Monday, September 29, 2008

I wouldn't buy you a drink either...

It was a good weekend. It was beautiful weather, just a touch too warm for football season. But it was good. Really.

We had sushi on Friday and listened to music on the patio. Kings of Leon came out with a new album last Tuesday and so I was doing my best to soak that in. Saturday was a huge day in college football upsets but my Sooners managed to survive despite the odds and we are now #1 in the nation. And I can breathe again until next weekend. Whew.

Here is something interesting…

My husband and I went to a bar on Saturday following the close of the OU game. I was tired, but in good spirits and wanted to get out of the house. One of our friend’s friends was having a birthday celebratory pub crawl and so we made our way to midtown where they were gathered. After the initial pleasantries had passed, I went up to the bar to retrieve a beer and as is customary on a Saturday night at a bar in a college town, the line was 3 deep and I hung back to seize an opportunity to squeeze in to the front. Here’s where it gets interesting.
A couple of guys…probably of college age but perhaps a bit older, were hanging back a little ahead of where I was. They were pleasant.
One of them motioned for me to move ahead of them as they had already ordered and received their drinks.
“Here,” one of them said. “Come up here. Sit next to that guy in the red shirt. Make him buy you a drink. Hey,” he motioned to the guy in the red shirt at the bar, “Buy her a drink.” I smiled because I am nice. Let me be clear here. I am ALWAYS nice. I would find it extremely odd to EVER be considered anything BUT nice.
I said to the guy in red, “Oh, it’s okay. I have money.”
He smirked and replied, “Oh honey, don’t you worry. I would NEVER buy YOU a drink.”

Now…typically I’m pretty quick-witted. I have the uncanny ability of snapping back smart comments that not only blend the perfect amount of sarcasm with nastiness but also manage to seem semi-intelligent at the same time. But, when someone is this blatant in their “a$$-holishness,” I must admit…I become rather baffled.
I patted him on the arm as if to say, “Good for you,” and then sat on the bar stool, simmering until I retrieved my beers.
I did go to his friends following our little exchange and told them that their “friend” was “really cool,” while giving a mock thumbs up. They apologized and muttered some expletives which, although making me feel better, didn’t curb my latent desire to have someone show this dude just how disgusting he was.
Here’s another thing: he was entirely unattractive. His eyes were so small they were all but missing from his pale, greasy face. Honestly, this dude is lucky they even let him in a bar at all. They may as well tell him at the door, “Dude, if you’re not already married, I feel obliged to tell you that because of the unfortunate circumstance of your face, you are certain to get NO play tonight. May as well throw in the towel already and go home.”
Maybe they did. Maybe they hurt his feelings and consequently, he felt the need to insult me.
(See how quick my nastiness comes out when someone is nasty to me first?! I’m telling you, it’s a vicious cycle)
Whatever the cause…I don’t care. I just know that I didn’t deserve it. What happened to all of the gentlemen out there? The ladies? Did someone really RAISE that guy?

What about the guy that you accidentally bump into at a bookstore and after sincerely exclaiming, “Oh, I’m so sorry,” he merely looks at you like you are the largest idiot of all idiots and says nothing.

Or the girl working the counter at Seattle’s Best coffee who asks “Can I help you?” with such a snarl that you order water instead of coffee because you forgot what you were there for.

Or the word “please.” Listen to how people use it now. Humans managed to turn a pretty word…a term of endearment that was intended to convey only niceties, into a word that comes off as a command. Really, listen! You’ll be appalled!

There are so many more examples I could use…

My sister always used to say, “Wouldn’t the world be a better place if no one broke the law?”
Hey man, I’ll make it easier than that! I don’t even care if you speed or drink when you’re 20…
Be nice. Just do your best to be nice. No matter what. See what happens.

In the words of the great Ani DiFranco:

“Maybe you don’t like your job. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep. Nobody likes their job. Nobody got enough sleep. Maybe you just had the worst day of your life. Well you know there’s no escape and there’s no excuse. So just suck up, suck up and be nice.”

Wouldn’t it be great?

Here’s to the guy at the Shell Station in Buckhead the other day in the midst of a gas outage in the greater Atlanta area. He was directing traffic for angry drivers who didn’t understand why they were waiting in line. You should have seen Roswell Road. It was a circus for nastiness. And this guy was just smiling and directing and helping and…

Things are gonna get better…I can feel it.

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