Give Them The Bird

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          Oh, Monday! For you I have the one finger salute! Sorry. Is that rude? We really don’t know if it is because we were born and raised in Los Angeles, which recently garnered the rudest city in the U.S. One of the reasons given for our fine hometown to receive this honor is the ease with which Angelinos give the salute. But is that really a sustentative method to arrive at the rudest behavior in this country? We definitely don’t think so. Perhaps those who did the ranking are thin skinned to expression of emotion and blind to real discourteous behavior.

          Lee says: We are planning on leaving Miami this summer. One of the reasons we give for leaving this ‘tropical paradise’ is the lack of manners in this city. From driving to customer service, Miami has a lot to learn from bigger cities. If we learned anything in last few weeks is that this country has lost its civility. We have become a nation of rhetoric proliferators. This is not contained to congress and politics. This can be seen daily in our neighborhood supermarket.

          We no longer say please and thank you. We no longer let someone go ahead of us in line when we are trying to unload a cartful of groceries and all they have is orange juice and a box of Twinkies. We don’t hold the door open and we don’t let an older person take our seat of the metro. We have reverted to some law of the jungle mentality out there that comes from desperation and lack of consideration. The mainstay mantra is becoming mine, mine, mine, and me first, me next, me now. We are only looking out for number one and number two is just a speed bump to what I need.

          This lack of manners is becoming a very big problem. Lack of civility creates a nation of malcontents and paranoid neighbors. I can’t walk to my car in my own driveway without getting the stink-eye from two of my neighbors. We don’t have loud parties. We don’t sell meth on our lawn. We don’t have a Buick on blocks on the sidewalk. We are quiet, respectful neighbors. We try to wave and say hi but, after all these years, I am better off showing them my hometowns favorite finger.

          When we go to the store, if we are blessed with a cashier who is not on his/her cell phone, we are genuinely shocked if they make any banter other than the standard salesperson script. ‘How are you doing today?’ has become almost the ‘God bless you!’ of our secular society. We crave niceties to the point where we start seeing our neighbors to the North as saints with funny accents.

          If we really want to turn things around here, we need to get nice again. Manners are necessary for civilization. It is not your right to be a prick or bitch because you had a bad day. It is not O.K. to act like everything is like being in line for the last loaf of bread in a communist country. Things are not as desperate as our behavior indicates. We can turn everything around with simply working together but to do that I would appreciate it you would not be such an ass. I’ll make a deal with everyone, I’ll keep my middle finger to myself if you don’t talk about shooting me in the face or at least say please and thank you.

          Paul says: I do not find ‘flipping the bird’ to be rude at all. Rude is not the right word. Aggressive, angry, emotive or expressive are all good descriptions. Talking to your friend on the phone while you are supposed to be helping a customer, now that is rude.


  • Susan

    Are you packing already? Ya might have to now! 😀

  • I read this with interest and posted it on my Facebook page. I think I was the only one surprised about Los Angeles. I am a die-hard NorCal girl with many prejudices about SoCal but I still don’t get this. And THANK YOU for pointing out what really is a national problem. Maybe this whole survey is just rude and divisive!

  • When we went to LA we noticed a lot of horn honking. When we got home, we had gotten into that habit. NOBODY here does that unless you’re about to be hit. We shut that down immediately.

  • Amen! I actually live in Kansas City where things are quite that bad, but they are far from an appropriate level of politeness. The disconnect from living our lives in isolation has made us into monsters. Glad I found you on Studio 30 Plus.

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