Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Talk to the Hand

Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door by Lynne Truss

This book recently found me in Chicago's airport during a weather delay and I was happy it did. It was worn and misplaced on the shelf, to the degree that I questioned whether it was for sale or someone just left it by mistake.

After a vacation in Disneyworld and some general misunderstandings I NEEDED her kind words to remind me that I am not crazy, people are just rude. I came across several examples of parents putting their non-handicapped children in wheelchairs or electric scooters to take advantage of getting on a ride without the five minute wait (off-peak season). I had one woman yell at me when I pointed out that it was rude to stop a line so that twelve other people behind us could join the four in front of us. I had to stop myself from confronting two parents after realizing that they had put their daughters in wheelchairs the night before and cut in line, and then seeing their girls run around effortlessly the next day. What are you teaching your children? I've been criticized for stating my opinion, not being sensitive enough, and for asking people to stop dry-humping in public and I'm sick of it.

Well, Lynne Truss agrees and she believes that society 1) is rude, 2) unwilling to admit they are rude or admit their behavior is rude, and 3) unwilling to confront rude behavior thus making those who do bitches or assholes. And it all makes sense!

I've been recently criticized for sharing my opinions with the intent of resolving a family issue (i.e. number 3 above). The result was having my feelings disregarded because it was rude of me to express an issue I have. Their solution is to forget about it and not talk about it. Well, that is a poor attempt at solving a problem. I once had a roommate like this too. We had a disagreement and her solution was to stop talking to me and move out. Again, avoiding communication and in my mind displaying somewhat rude or inconsiderate behavior but our society chastises those who point this out. She was allowed to be inconsiderate, even allowed to wrongly victimize herself however I was a bitch to point this out. People are allowed to talk loudly on their cellphones everywhere however I am rude if I ask them to take their conversation elsewhere. I can't tell you how many times I've had people ignore me when trying to talk with them. I've been told to eff-off after asking a couple to stop dry-humping each other in a public park with lots of children around to which Truss calls this the private becoming the public. I completely agree with this and can think of several examples. Where one used to wear their pjs and slippers at home they are now seen everywhere. Cell phone conversations are everywhere in public too. If I'm waiting to be checked out at a store I also have to wait for the customer in front of me to finish their conversation before they can pay. I've been interrupted by other people answering their cell phones during conversations with me, been cut-off and had to avoid several car accidents due to people talking on their cell phones while driving and they don't care. I can tell you all about the person sitting next to me in (insert any public place) because of the conversation they're having. But why should I care? This is America, we can do whatever we want.

Here is just one snip it:

"The question is: why do we have such a horror of directness? Why do we place value on not saying what we mean? Why do we think it's funny? Why do we think the word "irony" gives us magical permission to confuse less devious foreigners about whether we're serious or not? Given that it is now commonplace to be told to Eff Off by eight-year-olds, are we just finally paying the price for confusing directness with rudeness for so long?"

I'm not rude, I'm just more direct than others in society where we turn our heads at violence, abuse, and rude behavior. I have manners and I try to respect other's space in public. I open doors, I say please and thank you. I even know how to say excuse me in six different languages. Its a thought provoking book and it was just what I needed. It was nice to see that Truss knows my intentions aren't bad, in fact they are simple acts of politeness meant to improve a variety of situations and sometimes friendships. It was nice to see that someone understands.

Kim's Grade: A Fun and fast to read.

No comments: