Saturday, January 16, 2010

What is Wrong with People?

Paul and I took my mother to dinner last night at a local steakhouse. When we got there, the restaurant was already full. There were probably 15 people waiting to be seated, all sitting on benches near the door.

My mother walks with a cane so I had to help her through the door and up to the hostess podium where I left my name for the 40 minute wait. I turned her around to get out of the way and hopefully sit, but not one person got up to let my elderly mother sit down!

Realizing no one was moving, I steered her to a spot in a corner. We actually had to stand right in front of three men. One of the three was an older guy but the other two were probably in their 30's; one wearing a pair of red sweat pants in about size 50 and the other was busy texting. I looked down at both of them but neither would meet my gaze.

As I stood there holding on steadying her, I was calculating how far back I would have to step to land on the foot of one of the jerks sitting behind us. I also thought about stumbling backwards and landing on one of them. That wouldn't have worked because it would have taken Mom down, too.

At this point Paul, who had dropped us and gone to park the car, walked in. He looked across the way at me with a puzzled expression probably trying to figure out what was biting me. I must have had steam coming out of my ears, I was so angry. I seriously thought about looking around and saying "What the hell is wrong with you people?"

After we stood there about 5 minutes, a man finally stood up across the way and motioned us over. "There's a spot opening up over there, Mom, let's go sit." "I'm okay here, I can stand." "No, Mom, he's offering his seat, let's go."

The fact that 15 ADULTS sat there within 15 feet of my mother as I held on to her and she held on to a counter, just completely infuriated me. I’m still not over it. I sputtered 4-letter words for quite a while. Even after that man got up and let us sit, not immediately though, I still sat there glaring at them all. I really just wanted to say “shame on you.” But that would have just embarrassed her. In fact as I led her to the seat, she said “do I look like that much of an old lady?” I just said, out loud, "he’s being a gentleman, Mom, let’s let him."

If looks could kill, I'd be in jail.

43 comments:

Robin said...

That would have infuriated me too, I don't think I'd have been able to avoid making snotty comments (not so) under my breath.

What is wrong with people these days?

Elizabeth said...

Hello, NE Bloggers!
Our 1-year anniversary is coming up on Jan 27. To mark the occasion I am going to put up a Mr. Linky on the evening of Monday, January 25. If you'd like to write a post about living in NE, fav places to visit, funny stories and stereotypes, recipes, photos of our gorgeous landscape, anything, it would be great if you would link in. I'd also like a little idea of # of participants, if you could just send me a reply.
Since I don't have emails from everyone, I'm also leaving this message in your comments, sorry for the double-up.

allycupe said...

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day! I LOVED all the comment love and now I'm here to spread it around!

I SO know what you mean about people not standing up. I've seen teenagers get up on the tram for older people while 30 somethings sit there, drives me INSANE!

Vodka Logic said...

That is when I would have started talking loudly "gee Mom I don't see any seats, are you going to be ok with your cane?"...or similar.

Cads..

Anita said...

I would have been steaming too!! Only I might have actually said something.......ugh!

Laoch of Chicago said...

Maybe a different place next time?

Michele said...

Makes me glad that we lived next door to my elderly in-laws when the boys were young. We taught them that elderly adults need to sit down and they saw first hand why. They would have popped out of their seat immediately for your mother. Or explained to me why?

I have some theories about why this happens that revolve around shuttling off our elderly, living far away from our elderly instead of in a family communal type setting and stupid parents. But, don't get me started.

ascrapoftime said...

Parent's don't teach their kids manners anymore, and then they grow up to be big jerks like those people! That or they are just lazy and selfish, hence the size 50 sweatpants!

Droppin' in from SITS! =o)

Badass Geek said...

Kids these days.

For the record, I would have given up my seat in a heartbeat.

I am Harriet said...

Wow. Manners have really changed.


Stopping by via SITS to say hello!
Harriet

Just Breathe said...

I would be mad. I get very frustrated with the manners today.
Parents must teach their children better. I know that my son would get up, he is almost 31. When my kids were in day care 25 years ago I would get such beautiful comments from the teachers on their manners. I hate to blame parents but good manners are taught at home. (that is my opinion)

SparkleFarkle said...

I swear, the world has been taken over by Manners Lackers and other assorted Inconsiderates. I, too, walk with a cane and twice this week, while waiting in line for my turn to come up (book store and grocery), two people attempted to budge in ahead of me, both figuring OUTLOUD that I would "take too long." And for both, it marked the exact moment I would politely show them (in so many words, but kindly, mind you) how good I could actually be at "wasting their time," afterwhich, one unsuccessful budger's ears were bleeding. LOL!

But, seriously, missing manners and not living The Golden Rule has become epidemic. I'm so sorry that your mom had to endure such inexcusable treatment. (Refraining from killing someone, I have also been known to respond to such kinds of mannerless behavior with a thoughtful smile and a question to my "opponent": "What would your mother think?")

WhisperingWriter said...

That is just awful. My husband and I ALWAYS give up seats for elderly people or women who are pregnant.

Elle said...

I get sadder every day at the general public and how prevalent the "Entitlement Mentality" is...everyone is out for themselves. I had the same experience with my grandmother a couple years ago. What had me completely and totally gobsmacked was that she was wearing a portable oxygen tank. Do you know who finally gave up their seat for her? A PREGNANT woman!!! And no one gave up a seat for that woman once she stood. Unbelievable. Just thinking about it again makes me sooooooooooo mad.

Danielle said...

It is so sad how rude and inconsiderate people are today! You are better than me because I would have said something, and I have before in a situation like that!

Happy SITS!

New England Girl said...

I would have been fuming just as much as you were!! People aren't brought up with manners anymore, and this is a clear example of that. I can't believe it took someone SO long to stand up and offer their seat. How lazy/rude/inconsiderate are people?!? Geesh! I'm glad someone did stand up. If I had been there, I certainly would have made some comment to someone. I'm a witch like that. :)

mama-face said...

The title of your post says it all. This makes me so sad, because this type of thing seems to be getting worse. A lot of the time you see a bunch of people texting or talking away, oblivious to anyone around them. So sad. Your mother is so sweet.

Size 50 pants...bwahaha.

Just Playin' said...

That's just not right! Something is wrong with them. I can so relate to the same with my mom. Now that she is 3 years past the cane, on a walker, and looks like every step could me her last, they do step up and help her. It takes extremism to get action. The cane just doesn't reach them...maybe she could hit them with it!

BONNIE K said...

It is very sad that people have just lost touch with basic kindness. I see it all the time too.

Alex the Girl said...

My husband would have offered his seat, and so would my girls, and if they didn't, they'd be in loads of trouble if I found out.

This post really bothers me. It's not just a post of "where are your manners that's missing," it's "where's your sense of common courtesy!"

Sense hindsight is perfect, I would have loudly asked the hostess to please find a chair for my mother to sit."

Pam said...

Apparently, chivalry IS dead. Along with common courtesy and decency.

Brittany said...

Oooooh!
I am ticked off for you!

Maybe I am blessed, or lucky, to live in the South, where men are still gentlemen (mostly). When I take my Grammy out, we are frequently given seats.

If they did not offer, I would grab her walker and ram it into one of their shins! Seriously!

Notes From the Grove said...

Wow, you have more willpower than me. I think I would've said (or yelled) something. Honestly, that is just totally unacceptable.

Glad at least ONE person was kind enough to offer your mother a seat.

Just Breathe said...

Stop on over, tag your it!

Shell said...

No one has manners any more.

But, it's hard to directly say anything to people about it. I would have been loudly saying, "Maybe someone will get up so that you can have a seat, mom!" And then, people would have thought I was being rude.

Stopping in from SITS.

croneandbearit said...

Devoted Spouse would have been the first one up off his kiester to offer your mom a seat, and I would have been the second (he's faster than I). I also would have been more vocal because in this day and age you simply have to let people know they are being stupid and inconsiderate - oh I'm not saying you should yell at them or get ugly about it - but a well-modulated comment requesting that someone give up their seat might have worked and saved you getting all steamed and stressed. Stupid thoughtless people these days...grrrr.

Ginger said...

Ass hats. Men who don't give their seat to an elderly woman are ass hats. I think you handled it well. I probably would've asked for someone to give up his seat because any who would've said 'no' would unanimously be jerks in front of an entire lobby of folks. Your mom would've, sadly, been embarrassed.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

My husband and I would have been up. That's hard to believe the men just sat there. At least one finally did get up and let her sit down.

Visiting from SITS.

Brandy said...

I would have been upset as well! I don't get upset too easily nor too often but a situation like this would have had me fuming too!!

Stopping in from SITS!

Eva Gallant said...

How rude. I don't blame you for being angry. Glad someone finally smartened up!

Alissa said...

That's really rude. Being the obnoxious girl from New Jersey that I am, I would have gotten out my cell phone, started snapping pictures and talking in an overloud voice about how I was going to have to blog about this.

Peterson Family said...

That is just plain rude! I offer my seat to elderly people and to pregnant women and even moms with small children. I can't believe these people are so rude!!

Thanks for stopping by my SITS day!

~Lori

carolyn said...

Sandy....I've been there. At a posh Chinese eatery in Worcester. Mom in her walker, about 10 adults seated in the waiting area, no one seemed to see us! Yeah, right. At about the 5-10 minute mark the proprieter brought out a chair and small table and seated mom right down. I made a LOUD "thank you" and all the other waiters turned quickly around! I DID SAY SHAME ON YOU!!!! AS WE WERE SEATED......READY FOR THIS ??........AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSE!!Needless to say we left a hefty tip. What is wrong with people?

Joy said...

Idiots, one and all of them. I would have been fuming too.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I would be the same way, I bet if their moms where there they would have been slapped by a purse. That's just good manners!

See's too sweet, not all you a lady and should be able to sit!

MissKris said...

THAT is absolutely abominable. Having a mother-in-law with Parkinson's, I feel your pain and outrage. In public there is no sympathy, just irritation that she's in their way and slowing them down. There ought to be something out there called the "etiquette police".

Vanessa Rogers said...

I would have been furious as well!!

Jazzcat said...

O_O That's really so frustrating !! You're answer to your mom is just so perfect ! You were right, the guy (even after some time) was a gentleman !
In those case I just ask someone to lift up. When you adress someone directly, he can't say "NO".

glenna said...

Ya know Sandy, I'm to the point of not worrying about insulting someone who has no sense of manners. They probably wouldn't get the insult if it hit em in the face anyway.

It is sad.

Christi said...

Sad. What happened to respecting our elders. What happened to simple kindness. What happened to manners.

Anne said...

You're a better woman than I am - I probably would have said something. I cannot STAND that kind of rude thoughtlessness!!!

J. L. W. said...

I hate when people are thoughtless like that. It is even more infuriating when people don't respect our elderly loved ones.

bettyl said...

It seems all the 'politically correct' raising of children has produced a generation of ME people. How sad.

 

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