Saturday, 14 February 2009

Miss Manners Could Make a Fortune Down here!

I like to think that there is a shred of decency and integrity amongst the residents of this area, although on many days identifying the "politeness gene" takes a great deal of effort. I have spoken at length about some of my interactions with the "manners challenged" at the grocery store, banks, drug stores and the like in the southern home, but it is in parking lots that the true rudeness of many South Floridians really shines through. 

Some friends and I decided that we would take in the annual Coral Gables Art Festival today. It is a glorious Saturday in Miami. The temperature is in the low 80s and there is a slight breeze. The sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in the sky. I am relating the weather because this is the kind of day that lifts the spirits and increases the happy quotient. I promise all of my friends and family who are struggling with colder climes that I am not gloating in the slightest. I merely am pointing out that it is a perfect day to do whatever the heart wants. (Valentine's Day pun!!) We decided to head down to the show early, because prior excursions have proven the scarcity of parking and we wanted to beat the heat. We scored. We found a wonderfully convenient location within easy access of the festival and adjacent to a lovely outdoor cafe where we had decided to lunch. All in all, the day was looking quite perfect. 

After spending about 3 hours milling about with hoards of other art lovers, we headed back to the restaurant and dawdled over lunch. As an added bonus, our server informed us that if we presented our parking tag, she would validate it for us, saving about $20.00 in forced taxation without representation. As the four of us returned to the car, we noticed a number of drivers aimlessly circling the lot, desperately waiting for someone to vacate. As we approached our car, a lovely young man politely asked us if we were leaving and if he could have our space. Of course, we obliged and even slowed our steps in order to give him time to swing back around toward the spot. We also informed another driver that we had already promised the prime piece of real estate to another. We felt like the prettiest girls at the ball and everybody wanted to dance with us. We backed out slowly, as our new friend waited patiently beside us. Just as we completed our exit, a prima dona in a very expensive SUV gunned her motor, and literally flew into the spot ahead of the polite young man. We stared at each other dumbfounded. She knew that there was somebody else waiting for the spot. We did everything but paint a bright red sign on it. She casually exited her vehicle and with no embarrassment at all, walked away. Bitch with a capital "C"!!!! We tried to console our new friend, but he just shrugged and continued the search. I almost felt like getting out and keying her car, but this stupid sense of morality that I have, dogs me with every thought. Not only that, they carry guns down here! Who raised these people? When did it become ok to screw your fellow human being at every turn and only look out for oneself? The entire city needs a course in manners!!

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