Wednesday, October 1, 2008

People seem to carry an attitude of ENTITLEMENT


What in the world has happened to good manners? I am assaulted everywhere by rudeness. Is it that people are in too much of a hurry? Well, yes…but aren’t we trying to go faster than humanly possible? And losing something of ourselves along the way? Living life in the fast lane is a part of it, but I think it is more than that. It is a societal change. People seem to carry an attitude of ENTITLEMENT. My life is more important than yours. I don’t have time to hold this door open for you, trying to maneuver two small children through a narrow entrance, because I’m on the cell phone dealing with VERY IMPORTANT stuff.

Last week a friend of mine invited a new neighbor and her family over for dinner. The family had moved in a couple of weeks before, and my friend had been helping out the mom – watching her three children in addition to my friend’s own two children. The plans were made several days in advance, a time was set and all was well. Until the neighbor called up my friend an hour before they were due to arrive, and said that since her mom was visiting she and her husband had to take advantage of the free babysitting and have a date night. An hour before. I will not minimize the importance of date nights, but COME ON! Not only had my friend shopped and had dinner on hand and ready to start, but her husband had arranged to leave work early so that he could be home and be a part of welcoming the family to the neighborhood. So, the couple went out for the evening and still sent the grandmother and three children over to partake of the free dinner. I was appalled when my friend told me this story. Appalled.

And yet, I’m wondering how unusual this story really is in our world today. I’m sure we could take a survey and find many similar stories out there. So, what is one to do? For myself, having two small children and conscious of wanting to raise them to be polite and responsible citizens, I’m determined to beat the odds. I have to hold on to the idea that I can teach them to have lovely manners and be good people. People who raise the bar. Because, the way our world is going, someone needs to do it. And what better way than to start it at home…today.

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This is part of the Official Bitch Day at Fabulously 40 and Beyond. Please go over there and check out the great Bitchin' posts.


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20 comments:

Kate said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this issue. That's quite a story you use as an example; thoughtless, hurtful, annoying and representative of how actions can be so hurtful. That would be the last time I tried to do anything nice for this couple! But that's just me.

I think the commitments we make to others are inviolate unless there are serious issues that get in the way (date night is not one of them). I've taught this to my children and unlike many things that did NOT stick, this one did. I think if we model keeping commitments our children notice and fashion their lives this way too.

Great post; thanks.

Minnesota Matron said...

Holy cow. The Matron errs on the side of grace. Her rule? When we are guests, the host rules. When we are the hosts, the guests rate. See how the other person always wins?

Lisa Milton said...

We have had some unfortunate experiences like that lately. The kind that told me that my efforts, my menu planning and shopping really doesn't matter too much.

It was just being rude. Plain out and simple.

This couple has been relegated to the last minute, meet up for pizza group in my mind.

And it makes me try harder to impress better manners in my kids...

Amen.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

GET. OUT! THEY SENT THE GRANDMA AND THE KIDS ANYWAY?!?!?!?

I agree with you on this. We are all becoming so selfish and indulgent and we think we are owed the world - case in point - our economy. I am responsible and live within my means. Many people lived the dream without having the funds to back it. Many banks were greedy and willing to lend thinking they would at least acquire assets or interest. Now it all collapses and EVERYONE is paying.

Bothers me.

KEEP BELIEVING

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

JAW DROPPED OPEN. Seriously not the way to treat your neighbors or anyone. I am betting they don't see many invites for the neighborhood Christmas parties--at least they shouldn't. (Maybe they could just invite Grandma and kids specifically on the invite ;) )

I'll join you in the quest to make it better and raise the bar :)

barbra said...

Sing it!

Jen said...

Wha..HUH?! Seriously?! She sent them anyway?! That is one of the rudest things I've ever heard!

I had a bad day at work, and boy do I have a lot to bitch about today, but I'll just depress myself, so I'll refrain. Wish more people held your belief. I worry about the idiots are children will be subjected to.

calicobebop said...

Holy. Crap. At first, I thought I could see where this was going - I've had people bail on me at the last minute so I was all "typical!" But then, she sent the grandma and three kids in their stead! Where are these people raised? A Barn? Sheesh!

Jason said...

Hold on. Hold on tight!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That's beyond the pale. Luckily, I've never encountered anything like that.

Nora Bee said...

Yes, you can certainly teach your children differently.

g said...

Boy, that's ballsy!!

My own Brother One acts like this. Story too complicated for comments - but the punchline is he weaseled someone into putting his entire family up in their home for free, and then asked the hostess to buy some toilet paper because they ran out.

Heather of the EO said...

I love you for this post. And other things. But I just have to shout
AMEN SISTER!!!
Sometimes I feel a little pushy with teaching respect and manners because my three year old already understands he has to hold the door open for people, especially girls. I don't care if it's old-fashioned. It's also sweet and adorable and nice.
So there.

flutter said...

I.Love.You.

Reluctant Blogger said...

It's true that many people do seem less considerate these days. I loathe thoughtlessness actually - I think that being careless or thoughtless is actually nearly as bad as meaning to be unkind and often hurts as much.

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

You must be kidding! That is just beyond RUDE. It's not like they didn't know granny was going to come over, right? They could've given at least 24-48 hours notice. And, sending them over for dinner? I would've turned out the lights and pretended to be out. That is just mindboggling. I'm embarrassed for these rude people, who probably are so uncouth they don't even know how rude they are. I hope the friend refuses to watch the kids from here on out.

phd in yogurtry said...

I'm hoping the grandmother ended up being the better company giving the boneheaded move by the new neighbor and her husband.

Molly Wendland said...

Un-freaking-believ-able. I find it hard to comprehend that the grandmother would have accepted the invitation. She must have been duped by her kids..."Oh, Mom, the neighbors heard you were going to be home on your own with the kids and have invited you over!"

That story is an unconscionable display of rudeness. I really do find it incomprehensible that the neighbor had that kind of nerve. And what a bummer for the kids, 'cuz' now, what could have been a nice new friendship in the 'hood has been spoiled.

Andrea Frazer said...

The world is going to hell in a designer hand basket paid for on credit by people who don't bother to even hang up their cell phones while paying and forget to say thank you.

Janet said...

Other people have said it better, but you know I can't shut up. When I read the part about the date night I thought that was pretty rude because they obviously had more than one hour's notice that Grandma was coming, but when they sent Grandma and the kids anyway, that just made my jaw drop on the floor. I'm still missing a couple of teeth. Although, since Grandma accepted the invitation, it's clear that at least one half of the couple may not be to blame for the unconscionable rudeness. But I agree that from now on your friend should definitely NOT be available for free babysitting.
My kids already say please, thank you, and excuse me, and I don't intend to stop there. We have to set an example, even if everyone else is a boor.

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