Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Excuse me....

Please allow me to interrupt my regularly scheduled rant about white folks (the unenlightened, the bigoted, the hell, you know who I mean....all well meaning, decent acting white folks, this doesn't mean you)....

So, yet again....please allow me to interrupt my regularly scheduled rant about white folks to take a word out and say something about my people.

Why are we, as a group, so pitifully rude? To society in general and particularly to each other.

There is an open computer area where I attend school. Granted it's an open area, but it's still a public area. Many a day I try to sit and study or merely surf the internet but I'm constantly disturbed by people playing music or watching YouTube without headphones. One day a young lady was loudly singing along with the music videos she was watching.

So....I turned up the music and started singing loudly...country music....Toby Keith, I Ain't as Good as I Once Was....loud and strong. Some other people got the point. They started smiling at each surreptitiously, glad someone had entered the fray. Well she stopped singing...but only as long as it took me to sing my song...then she started up again. Oh and did I mention that between verses of her R&B favorites, we were also treated to a loud conversation about her sex life and her speculation as to whether her next date was a virgin or no?

I finally left her a note.:
Dear Sista,

No one needs to be all in your business like that. You are loud & you are rude. Don't take it personal. Have a nice day.

I signed it with a smiley face = )
But today, I'm back in the open area. And I sit down and the guy next to me is blasting music. So I hand him the unopened pack of headphones I bought day before yesterday as my previous pair met an untimely end by a cycle through both my washer and dryer. He looks at me and my meaning is clear but he hands them back to me.

"I don't want to take your headphones."

"My brother, consider this a gift from me to you."

"I can't take them from you though."

"I would rather give you this gift then allow you to persist in rudeness."

"Well if I was bothering anybody, somebody would have said something."
Seriously? Does the average human being have to be TOLD that we are being rude to understand that our behaviors are rude? Hell no. We ignore the social clues that tell us our behavior is inappropriate and persist in rudeness as if it were our right....and even worse, we dare anyone with our continued rudeness to address us about it.

Well he returned the headphones. And he eventually left.

And I repeated this performance with another young woman about 15 minutes after he left. And Another young man not 15 seconds ago. That young man actually left with the headphones. Maybe he'll use them next time. I can only hope.

It's really not that difficult is it? To be polite. And to speak up when others are infringing on your right to simply be.

The reason I'm addressing this to black folks is because, although I've been at school for at entire year, I have yet to see any white folks of any age do this. Every instance of this has been a black person and NOT just young people - although I would say the majority have been below the age of 25 and definitely just may not get it - or may not have thought it a big deal.

But the people my age and older - obviously old enough to be parents and such, I must ask: Is this the best example we can set?

What every day rudeness do you come across and how do you address it, if at all? I'm afraid I've given up on smokers in doorways - particularly those who stand directly in front of no-smoking signs puffing away like chimneys. Now that's a societal infraction I have found among those of every race, color & creed.

1 comment:

  1. I hate it when people can't bother with headphones. If I wanted to listed to music in public, I'd buy a concert ticket.

    I've found that if I give rude people the mom glare, they'll back off. It has to be the ultra mom glare, though, the kind where the knives shooting out of my eyes stab them in the heart.


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