Warning: This post is not filled with any Christmas spirit. Nor is it in line with my normal goal of appreciating the good things in life. Being human though, I hope that I am entitled to an occasional rant.
The holidays bring a certain magic with them. The twinkling lights and cheery music are all about town. The air of gift giving and family togetherness fill the mood in nearly every facet of life. However, there are moments during the holidays when I just don’t like people. I find them selfish and irritating, and at times, they are reducing my faith in humanity.
This weekend I decided to take myself to the local production of the Nutcracker. The city’s ballet company is pretty good, but it certainly is not considered elite. The show had a smattering of fine dancers, a couple accomplished guest performers, and of course, a gaggle of adorable child recitalists. It was not the most jaw-dropping ballet I have ever seen, and I have to admit there may have been a moment or two where I caught myself nodding off. Overall though, it was an enjoyable performance with excellent orchestral accompaniment and eye-catching costumes and stage designs. I even had terrific seats, front row mezzanine!
What I found irritating, was the people next to me. These two elderly ladies (around mid 60s if I had to guess) chatted through nearly half of the performance. “Look at the costumes…Well, he certainly has not done much so far….Now THEY are good…Did she just fall…Thank God, I think it is done.” It was like getting nonstop commentary from the Golden Girls (who I actually love). At first I was thinking, no big deal. Let the ladies chat and have fun. But after a few minutes, I really wanted them to shut up. I like hearing the orchestra, and listening to their commentary was rather distracting. Of course, I didn’t say anything though. I rarely do. I just find it rude that people will talk through a show. I am torn between thinking people like that are just utterly selfish and don’t care if they are disturbing others or if they are oblivious that their rambling is actually annoying. To my knowledge, no one was forced to be at the production. (Well, other than the dancers and stage crew maybe.) So, if these ladies were so happy for it to be over, I have to assume they did not really want to be there. Then why come? Perhaps they were obligated to attend if they were grandmothers of a dancer? Not sure, and frankly don’t care. If you can’t sit quietly in a ballet, stay home or in the lobby!
No one is staying home though. Maybe that is the problem as it creates crowds. And crowds breed crankiness. Like yesterday, I went to the post office to mail some presents. Naturally, there was a line. It was lunch time and mid December, so I expected it. Apparently, not everyone considers these indicators since the lady behind me was flabbergasted that there was a long line. She rambled, fussed and asked if there was not just a place to quickly drop off HER package. Yeah lady, there is. It is called THIS LINE THAT WE ARE ALL IN. Clearly, she was under the impression that Christmas was only celebrated by her and that everyone else should have parted the seas when she graced us with her glorious appearance. Those of us before her did not get the memo though, so we all just remained in line to conduct our business. She was not happy. Again, I frankly don’t care.
I am finding that happiness is not as widespread as I wished for. Later that same day, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a handful of items. I darted here and there for my few items, and at one point, I came around the corner at the same time as another patron with a cart. I stopped, smiled and gestured for her to go first. She didn’t even look at me, attempt to smile or say thanks, and seemed to move past me with an attitude. I got the distinct feeling that my existence had impeded her life somehow. Clearly, I should have bowed or curtsied when she passed. I didn’t, but I did mumble, please excuse me my queen. Perhaps she was having a bad day? Or maybe her child was on her last nerve? Or maybe she really was royalty? (Hey! Maybe she was a sister to the regal, can’t-wait-in-a-line lady at the post office!) Again, I frankly don’t care! How hard was it to at least pretend to be pleasant?
I suppose I should not be so sensitive. There must be times when I am guilty of all these same things. I am not superior in my behavior, but I like to think that I at least attempt to consider those around me for the most part. I try to smile and make eye contact. I attempt to be courteous and move out of the way in crowds. I make effort to be quiet when situations dictate it. I pick up my trash at movie theaters. I allow people to merge or pass on highways. Overall, I realize that the world does not revolve around me and that I must be pleasant and cooperative participant in it. Unfortunately though, I am weird.