Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where is Mr. Darcy when we need him?

I've been becoming more and more disturbed and disgusted with a rapidly growing trend ... general rudeness. That "What I want or need is far more important than anything having to do with you" attitude. I'm sure you know the one I mean. I can't be the only one experiencing this on a daily basis. It's pervasive. If it were restricted to rude drivers or apathetic clerks, I could probably cope. But I seem to be encountering it more and more in every aspect of my life.

Rude clerks. Yep. You know ... those ones that speak to you for the first time when they give you your total, not even bothering to make eye contact. Or the ones that act like you're bothering them. Makes me want to leave my crap on the counter and walk out.

Self-centered drivers. The ones who dash quickly through the intersection behind the car in front of them at stop signs, even though it's your turn to go. Obviously, they're in a much bigger hurry than I am. Or just more important. Or the ones at the school who, instead of pulling to either curb to pick up their child like the rest of us, just pull up in the driving lane right in front of the school then proceed to sit and wait for their kid, thus effectively blocking in 20-30 others. Or the ones who refuse to let you into traffic at said school, even though you've been sitting there with your blinker on for 10 minutes. Or the ones who, when you are considerate enough to let them into traffic once you're finally able to squeeze into it, don't bother to give you the little "thank you wave". Obviously, they deserved to be let in and it is your duty to do so.

And don't even get me started on the cell phones. At a recent high school play, two cell phones rang in the first act. Okay, I can maybe see forgetting to turn yours off. But, c'mon ... these things have been out plenty long enough that people know how to use them and SHOULD know their etiquette by now. But even if you did forget to turn it off, that first one ringing should have been a loud and clear reminder to everyone else in the auditorium to check theirs. Oh, and the second one was allowed to ring and ring and ring. I'm assuming this is because its owner was embarrassed to pick it up. So, during intermission it was announced over the loud speaker to please turn off all phones and pagers, and to please not take any flash photography as it was very distracting to the actors. Wanna guess what happened in Act II? Yep. Another cell phone rang. And another person was taking flash photos. So, what part of 'turn off your cell phones and no flash photography' did these people not understand? I'm guessing they understood it fully well. But this current atmosphere of I'm the only one that matters probably made them think the rules didn't apply to them.

I have spent my boys' entire lives trying to teach them to be polite, respectful and courteous. Am I wasting my time? Will, in their future, they be considered freaks? No, surely not, as I know a number of other parents that are doing the same with their kids. And, honestly, the majority of the rudeness I've been encountering has been coming, not from self-centered teens, but from adults who should damned well know better.

I mentioned to Dotti having just finished reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. It was nice for a while to lose myself in a more Victorian world where manners were not only taught, but actually used. She suggested I read more Jane Austen to remind myself that all of those pretty manners were kind of a pain in the arse. First, I love Jane Austen. Second, I think our modern world could use a few more societal restrictions and guidelines and that more people felt compelled to follow them.

I'm sure Mr. Darcy would agree.


At 1:09 PM, Blogger Brown Family Reunion OK '08 said...

dude, when you use my NAME you're bound to get BUSTED! jk. BUT my jane austen comment was valid! would you want to live in a world where you were not allowed to speak your mind bc you have ovaries? or where you had to marry the first guy who asked who could support you bc it was "not proper" for ladies to work or own property?! for shame! i'm going to tell the feminists on you! :)


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