I truly honestly strive to always see the best in people
sometimes …, ok, occasionally … fine!, rarely. I try really hard to assume that people are mean or cruel or horrendous because, well, they had a toddler kicking them in bed all night or someone they know just died or they had a terrible childhood or they found out Bethany Frankel’s talk show got cancelled … or worse, they found out Two Broke Girls is coming back next year … wtf, I don’t get it?!?! … or whatever.
And I’m not talking about stupid people. That’s a whole different category of person. I kind of feel bad for them more than anything … although they do annoy the shit out of me. But the random lady I speak to regarding my health insurance can’t help that she’s a nitwit. Yes, it requires a lot more work for me in the end … usually 26 more phones calls (which really is upper management’s goal, right? So you’ll give up. Stop calling and just pay the bill? … but they don’t know us, do they? … they don’t know us!!!!!)
I tried establishing this compassionate look towards people when my mom and I were in the car once and some high end luxury car went flying by at the speed of light, narrowly killing everyone in it’s wake. My jaw dropped and I was ready to flip when she said, “Maybe his wife’s in labor and he’s rushing to the hospital.” And just like that, I switched (ok, fine … I attempted to). She was right. How many times had I made mistakes for stupid reasons. I was going to be better. More understanding. Assuming the best in people.
But, god dammit, people make it really hard.
And as I’ve gotten older, I’m starting to, initially reluctantly, now wholeheartedly, develop the adage that people really are assholes (not you, of course).
It’s getting increasingly more difficult for me not to scream “FUCKER!” out my car window … in the parking lot … of our elementary school … with 30 kids looking on.
You’re going to cut me off in the school drop off line??? What asshole does that? My “maybe someone is dying or in need of help or whatever other bullshit I’ve tried to make up over the years” is becoming an increasingly ineffectual argument.
Or how about when we were in DC with the kids (and trust me, I’m not blaming DC … everyone knows in Philly this would have ended a LOT worse) … we decided to pick a beautiful weekend day and bike around the city to see the cherry blossoms. Well, you would have thought we had the Queen Mum’s carriage, an entire entourage of horses and were blocking every intersection throughout the entire city the way cars treated us.
My favorite was when we went to cross an intersection, perfectly legally, while traffic was at a DEAD STOP and the guy in the car we crossed in front of laid on his horn (while my 8 year old was crossing … yeah, you heard that right) and then did an over-the-top ‘wtf’ arm gesture out the window.
I began dripping with kindness because, really, sarcasm is my weapon of choice. I did these exaggerated smiles and waves … chirping out in a sickeningly sweet voice, “thank you!! thank you so much!! you’re so kind to let us cross this intersection while you are at a dead stop!! soooo thoughtful!! so VERY kind!!! Thank goodness for people like you in the world!!!”
Guy wasn’t quite getting it. He turned to me at one point and said, in a clearly confused state (apropos for him), “these people in the cars are being mean and you’re being so nice to them!”
“Kill ’em with kindness!” I trilled in a creepy voice. He must have seen the smoke coming from my ears because he hopped back on his bike and hauled ass.
And lastly, we were at the park the other day riding bikes (maybe we should stop riding bikes?) and I noticed a haphazardly knotted, clear bag full of dog shit in the MIDDLE of the path. Not the little terrier kind either. The Bernese Mountain dog kind. I swerved, barely missing squishing my tire through the voluminous bag of feces and almost colliding with my daughter.
Honestly, though, one bag of turds I could have handled. We’ve all been there … although I can honestly say I would never leave a bag in the dead center of the path … certainly on my enemy’s front porch, but NEVER in the middle of a path. But then it was bag after bag … after bag after bag … after bag. People just dropping them in the middle of the path. WHAT?! It was like we were on a 2 mile poop obstacle course, avoiding bags of excrement in pure terror, wondering which one of us would fall and land right on one (inevitably being referred to as the “turd” of the family from then on out).
Who does that?!
Assholes. Assholes do that.
But at the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than the unintentional asshole. You know, the one that doesn’t realize she needs to tip the doorman, puts off sending thank-you notes until it’s far too late, and forgets your birthday.
I mean, I wouldn’t know anything about her. Just heard about her.
*hides behind couch*