now, but it's 100% official. Manners are no more. Instead they've been replaced with selfishness, arrogance, rudeness, disdain, disrespect, entitlement, and ignorance. Remember when road rage was so shocking? Like, how could some guy get out of his car and punch another guy in the face because he cut him off? Isn't it interesting how you don't necessarily hear about road rage anymore? Instead, road rage has been replaced with compliance. People have just gotten so used to everyone being assholes on the road that no one cares anymore. And instead of freaking out, they just go with the flow and now we have even more assholes out there driving humungous SUVs while talking on their cell phones, smoking a cigarette, and applying mascara. But, wait, I was talking about manners in general, not necessarily idiot drivers.   

Going into the office yesterday I was walking behind a woman, probably in her 50s, talking on her cell phone. I was probably eight steps behind her and my hands were full. She opened the door to the building and looked over her shoulder quickly, made eye contact with me, and then proceeded to walk into the entryway, without holding the door for me. Nice.

On Friday of last week I stopped by Trader Joe's to pick up a few things. I got in line and there was an empty cart in front of me but no one standing nearby. The cashier waved me forward and said that the customer went out to her car to get her reusable bags. So, I proceed to check out and the woman comes in with her bags and says, very loudly, "why would you go in front of me if it was clear that I was in line?" When the cashier commented that there was a line forming and that she needed to service customers who were ready, the woman yanked her cart out of line, abandoned it by the exit, and walked out. Really?

I was walking down the sidewalk a few weeks ago, going to run an errand on my lunch break, and I don't know about you guys, but I walk down the sidewalk on the right side, which I think is the normal way to do it. So, there I am, walking, and I come to a corner, so I turn the corner, practically hugging it, and someone coming in the opposite direction slams into me, knocking my bag off my arm and onto the ground, where some of the contents spilled out. Startled, I step back, and the man who ran into me (who wasn't your typical Malden-ite, but dressed in a suit and seemed to maybe have more manners) says "Jesus Christ, watch where you're f--king going!" and storms off. Yeah, because I can totally see through concrete walls to see who's barreling down the sidewalk on the WRONG SIDE. Jackass.

Back in November, my fiance, Alf, was walking our dog Roscoe on his normal morning walk. There's a fairly busy road near our house that we have to cross to go to the dog park, and for some reason Roscoe can't just cross this street walking calmly. He bounces and flails until he's on the other side, and sometimes it's very hard maneuvering because he bumps into you. Anyway, Alf started to jog across the street and he and Roscoe became entangled and, well, they're both very leggy and lanky and one thing lead to another and Alf fell very awkwardly and slammed his shoulder into the sidewalk. Hard. It wasn't like he tripped and regained his balance. He totally fell head first to the ground. There were several witnesses. Not one of them stopped to find out if he was okay. There he is, practically laying in the street, and not one person stopped to see if he needed assitance (he did, btw, and I ended up taking him to the ER soon thereafter but thankfully he didn't break anything). WTF?

So, I think you know where I'm going with this. How hard is it to hold a door for someone, or maybe say you're sorry for running into them? It really makes me angry to think that these normal every day manners that we used to use on a regular basis are close to extinction. I try, and it's not like I have to try very hard people, to be mindful of my surroundings every day. I let people get in front of me in traffic, I hold the door for people (even if they're 20 feet away), I say excuse me and sorry if I bump into someone or if I need to pass them, I say thank you to the cashier at CVS, even though she's a miserable bitch. I mean, it's not like it's very hard. Right? Right??      

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