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Rudeness is the New Black

I was walking down the street today, when I saw a man on a scooter coming
towards me. I made the concession of moving slightly to the right, thinking that
surely he would do the same and we would both continue on our way unscathed.
But NO. He kept his course in the center of the block and forced me into a game of
“Chicken”. At the last second I had to jump out of the way , the only place for me to
go being a pile of dirt with a tree in it.

Now , there a few things wrong with this.
First of all, I should NEVER have to say the phrase “man on a scooter”. If you are
older than 14, this is not acceptable. (Yes, that means you too 16 year olds! You
should be home worrying about how and when you’ll get laid.) Also, manners no
longer exist. And oh yeah, chivalry is dead.

I’m a child of the late 60’s and early 70’s. I actually remember when people stepped
aside to let you by and thanked you if you held the door for them. Believe it or not,
there once was a time long ago, when people let you off the train before they got on.
I KNOW! CRAZY,right? But since then, I’ve been pushed so far back in a train while
trying to exit that it almost would have been easier to just wait until I got to the
Bronx to get out. (I live in Manhattan). I’ve also been pushed off of a train that I was
already on my way out of (in the back; by a man three times my size; with both of
his hands and all of his strength), because he saw his connecting train pulling in
across the platform. By the way, I was also running for this train. However, unlike
him, I was waiting for the door to open before I attempted to take off.

It’s not that I’m a pussy. In both of these last two cases, I retaliated. In the first
instance, I managed to get passed the woman who was pushing her way onto the
train, and in a ninja warrior move that should only work in a movie, I swung my arm
behind me without even looking, grabbed the woman’s long shiny hair, pulled her
toward me, and then sent her flailing head first into the mob on the train. I never
looked back as I stepped onto the platform, but I can only imagine her crying to her
mother that night that she had been assaulted on the subway. Her mother telling her
to leave New York and move back home to Iowa immediately, where she would be
safe. With the bully that pushed me, I started screaming and cursing at him at the
top of my lungs as we both ran to catch the other train. I didn’t stop until we were
both inside the same car. Of course, no one had seen him push me, so I just looked
like a lunatic yelling profanities at an older man. Did I mention that he also had a
young child with him? Yes, I cursed him out in front of his kid. So what? He was
teaching this kid how to be a bully too. That child probably grew up to be the
asshole that ran me off the street today.

All I’m saying, is that it’s exhausting to always be the courteous, polite, spatially
aware one.

I don’t want to have to pull a Jessica Jones every time I leave my house.
Or eventually end up in a mental institution because I’m found yelling incoherently
and lobbing the contents of my purse at someone’s head at a Starbuck’s because I
held the door for them and they didn’t acknowledge me.

But it's everywhere.

Rudeness is the New Black


by Nina Ashe