I don’t like to generalize, but people have been unusually bitchy this week. And by “bitchy” I mean they’ve been assholes. The weather in the Twin Cities has been oppressive. And by “oppressive” I mean that it would have to warm up 20 degrees for it to be habitable for the penguins of the Antarctic. But that’s no excuse to act like an entitled jerk. We’re all in this together. So I don’t know what everyone’s deal is, but I’m getting sick of it. As caustic and sarcastic a writer I am, it may come as a surprise that I’m almost militantly polite. I’m shy and not chatty, but never unpleasant without reason, even on days when my kids have again laid waste to my house or are battering each other to a pulp.
So apropos of nothing, here is my list of rules that I think we, as a society, should be required to abide by, or face the wrath of everyone around you. And by “wrath” I mean passive-aggressive stares, eye rolling, and audible sighs, for Minnesotans anyway.
- If you want to watch or listen to something on your laptop or mobile device around others, use earphones. If you don’t have earphones with you, don’t listen to it. Ten years ago you wouldn’t have brought a portable television into a coffee shop and watched it at full volume, why is it any different if it’s on your computer?
- Don’t clip your nails in public. And by “public” I mean the workplace. I can’t believe I even have to say this.
- A busy drive-through ATM is not the place to do full-on banking. Go inside to cash your third-party check from the Bank of Cairo.
- Don’t park like an asshat.
- Hold the door for people. Doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, child, oldster, or extra-terrestrial, letting a door shut in someone’s face is selfish, lazy, and a sign that you are not fit to live with the other humans.
- Don’t slow down, or worse, STOP, at a green light. If you need a refresher on the whole “red means stop, green means go” concept, I can hook you up with a Montessori pre-K program in my area and you can relearn it with all the other three-year-olds.
- When you’re in the airport, grocery store, at a sporting event, or anywhere within earshot of someone else, put the Bluetooth away. You don’t need to be having a conversation that lasts long enough to be hands-free. No one wants to hear you making dinner plans or having an argument with your wife. You look like you’re a mental patient talking to the voices in your head. And frankly I’d rather encounter that person than you, you inconsiderate bastard.
- The world is not your ashtray. Anyone who tosses out their cigarette butts at a stoplight should be force-fed a soup made from the cigarette litter on the side of the road.
- If someone inadvertently blocks part of your narrow street, and inconveniences you for a minute, instead of opening the car door without knocking, and yelling hysterically at the group of startled 14-year-olds inside who have no control over the situation, maybe consider speaking to the owner of the car first, and give her a chance to apologize for what was clearly her mistake.
- Don’t pay for scumbag crapfest stunts like the proposed DMX vs. George Zimmerman fight. If you do, you’re part of the problem.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2014