I see it all the time. I haven't made it through a service in years without a cell phone clanging, in spite of our constant pleas. My trip to the grocery store was just the tip of the rudeness iceberg. Yesterday, I once again found myself smack dab in the centre of middle-aged tantrum.
I very much wanted to see the new Michael Moore movie last evening. The Husband and I were out earlier in the afternoon with friends and we all decided that we would head over to the theatre to purchase tickets for the 7:10 show. Given the fact that we were a full 2 hours early, we decided to procure the tickets and then go to the bookstore across the street for a coffee and some browsing in order to kill some time. An hour later, we were back at the theatre only to discover that we were still about 20 minutes ahead of schedule before the previous showing let out. We sat munching popcorn at a nearby table and then, as we noticed the people streaming out of the theatre, headed over. We were told by the very young ticket taker that the workers were cleaning the theatre, and could we please form a line to the right. Dutifully, the six of us followed directions and found ourselves at the head of what would very quickly become a substantial queue. As we chatted and waited to enter, a more than middle-aged guy comes over to the poor ticket-taker and starts railing and wailing at him. He and his wife were here long before any of us, and at that time there was no line. He absolutely and very loudly refused to line up with everybody else, and demanded (DEMANDED!!) to go to the front of the line. The only thing missing from this sixty year old's tantrum was the stomping of feet and the holding of his breath until he turned blue! The poor adolescent comes over to us and quietly asks us if the squeaky wheel can have his grease, and could he please take our place in line. Well, I lost it. I had been pushed around one time too many, and egged on by my friends I said a loud and firm NO! I told the boor that we had been there just as long as he had, probably longer, and we had our time-stamped tickets to prove it. The people behind us were none too happy either. Where did he get off thinking that he was owed the prime spot in line, simply because he yelled the loudest? Not only that, the theatre was not full. There were plenty of prime seats for all, no matter where you were in line. I stood my ground. Maybe it was the experience at the grocery store the day before, or maybe it was the sight of a kid being bullied by an adult that riled me, but I was not going to allow this asshole preferential treatment. The manager came over and quietly told the boy to take the boor's ticket while he dealt with the rest of us peons. We entered before him, but he still won his point ahead of 50 others.
The Husband remarked to me afterward that it was somehow ironic that Michael Moore's film dealt with an innate sense of entitlement and here we were witnessing that supposed privilege first hand. I am trying to understand it. I cannot for the life of me comprehend what it is that makes some people think that they are on this planet alone and that they deserve it all. Can anybody please explain to me from where that selfishness originates? It certainly wasn't what I was taught, nor was it what I taught my children. Are we doomed to forever treat each other with rudeness and disdain, or is there hope still for the boors of the world? I am quite aware that it probably would have been easier for me to capitulate and shut up, but it seems to never end. This guy has probably never been challenged on his behaviour before, but at least he would have one memory of a group of strong souls that refused to be bullied by his act. Score one for the good guys.