Common Courtesy? Not Common on This Day


It’s been one of those days that a deficiency in common courtesy seems evident at every turn. Or at least several turns.

I walk down the sidewalk on my way to get a morning coffee and encounter a group of ladies walking four astride. None of them moves over and I end up having to detour into the snow to avoid bumping into one of them.

“Oh, that’s okay, just take up the whole sidewalk,” I mutter, not so much under my breath.

I head into the coffee shop. I’m waiting for my drink and am just about to reach for it (how many people have a decaf grande two-pump nonfat no-whip mocha, anyway?) when a woman’s spindly arm reaches over me. I see her hand wrapping around the lid, as she’s ready to grab it and walk away with it.
“Um, excuse me, that’s mine,” I say, with a polite smile. She doesn’t respond at first or make any pleasantries. She just drops her hand and stares at me with cold eyes. “It’s not like I knew that,” she retorts after I shake my head slightly but pointedly at her.

I get in my car to drive home and it’s apparently Attack of the Tailgaters Day. I move from the left lane into the right, because I’m sick of cars riding up my bumper when I’m already going at least five miles an hour over the speed limit and still, I have giant SUVs that look to be a mere inch from my vehicle. I use my best shake-the-tailgater move and tap on my brakes, in an attempt to jar them just enough to back off a little bit. That works, but only for a couple of minutes.

I walk in the house to find my young daughter upset that the day before Twins Day at school, the girls she was supposed to be twins with all decided to be pair up with other girls and now she has no one to dress alike with. Great, it’s also Let’s Make a School Event that Encourages Exclusion Day!

Before dinnertime, I have to deal with the hell that is the high school parking lot at sports practice drop-off and pick-up time. You can apparently block the entire route for five full minutes to pick up your daughter and her friends or, on the flip side, lay on the horn when the person in front of you is trying to pull into an open space.

By the end of this day, I am so irritated with humanity that I settle in to watch some TV. I flip around the channels and see, in the course of only a few minutes, a network show airing in the former family hour of 7 p.m. featuring a character wearing a t-shirt reading “Vagitarian.” Okay, that’s a bit vulgar for this early in the evening. So I flip around and see housewives yelling at each other, gold miners screaming at one another and, on the cable news, members of our two branches of government shrieking and snarking about one another.

I give up and take the dog for a walk, if nothing else to savor some winter stillness, looking at some bright stars strewn around the black sky and hearing the snow crunch under my boots.

About two blocks from home, I realize I forgot a poop bag. Because I don’t want to be one of those dog owners who just leave their pet’s waste on another person’s parkway, I go all the way back home and fish out a bag from the cabinet.

Yep, that about sums it up. A day that is akin to a bag of you-know-what.

So, has anyone else had a day in which good manners seem permanently out the window? Venting welcome here!


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  • That's what we get with Big City Living. I can't wait to move to a smaller town, everyone is nicer. I keep thinking of Fear's "I Love Living in the City."

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