Monday, October 15, 2012

Peace be with you...

My mother was pushing my daughter in the stroller recently down one of our lovely nearby streets when she happened upon a mother standing with her three young children. The woman was blocking the sidewalk, so my mother said "excuse me" in a rather commonly used courteous attempt to pass them. The woman, with her adorable brood looking on, turned to my mom and said "What b!tch? I don't have to move for you." My mom calmly waited for her to make space and eventually walked by. She did suggest that the woman not speak that way in front of her kids, but it was more of an afterthought since she had no interest in getting her a$$ kicked while out walking with my daughter.

The grim reality of this exchange is that we are breeding more rude New Yorkers than polite ones. It's simple mathematics really. That woman had three kids under her tutorial, my mom, only one. This town is doomed if that is an accurate portrayal of the statistics of nasty mother f#$kers vs. the rest of us. It's also sad because on a good day, my mom could have easily made that woman feel very small, but she restrained her anger in the best interest of my child. I only wish that other mother could have done the same.

There's a lot out there that we may not like, but we must tolerate. We tolerate for a number of reasons: we are a role model to someone, we have no time to make a decent argument against, our manners won't allow an official assault, or maybe it's a just friend or relative that you simply must put up with. The people listed below are tolerate-able, but can also be deemed annoying. Personally, I tolerate them because I don't want to be an a$$hole, but also because that's how I was raised. Thanks mom... sorry about the angry blog and stuff.

Potted Plants - Also known as old people, but certainly not exclusively. These are human obstacles that there is no moving. I should mention that I have a soft spot for the old and infirm. If you're like me, there is no method of venting your frustration towards an elderly dear that will make you feel good about yourself. Don't bother clearing your throat or cursing under your breathe. They are not going anywhere. The best thing you can do is back up and walk around. Keep calm and carry on.

Kids - I don't have the same soft spot for kids as I do old people. Basically, if you can tie your own laces, you can watch where the f#$% you're going. If you don't, I might just let you know it. You're gonna have to learn some time junior.

Streettalkers - Not to be confused with street walkers, these people talk while they are walking. Sometimes it is as innocuous as a simple hello. Sometimes it's a befuddling "what's up sexy freakin' hot" (*that was an actual quote from an actual streettalker... I was and still am the befuddled recipient). I'm not sure if these talkers want a response, or what the appropriate response even is. But after much consideration I have devised a key to help in these awkward situations.
The eloquent streettalkers will get affirmation. 
The complementary ones will get a thank you. 
The amusing ones will get a nod. 
The witty, friendly ones will get a laugh. 
The bodily function "noisemakers" will be ignored. 
The loud, disruptive ones will get me to cross the street. 

And that brings me to the crazies - It's probably best to just avoid them when possible. Their primary goal is to disrupt your journey. View them as a louder, smellier version of a potted plant. Plot your course around them and continue on your way.

Dawdlers and wanderers - Similar to a potted plant, but slightly more annoying as their minor movements give you false hope. Feel free to assess the situation. If they are below retirement age and of good mental health, feel free to yell at them. But beware: if they turn out to be a crazy in disguise, run!

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