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Rude, crude, and socially acceptable?

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Reel Mama: Rude, crude, and socially acceptable?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rude, crude, and socially acceptable?

Rude, crude and crass.  Sometimes downright mean.  Something has shifted in our society, and all these behaviors are becoming a lot more acceptable, even celebrated. 
“An aggressive lack of consideration for others is spreading across this country like a case of crabs through a sleepaway camp, and there isn't a lot standing in the way,” says Amy Alkon, author of I See Rude People, in her recent essay for Psychology Today.
Amen to that.  
The examples of rude, crude and crass, and downright mean treatment I received recently are more plentiful than f-bombs dropped in a high school locker room (sadly).
The rude: A senior woman in a banana boat of a Cadillac was jockeying for a space as I pulled into a parking lot.  I angled my car to claim the spot next to hers, which clearly ticked her off.  Her intention was to prevent me from parking anywhere close to her or to get past her, as I pleaded in my head, “Please, pick a spot, any spot.”  I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe she was just having some trouble straightening her car in the space.  
But to clear up any doubt, when she had finally settled into her spot, she turned and stuck her tongue out at me, her expression bordering on malicious.  A member of the Greatest Generation, whose female members are known for their gentility and class, gave me her version of flipping the bird.  Old enough to know better and then some.  Pardon my existence.
Crude and crass: The $%#@ halfwits (I’ll avoid stronger language because I don’t want to appear crass) who purposely raise the decibel level on their profanity when I approach with my two-year old daughter.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re the scum of the earth.  When did it become acceptable to curse like a seasick sailor with a bad hangover and a newly acquired SDT in front of children?  It was funny on Modern Family when toddler Lily dropped the f-bomb (reportedly the young actress really said “fudge” and it was bleeped while her mouth was blurred), and it is painful and funny at the same time when a young child says a curse word for the first time without comprehending its meaning.  
Accidental parental utterances during stubbed toe incidents aside, shouldn’t we make an effort to protect children from profanity for as long as possible?  Their minds aren’t equipped to understand the context for profanity nor developed enough understand the consequences.  Childhood innocence is a beautiful thing, and as a society we should band together to protect it.  Which is why strangers in public purposely spewing curse words at my child, as if we were somehow invading their private space, is beyond my comprehension.
The downright mean:  I’ll never get over being the victim of road rage, because my daughter was in the car at the time.  I described the event in detail in another anti-rudeness post, “Screw the ‘Baby on Board’ sign: Road rage, distracted driving, and why every day is Carmageddon in LA,” but for the uninitiated, a driver of a convertible BMW was apparently foaming at the mouth because I had to stop short at a traffic light in front of him, forcing him to stop suddenly as well, but with enough time to avoid hitting my bumper.  Relieved, I was then shocked when I felt a jolt, and turned my head to see the BMW with its front headlight knocked out (small payback for ramming my car) as it screeched away down a side street.  The guy needed to teach me a lesson, and yes, my “Baby on Board” sign was in plain sight.  Luckily we escaped the incident unharmed, just a bit shaken up.
As a society we need anger management.  We need to take a few deep breaths.  I’m grateful for the many random acts of kindness I encounter, but I’m disheartened by the woman huffing and puffing and storming away because I’m taking too long to check out with my groceries due to having an active small child with me.  Give a mom a break!  And a kid too, for that matter.
We’re not a nation of saints.  Never have been and never will be.  But is it too much to ask for human decency?


At July 13, 2012 at 10:51 AM , Blogger TerriAnn @ Cookies and Clogs said...

It is so sad to see how these have become more prevalent. The worst thing is that each generation is worse as people as described above continue to reproduce and ingrain their lack of kindness/thoughtfulness :(


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