Mom and I were discussing cell phones and other etiquette conundrums.
Mom remarked that her geezer pals get up in arms when their spawn or grand-spawn take every cell phone call they receive, regardless of what else they’re doing or who they’re with. She’s also noticed that these same geezers can’t stand a ringing phone (landline or cell) and feel compelled to answer every call they received.
Her geezer crew is saying,in essence, “It’s rude when you take a call instead of letting it go to voicemail,but it’s polite when I show a caller the courtesy of taking a call instead of letting it go to voicemail.”
I thought this was a pretty astute observation. I had plenty time to think this because her phone started ringing in the middle of the conversation and she immediately took the call even though she knew it wasn’t important and didn’t even want to speak to the caller but she didn’t want to let it go to voicemail because that would be rude.
While I was sitting there waiting for mom to finish her conversation,I had time to think about a minor incident that happened once when we were at Target. The checkout lines were long. A woman and her developmentally disabled son were in the next line. The kid was asking his mom questions about everything in the impulse buy rack. There was nothing obnoxious or rude or loud about their polite conversation and it didn’t seem to be bothering anyone other than the two women in front of us.
As the wait dragged on,the women in front of us – who I came to think of as the Rabid Grannies – started talking about how their parents raised them properly and they had good manners and they would never have been obnoxious in public as a child in the 1960s because they knew how to behave.
I’m not sure why it’s so hard for people to understand that this kind of passive-aggressive nonsense is really the antithesis of good behavior. Their smug discussion was making everyone around them uncomfortable. My mom finally turned to me and remarked,”Have you ever noticed that the people who talk most about having good manners…usually don’t.”
What mom did was rude. It was passive-aggressive. It was also incredibly funny and it appeared to make the woman and her son feel better.
Thankfully more registers opened up,because I was afraid that mom and the Rabid Grannies were going to rumble if we stood there any longer.
What can I say? Mom and I never claimed to have good manners. You just can’t take some people anywhere.
Black Friday is an American ritual wherein unwashed, highly strung people line up in the pre-dawn hours for the privilege of being confined with other unwashed, highly strung human beings to bask in the sallowing glow of flourescent lights and buy objects neither scarce nor precious.
It’s not that I hate Black Friday, I just find it terrifying.
Before you accuse me of defaming Truth, Justice and the American way, let me remind you that I spent Black Friday last year in Las Vegas. Las Vegas. After wandering and people-watching at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops – the highest grossing mall in the United States – I think I can retire from Black Friday because I’m pretty sure there’s simply nothing consumeristic left to see in my lifetime.
I have a strange hazy memory of drinking champagne at Jimmy Choo with my mom that I suspect is better left unremembered.
But I digress.
Simply put, my aversion to Black Friday is based on the way the media-industrial complex encourages people to behave like rabid wolverines and to value shiny objects more than other human beings. It’s really quite depressing.
Oddly enough, I have no problem with the idea of kids fixating on the It Toy of the moment. In our pop culture world it’s like a right of passage, a moment of shared culture that gets bonded over later in more difficult or transitional times in our adult lives. If you’ve never sat around a hospital waiting room at 3 a.m. and reminisced over Lawn Darts or Big Wheels at 3 a.m. while you drink bad hospital coffee and wait for your friend to get out of surgery, you know what I’m talking about. Unless you’re too young to remember Lawn Darts – then you just need to move along and get the hell off my lawn.
But I digress again…
Despite my aversion to being in close proximity to crass consumerism, people, rude people, other people, unwashed people, crazy people, and, of course, morning itself, I got up at 4:30 today in order to attend a Black Friday sale. I was driving the getaway car, so there was no backing out once the decision was made.
We engaged in this ridiculous activity because it wasn’t just any sale, it was a sale at our favorite yarn store, Fibre Space.
As I left my house in the wee morning hours, I hesitated, wondering how to even exit my house, which is being renovated.
Should go out the back door like we’ve been doing for the last few weeks, or try to navigate the construction area that will soon be our completed front porch? It’s safe to walk on the porch but the steps haven’t been built yet.
I stood in the doorway for what may have been a very long time, wondering just how embarrassing it would be to be known as the woman who fell off her porch trying to get to a Black Friday sale. I could actually hear Brian Bolter’s sneering voiceover in my head as I pictured the b-roll they’d show of our front walkway.
There are many words and phrases you don’t want in your obituary. “Black Friday.” “An ordinary-looking housecat.” “Tragic bowling mishap.” “Lukewarm pork.” “The zookeeper said she’d never seen otters behave that way before.” “Mike Huckabee.” “Cotton Candy.”
Eventually, my coffee kicked in and I was able to safely navigate my way off the porch, out of my yard and into my car.
While I was focused on not dying as I exited my house, I failed to notice that some of our neighbors were also getting into their cars. When I started the car and other cars on the block also roared to life I had a moment of “Oh my god Transformers are real!”
It was not an auspicious start to the day.
I picked up my friends and we laughed as we drove by the ridiculous line outside Best Buy. Then we bought pretty yarn. We finished shopping before 6:30, consumed breakfast and delivered Kate at her office by 7:30.
It can probably go without saying that I didn’t bound back out the door to go to yoga with Husband.
I was actually still sitting on the couch when he got home from class, in the exact same place I was sitting when he left. I believe I was still staring vacantly out the window and I may have been clutching an empty coffee cup. It was hours ago and I can’t remember.
update 2: Husband and I took an afternoon stroll around Old Town and we wandered into Fibre Space to make sure everyone was okay. The shop looked amazingly tidy, as always, and Danielle seemed pleased with how well the day was going. Hooray for local, handmade, and small businesses!
There’s no end to the horrifying ethnic stereotypes in some of the early episodes of Scooby-Doo. And by “early” I mean, “the first 60 or 70 or 80 episodes.”
The combination of cringe-worthy Chinese waiter impersonations and the insane music make season 2’s “The Mystery Mask Mix-Up” a real standout. As you may recall, there was a brief period at the end of the 2nd season where every chase scene was accompanied by a nonsensical pop song. See also: I’m in Love with an Ostrich.
Since I found the chase scene musical interlude for this episode on youtube, I thought I’d share it with you:
The 1975-77 show Secrets of Isis became available on netflix streaming recently. My friend Kate and I both loved this show when we were kids. In fact, we both dressed as Isis for Halloween one year (probably in 1976).
On Friday, Kate and I thought it would be a good idea to watch a few episodes.
I don’t know exactly what it is, to be honest, because I’m hypnotized by Jack LaLanne’s jumpsuit. If I hadn’t sworn off the word “awesome” and promised to go to linguistic rehab I’d proclaim that jumpsuit AWESOME.
But I can’t, so I won’t.
I can quit any time.
Anyway, here’s the video:
I’m just so happy to have found Jett Superior again, I think I posted a lot of links to her over the years that this blog was at punkprincess.com.
Worded that way, it sounds creepy.
Do you think that the delicious chemicals that combine to make pink lemonade crystal lite could be impacting my neuronal signaling molecules? I drank a lot of the stuff today and I think some sort of neuropeptide degradation is causing the functional inactivation of my nervous system.
Or maybe I’m just tired.
I probably shouldn’t be blogging right now. I watched a lot of TJ Hooker today.