Lest we forget… that people piss us off

  • By Alison
  • 23 November, 2009
  • Comments Off on Lest we forget… that people piss us off


Remembrance day has been and gone, but I don’t see anything wrong with talking about it on any other day of the year, because to be honest – it’s one of those things that people seem to forget until it’s that one day of the year.

And it’s not the only thing that people forget, respect as a whole attitude seems to get the short shrift too.

I was sitting in the waiting room of my chiropractor the other day, and I was leafing through the “News Shopper” – our local free rag. It’s a rivetting read, but the alternative was “chiropractor’s weekly”. I got to the letters to the editor page, and discovered that they’d turned the whole page over to letters on a single subject – which appeared to be a letter from the previous week.

The letter wasn’t reproduced, but here is the gist of it “Old people clutter up my weekend”. The writer of the letter was of the opinion that old people should be banned from shopping in Bromley on weekends, as they are too slow, and annoy him. AND they obviously have the rest of the week to do it. Or something like that.

Where is tolerance? Where is respect for our elders? Not here, it would seem.

The replies pretty much summed up my own thoughts on reading the title of the original letter. One person pointed out that it’s quite possible that the elderly in question couldn’t come shopping during the week, as they were probably providing babysitting services for their own offsprings offspring.

And even if they aren’t – even if they are free to shop during the week – who cares? What makes this guy so important that his life CANNOT wait on someone less able than him to move their freaking OLD arse out of his way? He’s IMPORTANT, doncha know?

This appalling attitude isn’t only aimed at the elderly, it’s also fired out of cannon’s at mother’s who get in the way of other’s. An article in Salon was pointed out to me today via a friend on twitter, and it wasn’t the article that got me riled, it was the comments.

I don’t necessarily agree with the article which was the people have it in for “mommies” with their massive strollers and rude children, I am more of the opinion that people hate rude and inconsiderate people – regardless of whether they are parents or not.

Some people spend their lives so wrapped in their grandiose selves, that they don’t even notice others when they walk by. They’ll run over your foot with a shopping trolley, cut you up with their massive SUV, knock your shoulder as they shove past you in the street, and if they have kids – they’ll teach them to be rude and imperious brats in order to carry on the family tradition.

But the comments on this article didn’t all support that logical thought. Many did. Many refused to buy into the hysteria and could see clearly that pigeonholing people because they are rude AND have kids is pointless. The having kids part is totally unrelated to the being rude and inconsiderate part.

But others upheld the very thing the article was about. They were so anti-mother that I was quite taken aback.

I am all for choice. I have friends who don’t have kids – and don’t want them. That’s their choice, and no matter what their reasons, I respect and uphold them. I don’t think that my friends are missing out on life because they don’t have children. They didn’t choose to not have children because of bad advice or misinformation. They decided that they just didn’t want children. They have a lifestyle that they don’t want to give up, and one that doesn’t really suit children. And with our overcrowded world – we don’t all need to grow the next generation.

But I’ve never seen my childfree friends badmouth me for having a family. I’ve never heard them spit the term “breeder” at me with degoratory barbs. And I certainly would never hear them say something as evil as “Would it be okay for the rest of us to “sort of wish” you and your breeder parents would “just die already“?

So the whole point of this post is about how people are so self absorbed that SOME people – and I know it’s only some – but SOME people have put themselves so high on the priority list that they forgot that other people live on this planet. And I don’t think it’s the ones who are running over your foot with their stroller that I am referrring to here.

Let’s go back to Remembrance Day. I was playing in a concert that evening. And in the front row of the audience where some Chelsea pensioners. Frail old men in their scarlet jackets. Heroes of a bygone era. With the news only recently that the last of the British survivors from the trenches in WWI had died at the age of 111, soon there will be no more slowly plodding gents with their breastful of medals to remind us of those great wars.

Without their scarlet jacket, a chelsea pensioner would look like any other little old man. You wouldn’t know who he was. Now… without knowing who he was, or what he might have done – maybe that would give you the feeling that it’s ok to get annoyed when he shuffles slowly on in front of you. Maybe make a loud annoyed huff at his back?

So next time you’re down in Bromley shopping and someone old – so Goddamned old – that they should be locked in a box and only let out on Tuesdays meanders across in front of you – and holds your busy life up for 12 seconds. Maybe you should imagine that there is a hero in front of you. Because you never know – there could be.

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