Friday, October 14, 2005

What Is It With People These Days?

I saw this in today’s news, and I have to say, it perfectly encapsulates my feelings about people’s behavior lately. Why is rudeness so commonly accepted these days? Are politeness and common courtesy things of a bygone era? Why do people not teach their children this vital concept of civilized living?

I was pondering this question with great earnest on the drive home last night, but was interrupted by my life flashing before my eyes as someone in an SUV attempted to dart into my lane space with my Cabrio still unfortunately in it. Now, understand that as the driver of a smallish car in a dark blue color, I am well aware that it renders my car virtually invisible to most, especially to SUVs. I have to make a point of driving defensively around these types, and especially to not lurk in someone’s blind spot. My very survival depends on it. But people, this happened no fewer than THREE TIMES on the drive home. Someone would be pissed off that their lane wasn’t moving, and decide that they had to be in my lane, like, stat, immediately, NOW, and wouldn’t even do a cursory over-the-shoulder glance to see if anyone or anything was there. My poor little factory-issued horn got a serious workout last night trying to save my and Derek’s precious asses from being crushed by some idiot who couldn’t be bothered to care or notice that hi, in rush hour traffic, there ARE other cars on the road. All over the place, in fact. It is just a hard, cold fact of existence in the big city. And after bitterly swerving back into their chosen lane, I don’t even get the “Whoops, sorry!” wave for scaring the crap out of me? WTF?

And don’t even get me started on the cell phone thing. I have a cell phone. I have had a cell phone that has existed as my sole telephone (i.e., no land line at home) for many years now. But it is pretty much a known fact amongst my friends that if we are hanging out, and you find it necessary to be chatty with someone who is not with us in person about something of little import (and what could be more important than quality time with moi?), you will find our visit abruptly over and I will, in the future, opt to instead hang out with a friend who is actually interested in being present during our time together. Managing to coordinate two or more people to congregate for social purposes is no mean feat these days with everyone’s busy schedules, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend any of that precious time sitting around with my thumb up my butt whilst someone chats on the phone about some inane nonsense. Don’t waste my time, and I promise I won’t waste yours.

And of course there are exceptions to this – geez, I’m not a total hardcore cruster. One night when Bunnie and I were about to have dinner, I noticed I was getting a call from Jillie-pew who was fresh out of the hospital after pumping out a wee bairn. She hadn’t yet been able to talk to me since the travails of birthing, and lives in Okla-freakin-homa so it's not like I can go to the hospital and visit, and so of course I explained same to Bunnie who was very understanding, and I promptly skulked off into the corner to talk to my god-baby-mama. There are always special circumstances. That’s what cell phones are for. Duh.

What they are NOT for is to talk to people while you are in a movie theater surrounded by several other movie-goers, in the middle of a movie. What the hell is that about? Since Derek and I usually frequent the ArcLight for our theater-going needs, I was totally unprepared for what displeasures they suffer at theaters in the valley on a recent movie venture to see The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Not exactly a light-hearted comedy if you know what I mean. There, in the middle of the theater, during a crucial moment in the film, an obnoxious ringtone could be heard several rows ahead of us. But rather than being turned off, the person actually picked up the phone and started talking! I know, I couldn’t believe it either. This is where the higher cost of the ArcLight is worth its weight in gold. People actually go to view the movie with some respect for others that are there for a similar purpose, and are not there to chat on the phone. “Hello? What? No, nothin’, just chillin’. I’m at the Promenade. Yeah some stupid movie about some chick who’s trippin’ on the devil or some shit. Ooooh, scary. What? Where you all at? Oh yeah? What you gonna do later?” etc., etc., ad nauseum. Yeah, even though he was nowhere near us, everyone could hear everything this dipshit was saying. Okay, not only is it not that difficult to turn the dumb phone off BEFORE the movie starts dumbass, but dude, if you are absolutely DYING to chit-chat, save the cost of the ticket and go hang outside and chat all you want in the lobby, you rude FREAK! I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.

Am I missing something? Can somebody please give me a clue if you have one. Please?

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