Archive for July, 2011

About that mean old white lady with the yellow toenails…

07 Jul

The other day I was getting a French pedicure when an elderly woman in white see-through capris and granny underwear threw a childlike tantrum in the middle of the local nail spa.  She was ten minutes late for her appointment and was furious that she now had to wait.  “That’s not very nice of you,” she spat at the kindly Asian man who owns the place.  “What are we having here…some kind of language problem?”

What I hear loud and clear, whether it’s out of the thin-lipped mouth of a racist patron like her or the rotund man with the sweaty brow who spent five minutes (I timed him) bawling out a waitress in a steakhouse because his medium rare meat wasn’t pink enough, is that our society has contracted a sick form of rudeness.

There are hardly ever any apologies that go along with bad behavior.  And if there are, they are not exactly genuine.  Although one of my students out of over five years of teaching did share that once when he worked at Macy’s, a woman called later, maybe two weeks later, to explain her volatile outburst that rocked the dinnerware department.  She was a photographer who had taken pictures of the aftermath of 9/11.

At work I’ve had someone inexplicably curse at me while I passed her in the hall.  Apparently she was in a foul mood and didn’t like the smell of my Chinese take-out lunch.  My husband who once wronged the wrong person was warned through an email of that cryptic cliche’ – Karma is a bitch.  While he doesn’t believe, I do.  On days when I sense it most, I wear an evil eye bracelet I picked up at a Greek festival to ward off the darkness that just might be coming at me in the seemingly inoffensive guise of a female senior citizen in bright white capris.