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Rudeness Is Not Reserved For The Young

Updated on July 21, 2010


I used to think that people behaving badly had to do with their upbringing and/or their youth. In fact I’m going to just go out on a limb here and say that I really thought that most of the bad or rude behavior in the world was something done by the young. Not that I’m THAT old but you get the idea. But a recent outing showed me that I was completely wrong. Rudeness is not reserved for the young – Don’t Get Me Started!

Here in Las Vegas there is a theatre under the stars as it were in the Red Rock Springs Preserve. The amphitheatre is nestled in the desert with seemingly nothing for miles. Here every summer different theatre groups put on productions for the annual series. You can bring a picnic, a bottle of wine and enjoy not only an evening of theatre (if it’s good…there have been several second acts we’ve never seen when the shows are bad) and you can enjoy not only cooler temps but looking up and seeing a sky filled with stars that make you feel like I think the first pioneers crossing the country must have felt.

We try to go to at least one show a season and recently we took my parents too. The show was Ain’t Misbehavin’ and there was no intermission (therefore we saw the entire show). From about the third song in the show I started to hear giggling and a rather loud conversation going on right behind us. The conversation wasn’t about the show at first, it was about the ballgame the man’s voice was talking about missing. Then there was some talking about someone who was sitting across from us, “She’s so fat. Look at her just lying on the grass.” More giggling. Several songs in I did what anyone does who has an annoying person sitting behind them does who doesn’t want to interrupt the show. I turned around and gave that look – you know the one, the one that says, “Yes, we all here you now shut up.” Much to my surprise it was a man in his seventies and three women that were with him all in their seventies as well. I don’t know what they were drinking but whatever it was they continued throughout the show and the more they drank the louder they got. They started complaining about the show, giggling that they were looking on their phones for ball scores when everyone was told to shut off their phones. They made disparaging remarks about the performers and continued to loudly discuss the large woman lying on the grass. At one point the man said, “The only reason I’m staying to the end of this show is to see if they have to bring a forklift to get her up and out!” At which point my spouse turned around and said, “Okay, we get it. Now can you be quiet?” While they stayed mostly quiet for the remainder of the show after that (with the exception of counting down how many minutes were left in it) I found myself more than a little spun up about the whole experience.

Look, if you don’t want to be at a show or around other people because you don’t know how to behave, I don’t care how old you are, do everyone including yourself a favor and just leave. Why would these people stay? The tickets were not that expensive and if they weren’t enjoying it what was the point? Were they just waiting for the buzz to wear off so that they could get in their car with the handicapped license on it and drive home? I don’t care what the reason was I just wanted them dead. Well, okay maybe not dead but I wanted them to understand that they were complete inconsiderate morons.

I used to blame television for bad behavior at theatres (including movie theatres) because I think that people are so used to sitting in their living room, behaving however they want that they forget the common courtesies and behaviors that should be adhered to when in a public setting but more and more I think it’s just a whole lot of people who only care about themselves. I’ve read the studies that say that the generation today has such a sense of entitlement that they’re going to be one of the least productive generations we’ve ever had, thinking they’re special even though they’ve never done anything special in their lives, just thinking that because their parents convinced them they could win American Idol. But that does nothing to explain the elderly people we encountered.

So here’s the deal. I don’t care if it’s at a restaurant, a theatre or even just at the grocery store. It’s time someone told all of you that YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD OR THE ONLY PERSON THAT MATTERS! Perhaps, just perhaps if people stopped worrying so much about themselves we might be able to fix the many problems facing our country today. In watching a documentary called, Schmatta: Rags To Riches on HBO about the garment district in New York, I was not so much astonished as much as I was saddened to learn that in the 1970’s 95% of the clothing sold in America was made in America but by 2008, only 5% of the clothing sold in America is made here. We’ve let all of the ingenuity and creating of goods and services go out of the country while we’ve all been busy trying to get on reality shows to make our fortune. Meanwhile Wall Street and the people who supposedly represent us have sold us out to line their own pockets in gold. And while I can’t fix that (and who knows if anyone can) I believe the one thing we can do is be a little bit considerate of others, or at the very least shut up when you’re at the theatre no matter what your age! Rudeness is not reserved for the young – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Well said. I enjoyed your rant. I think that olds people often are the worst. I am nealry retirement age so this is not predjudice

    • ltfawkes profile image

      ltfawkes 7 years ago from NE Ohio

      Great hub. I especially like:

      Were they just waiting for the buzz to wear off so that they could get in their car with the handicapped license on it and drive home?

      I'd say more but I gotta read more of yur stuff.


    • rgarnett profile image

      Rachael Fields 7 years ago from KC, MO

      I feel sad for the woman sitting in front of you. Obviously she heard them and frankly, I think that is incredibly sad. Its not rude - just sad. I do think that if these people are in their 70s and drinking. Not only can they not hear themselves and how loud they are but their drinking makes them more boisterous. I am pretty sure, I would want to give that poor woman a hug. :*

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, God, Amber, you are so cool...almost as cool as Scott!!! Love that last comment about what to put in the water!

      Scott, you nailed it as far as all the inconsiderate people in this world who seem to have suddenly forgotten the most basic, elemental courtesies in a public place. Like not to talk during a show. Of any kind. Whether it's a classroom lecture or paid entertainment, or a child's piano recital. STFU!!!! (shut the f*** up) And LISTEN!--those two things seem to be a lost art.

      And you are so right--it isn't just young kids, teenagers, pre-teens, that seems to be across the board and completely democratic in American. Rudeness from young, old, rich, poor, black, white, straight, gay, man, woman...child! You name it, we seem to have a few examples of how NOT to behave in every demographic.

      And that point you made also, that an inflated sense of entitlement leads to a distinct lowering of is well made, friend.

    • profile image

      Amber 7 years ago

      Well, you've managed to hit on about several of my favorite topics. We'll start with "cheap" clothing ain't really cheap, especially if it comes from a non-man-made fiber or involves any amount of hand labor. You want to know why wool clothes are expensive? Try taking raw sheep fleece and turning it into something usable (even with help from a friend and a professional mill) and then try taking that something usable and turning it into a garment. See how much time and labor is involved and then ask yourself how much YOU would charge.

      Of course YOU (the big you in the sky) would charge more because---as you (Scott) so rightly point out---YOU are special, your work is WORTH something. Yeah, well so is everyone else's.

      I think it's time that, instead of fluoride, cities start putting some "get the fuck over yourself" in the water.