Thank you, Jesus. I survived another Fourth of July weekend in the ‘hood. Nothing got burnt off or set on fire, and my car was still intact — where I left it — when I walked out this morning. It couldn’t help but be a good day. As I’m sure you suspect, Washington, D.C. was flooded with tourists trying to feel closer to their American-ness by flocking to the White House and watching fireworks on the National Mall. That all but guaranteed that the rampant rudeness my city already struggles with was going to be exacerbated by pushy and/or drunken out-of-towners.
This weekend was a doozy, y’all. I’m not a stickler for too many things, but it irks my ever-lovin’ last merciful nerve when folks toss bad manners out into the world for everybody else to stumble over. Sometimes it’s an unconscious, just-didn’t-know-any-better faux pas. I can let those little social slips go with a raise of my eyebrow and a silent tsk tsk. But more often, I’m weathering behavior that’s a real eff you to good home training.
10. Loud cell conversations. For some reason, folks’ filters vanish when it comes to chatting in public. They give play replays of the wild jungle sex they had last night and strategize the child support case they’re waging against their no-good baby fathers — in the express lane at Piggly Wiggly. Shhh.
9. Pointing out to someone that they’ve gained weight. Ask about their family, their job — heck, their watch if nothing else — and let that 75-pound weight gain be the pink elephant in the room. They know it, you know it, but sho ’nuff don’t nobody need to mention it.
8. Driving with unedited music blaring. The beauty of riding around in warm weather is being able to feel the breeze through open windows, but you ruin it for everybody else when you pull up blaring Scarface — especially when there are senior citizens or kids in the next car getting hit with every F bomb.
7. Failure to launch (out of your seat). It’s a sad state of affairs when an 80-year-old man with a cane or an about-to-bust pregnant lady struggles to public transportation or a waiting room only to be left standing by folks not willing to get up and do the right thing. At least offer.
6. Acting like you’re at the carry-out. You didn’t bring so much as a bowl of Chex Mix or a six-pack of sodas to your man’s family function, but you have three Tupperware containers stashed in your purse for your own personal after party. Fail.
5. Letting your kids run wild. Nobody but you thinks it’s cute that Little Earl barreled down five shoppers playing a solo game of Hide ‘n Seek between the racks at TJ Maxx. If you didn’t look like you could whoop my behind up one side and down the next, I’d snatch him and shake some sense into him myself, but I’m forced to ask you to do it instead.
4. Standing too close at the cash register. Unless you’re planning on chipping in on the total, there’s no reason for anybody to be standing in the back pockets of someone paying for their items at the store.
3. Not holding the door. Don’t be a hero and wait for someone strolling clear across the parking lot. But for a person walking ten steps away, give them a few seconds to get to the entrance instead of letting them kiss the glass door.
2. Public cussing. There’s a time and a place for everything, and there are kids, elders and other folks who aren’t interested in hearing how many times you can cram the eff word into one Guinness record-setting sentence.
What should be #1 on the list?