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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Would you call this rude?

I had an encounter today which left me wondering if this is the kind of society we are living in...

I brought my baby to skate this morning. Disappointingly, she spent less time on the ice than I did putting on her skates! When I took her off the ice, we plopped ourselves down on the bench nearest the door. It wasn't crowded, but I wasn't about to carry her farther, nor up the stands.

Next to us was a bag, which I was careful not to sit on. A few minutes later, a man (yes, a mature, grown-up man) came by and, without even looking at us muttered - loud enough so it was obvious it was meant for us to hear - "there's so much space, you must come and sit here and step on my son's shoes".

"Oops, so sorry, I didn't notice there were shoes there."

He mumbled something under his breath, moved the shoes to the side, and went away.

That interaction (or rather, the lack thereof) left an unpleasant aftertaste! It was not the fact that he was upset  for my stepping on his son's shoes, but rather the contempt accorded by his behavior. Indeed, if he had addressed me directly - even with an angry "excuse me, you are stepping on my son's shoes" - it would have been better.

I want to call this "rude", but I don't think it is quite the right word. Anyone has a better description for it?