by Mike Primavera
It takes a village to raise a child, but just because that child grows up doesn’t mean the village is off the hook. Adults who are rude act that way because we rarely challenge them on it. We as a society need to stop letting these people slide. Join me in enforcing these basic social contracts:
Talking on the phone on the bus
This is a perfect example of our lack of solidarity. Everyone on the bus wants that person on the phone to shut up, but no one says anything. This is because anyone willing to have a loud, personal phone conversation on the bus is a crazy person. Confronting crazy people is scary. Here’s what I do: Start talking back to them like they’re talking to you. If everyone else on the bus has to be uncomfortable, why not them too? The only way to deal with crazy, is more crazy.
Come on Eileen
This works 100% of the time. Go to a crowded bar and put “Come On Eileen” on the jukebox. Wait for the first guy to make the obvious joke, then go up to him and explain how played out and bad that joke is. He might get mad, but he’ll also be embarrassed enough to never unlearn that lesson. The next time that song plays he’ll think of you.
Guy who hits the crosswalk button 5000 times
“Ease up, Ringo, I think you got it.” That’s a fun thing I like to say to them. Feel free to use whichever drummer you’d like. If you’re familiar with basketball, my solution for these people is to stand right by the button and box them out like I’m about to grab a rebound.
The lowest form of communication. I don’t know the statistics but I’m guessing it works 0% of the time. And guys, before you go getting all defensive, saying things like “I never do that. I respect women. Not all men…” Ok that’s great, but we need to go one step further. We encounter men catcalling women all the time. Say something! Sure, he might get pissed off, but the only reason that grown man thinks it’s ok to yell things at women is because his peers either join in or say nothing. Standing idly by is just as bad. It’s important to pick your battles wisely but this is one that’s always worth fighting.
Ok, here’s one were you don’t have to do a thing. Watching a professional comedian destroy a heckler is an art in itself. It’s the only social forum I know of where it’s acceptable to really lay into someone who is being rude. Go watch some YouTube clips of this, it’ll make your day.
Meeting someone with a unique name
Just a tip: If you meet someone with a unique name that sparks a fun little word-association game in your head, maybe keep it to yourself. Maybe you aren’t that clever. Maybe, just maybe, that person has heard that same joke their entire life and you just made an enemy. For me there are two types of people in this world: people who make a pasta primavera joke when they meet me, and people who I acknowledge as fellow human beings.
If we all work together we can make the world a better place. Don’t be afraid to stand up to rude people and bullies. I know it may not seem like it sometimes, but we outnumber them. Rude people walk all over everyone because they don’t have enough self-doubt. Let’s give them some.