How Rude

A couple of weeks ago, a woman in the Philippines cut in front of a man waiting in line to buy a lottery ticket.  As he was a gentleman, the man didn’t protest, he simply tolerated her intrusion and bought his lottery ticket after her… and ultimately won 17 million dollars.  Here’s to a victory for politeness.

I know I’m not the only American, hell, the only world citizen repeatedly rolling my eyes at random acts of rudeness.  In fact, there have been occasions when I did more than roll my eyes, I commented on the act out loud and sometimes directly to the offender.  For example, one day at the lunch rush in a busy mall in Century City, a young office worker ran into me using his single slice of cheese pizza as a buffer.  “You just rammed your pizza into my ass,” I said, more than a little pissed.  He looked at me vacuously, then just as air-headedly walked away. “Thanks, Jerk,” I said as I dabbed at the triangular grease stain on my linen skirt. “Goddamn it.”  As I was throwing my hissy fit, I inadvertently knocked a woman’s tray, drowning her silk blouse in Diet Coke.  In a Three Stooges movie this is funny, at lunch hour in the middle of Los Angeles business cool, it is not. Suddenly, I was the vacuous jerk.

What I learned from the pizza fiasco and other similar incidents is this:  there’s a fine line between being the victim of rudeness and the perpetrater.  In other words, sometimes I need to be quicker to forgive and realize that patience and kindness begin with me.  This is all frankly easier the older I get, not because I’m a wiser or better person; no, I’m just plain tired and too exhausted to fight.  Plus, I no longer wear expensive and costly-to-dry-clean clothes.  So, here’s to being an old, tired, sweat suit-wearing Mother Teresa.  I may no longer be a young hottie, but I’m also not an uptight hothead either.