*Sigh.* What is it about people and their sense of entitlement?
Yesterday, a beautiful sunny Sunday, MB and I were hanging out in Union Square. It was pretty crowded so we shared a shaded table with an older British couple. The altercation wasn’t with them. We largely ignored each other. They relaxed with their ice cream cones, I wrote and read stuff on my iPhone, and MB, as is his fashion, played his guitar with headphones on.
When he plays, he stands. Helps his back. It so happens he was standing in front of me, but what the fuck do I care? I could see around him, and was writing, and it wasn’t like we were at the movies.
So we were hanging out peacefully, minding our own business, when suddenly I heard the horrible scrape of a metal chair, and that chair bumping into mine. No, not just bumping. Basically crashing into and past. I turned around and this old guy stared at me without apologizing. Okay, whatever dude. He gave me a creepy vibe so I scooted my chair up. Creepy turned into annoying when he REALLY made himself at home at the table, already shared, please note, by four people. He took out a plastic bag and some other junk and proceeded to noisily, lip-smackingly eat his smelly, onion lunch. I tried my best to ignore him, though I felt uncomfortable with him at my back.
Then, all of a sudden, he got up, walked by me – almost bumping into me again – sidled up to MB, and stood right next to him. I was sitting there thinking, What the fuck? The guy was old and grizzled, and didn’t look homeless, but had an odd pink shirt, green pants get-up. He just kept standing there RIGHT NEXT to MB, not saying anything. Finally, MB removed his headphones and said, “Can I help you?”
The guy still didn’t say anything. He inexplicably handed MB some change.
Finally, after much effort, we got the idea that the guy wanted MB to move a little, that he was apparently right in his line of sight, although, um, we were there first and for a good forty minutes before old guy whack job decided to move his chair DIRECTLY behind where MB was standing. Needless to say, some words were exchanged.
“Oh, so you want me to fucking move?” MB said.
“You could move a little,” the guy said in a Russian accent. “You have your back to your girlfriend. It’s not good.”
Don’t make this about me, asshole!
“So instead of asking me politely,” MB said, “you come up and stand right next to me, and hand me change.”
“You didn’t move when I asked you to move.”
“No, you never asked me to move. You stood next to me and handed me change.”
“Please move,” the guy said sarcastically.
“NO,” MB responded, put his headphones back on, and started playing again.
At one point, MB turned around to take a sip of his coffee, and saw the old guy shaking his head. “Don’t you shake your head at me,” MB said, and more words were exchanged. The old guy went on and on about how MB was in the way, how he shouldn’t have his back to me. I said, “You moved your chair right behind us!” But he didn’t listen.
“You have your ass to your girlfriend,” he kept saying. “It’s not nice.”
“I don’t care!” I cried.
“She likes my ass,” MB said.
After that, we couldn’t really enjoy our time, so after a few minutes, we left.
And get this, the security guard followed US out. What the fuck? A guy vying for biggest asshole on the planet gives us a hard time when we’re just hanging out, and WE get followed out by security? Why, because we stood up for ourselves and refused to let the asshole get away with being an asshole?
I don’t understand these people who demand respect. I don’t owe you respect. Sure, I owe you common courtesy, and vice versa, but you EARN respect.
Let’s take another example. Last week, the CalTrain, before a Giants game. The train was crowded of course, but there’s almost always a seat on the upper level in the last car. I got on and a skanky girl BLOCKED the stairway. She stood on the last step like that was a perfectly reasonable place to stand. I came up on her, and she didn’t move. I said, “Excuse me, could I please get by?” She still didn’t move. I raised my hand like I was going to – gently – push her aside and said again, “Excuse me,” and finally, reluctantly, she moved, BARELY giving me enough space.
After I passed – note: AFTER – she said, “Don’t think I’m going to move again when you can’t find a seat.”
Why? Did I DISPRESPECT you somehow by asking you to move out of the way? Did I call you out on being wrong, and no, you are not wrong, you’re NEVER wrong? It must be fun to be your boyfriend. And you know if I had returned to her said, “What did you say?” and confronted her, I would have labeled the crazy bitch, not her.
Anyway, of course I found a seat.
AND, this morning on the bus (it just doesn’t end). Crackhead-ish lady with several missing teeth missed her stop. She pulled the cord right after we left. “Can you please stop?” she called. “Please?” Of course the driver didn’t. As we got nearer to the next stop, she kept yanking the cord, and pushing the back doors like they were going to open by her sheer will. She finally, angrily, got off the bus, but then ran to the front and banged on the door.
“My purse!” she yelled. Crazy crack-head forgot her wicker purse that was, for some unknown reason, wrapped up in a garbage bag. The driver stopped and let her back on. She dashed on, grabbed her purse, dashed off, and as she did, whacked the driver with her purse.
Yup, it’s TOTALLY his fault you fell asleep in a crack-laden stupor, missed your stop, and forgot your garbage bag purse.
The driver was unfazed as we drove away. “I got it all on camera,” he said, pointing up.
Think I need to stay away from the general public for a while.