Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother

Aug
29
2013

I See Rude People — They’re Everywhere

TRACKING THE GOOD, BAD, UGLY AND DOWNRIGHT GROUCHY

A couple of weeks back our neighbours left some lovely freebies out on their front lawn.

It was a small act, but a thoughtful one. I chose a couple of gently used children’s books and two jars and left feeling happy because it reminded me how generous people can be.

While it's easy to zero in on negative occurrences (such as the reckless foot-heavy driver who almost ran my baby and I off the road while we were crossing the street and the pushy woman who actually budded in line at the community play being held at our local park, for instance) for the past week, I've been taking note of all the good, bad, ugly, and downright grouchy people I've encountered.

My neighbours definitely go down in the ‘good’ category.

So does the teenage boy who offered his seat to my husband, baby, and me on the train the other day. Thank-you. You are thoughtful and aware of those around you. Basically, you rock.

This, however, happened on the same day a woman and her son pushed ahead of us to get on an elevator first. Sigh. What is wrong with you, lady?

Then, we received an incredibly warm smile from a female musician on her way to work. She was beaming at our baby, told us her son was 18 months, and I suspect she was already missing him on that bright Saturday afternoon. Most people bury themselves in books or mobiles, but not you — because you’re cool. 

Meanwhile, over at the gym, to the dude who turned off the only fan while several of us were drowning in sweat running on treadmills, you’re an arse. That is all. Oh, and I turned it back on.

To balance the energy out, just before that another gym goer and I actually exchanged smiles, which rarely ever happens. Typically the space is filled with stone-faced people, but every now and again, there is a human in the mix. It's always a bit shocking, to be honest.

This next one goes to anyone who hasn’t learned the etiquette of sidewalk use. It’s pretty basic. In fact, even dogs can learn it.

Here it goes: Keep to the right. The same goes for escalators, by the way.

Easy, right? Told you so.

That means if you’re texting while walking, you’re probably being a self-absorbed tool. Yes, I mean you zigzagging text-obsessed girl who almost crashed into us and then proved to be even more miserable by giving us stink eye. I think the word you’re looking for is ‘sorry.’

A little more on sidewalks here: walking two or three people across is not OK when someone is walking toward you or is trying to pass. Seriously, how can people not know this?

To make up for that rather long bout of soul-crushing rudeness, get this: A woman actually turned back from the direction she was going to open the door for me and baby B, who was in his stroller at the time. True story.

I thanked her for holding the door, and she then thanked me for thanking her, saying ‘It’s really nice to be appreciated.’

Now just imagine we collectively aimed to ditch the bad, ugly and downright grouchy in favour of the good. 

Strange but true, we might actually smile more and feel good about the people we are in this world. And wouldn't that be nice?