Where did manners go?

Sunday, June 22nd 2008, 3:14 pm
By: News 9

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

Yesterday was my boy's birthday, and we spent the entire day out and about.

We started our day going to a local mall because my son wanted to see the movie Iron Man.

We arrived a little early at the mall so that we could wonder around and window shop. Several times people bump us as we walked, cut in front of my wife as if she wasn't even there, and openly cussed in front of my now six-year-old.

We finally made it to the movie theatre and settled in for our much anticipated movie. As it started, two middle-aged women sitting in front of us were talking loudly, as if they were the only ones in the theatre. They were both talking about their multiple "affairs" outside of their marriages and which one of them had the most "companions" besides their husbands. These women were boasting about the best places to meet their "companions" all in front of my family. After I leaned forward and pointed out that there was a movie on that we were trying to watch, one lady smiled as she gave me the universal one finger salute, again in front of my son. They did stop talking to one another, and started talking on their cell phones about how rude I was.

After the movie, my wife and I decided to take our son to a local amusement park, since he has never been before.

Before we even made it passed the ticket office, a woman with at least five kids, all ranging in age from toddler to pre-teen, stopped her clan right next to us. Yelling angrily, she proceeded to swear at the children and reminded them all how they had ruined her life. In amazement, my wife and I just looked at each other. At this point, she grabbed the two youngest kids by the arms and started to walk into the park. As the kids walked passed me, three of the older kids looked back at me, embarrassed by their mom's actions.  I shouted out to the them, "As soon as your old enough, move out!" At this point, four of the kids turned around and waved at me, smiling. The mom turned and gave me my second salute of the day.

My family and I made our way through the park, riding rides and enjoying our day. My son pointed out one particular ride, so we went and stood in line. We were the second in line. As my wife and I stood waiting, a group of teenagers literally cut in front of us. They all started laughing about how they were going to get the good seats. With eye contact alone, I made the entire group know of my anger. One of the girls told the teenage boys that I was mad because they had cut in line. Another girl, smarting off, said, "No we didn't." Without missing a beat, I said, "If we were here before you and you cut in front of us, that's called cutting in line." Instantly, all the teenagers got quite and two of the teen boys said, "Sorry sir, we didn't see you." They stepped aside to let my family go first.

Our day ended with us tired and worn out. We went home to partake of my son's birthday cookie cake.  We rounded the corner to our house and I couldn't even park in my own driveway. On both sides of the street and both sides of our driveway, cars were parked. Some college students, who rent the house across from our house, were throwing a party. I had to park my car in the middle of the street, and my wife and son walked to our house. I got out and went up to the house and asked for them to move their cars so that I could park. After waiting for ten minutes, someone eventually came out and moved one car. They acted as if it was such a bother. I eventually was able to park in my driveway.

Is this really how society interacts with one another? Are people really this rude all the time? Why do we, collectively as a community, sit back and accept this? These are some of the reasons why I can't wait to move out to the woods.

By the way, my son wasn't bothered by all these interactions. All he knew was that it was his birthday, and he was having the time of his life.