Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 97 - A Good Crazy Laugh

Yesterday I went to the Post Office to send a few pieces of mail.  As I was being waited on and the mail clerk was weighing my package a man walked up beside me, with less than an inch between us and reached IN FRONT OF ME, across the counter to grab a pen.  He asked the mail clerk if he could use the pen.  I thought to myself, obviously he is blind because I'm not a small person!  So I said, "Excuse me" in a tone that conveyed my disdain.  He said, "What, I asked if I could use the pen?" I tried to address his rudeness and tried to educate this poor soul as my mother had educated me.  I said,"You didn't even say excuse me and you reached in front of me while I'm trying to finish a business transaction involving money."  He reached across me AGAIN and put the pen back as I stepped back in disbelief. He said, "Lets do this again. Excuse me, is that your pen?" To which I replied, "No."  "May I use it please?"  I said, "Sure" and smiled.  I was satisfied that he knew the right way to intrude on a strangers personal space if there is such a "right" way. 

This happens all the time with men.  Women don't do this to me, people of color in general don't do this to me, so what is it with men who feel so superior that they don't even acknowledge a woman's existence? As I left I heard him say to the clerk as he approached the counter, "Excuse me" in a mocking tone.  To which the cashier replied, "Excuse me" in a likewise mocking tone so I went back and I said to the man, "Do you know what the real issue is here?"  He just looked at me.  I said, "My mother raised me a little better."  He answered mockingly. "GOOD,  good for you" in a mocking tone once again and gave me the thumbs up signal. He wasn't even smart enough to realize it was his mother I was insulting in a good southern way.  Pretty good for a Yankee.  He was being patronizing at this point so I kept my cool and left hoping to have made my point. The truth is the right thing to do is realize you can't shame the shameless.  But I had tried in vain.

And who do I blame this on?  Women.  Particularly Mothers.  When Jula and Felipe came they would just walk as if they were in their own little world.  I had to explain to them the customs of proper etiquette and respect.  Felipe quickly picked up Yes Maam and No Sir.  Jula never did.  Jula however did pick up on walking in front of shoppers looking at items on the shelves in aisles of stores. (Felipe, from the land who invented the word "PARTY" commented to me America has so many silent rules.  Jula was familiar with rules as Germany has many more than ours.)  My mom taught me to say, "Excuse me." when passing in front of shoppers doing just this.  I have taught my sons to be polite and say yes Mam and No sir.  I've taught them to say Yes and No instead of yeah and nah.  Quite honestly I can't hear the difference between yeah and nah when the teenagers answer in slang.

We continued on our errands and went to the Lowes Store next to pick up sunflower seeds for the birds.  I was still a little distraught over this lack of manners.  So when I approached the back entrance there was a lady in line waiting to pay for her bottled water.  I asked her if I could ask her a question and explained what had just happened to me.  "What would you do if this happened to you?"  She said, "I would say 'Excuse Me'" in the exact same tone I had said to this rude dude.  I felt validated.  I needed that.  Is it just me I think sometimes or is the world filled with people who just don't give a damn about anyone else but themselves?  I see it in  ALL ages.  This man was over sixty, the classmates who are under twenty are like this and the twenty or thirty something people I see do it too.

I hugged her and we picked up our forty pound bag of bird seed and three packets of seeds.  At the counter we were telling the cashier what had happened.  She said she has seen people who have fought over trays of flowers so badly that they pulled so hard the trays ripped in half! She said, "It doesn't surprise me as you wouldn't believe all the things I've seen here in this store.  People are just crazy!"  I try to figure out why.  Is it due to all the different cultures we have living in Florida?  Is it because parents have stopped parenting?  Is it because kids are raising kids?  I just don't understand when people are rude or mean to others due to nothing more than their own false sense of self-worth.  I felt weird when we left the store and by the time we got  to the car and put the seeds in it, I was having a laughing fit!

Steve was laughing too because laughing is contagious.  When you hear someone else laughing uncontrollably, you start to giggle, then the giggle turns into an out right roar of a laugh.  I tried to mutter the words, "Here the cashier was telling us people are crazy as I stand there paying for the seeds with a tiara on my head!"  We roared some more, then we realized steve's zipper to his shorts was down!  We imagined what she must have been thinking and we kept laughing.  I laughed so hard I bent over and my tiara fell off.  That made us laugh even harder.  We're so craaaazzzzzyy!  But here's the difference.  The people who say they are crazy really aren't.  Its the people who really don't know they are that we need to watch out for.  Like the man at the Post Office. 

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