I’m over being polite. I’m just over it. Let’s face it, the main reason that most people are polite is we believe there’s some abstract contract of social decorum that we are supposed to abide by as a society is to keep our mouths shut which lets other people get away with murder. Someone throws a passive aggressive dig in a social in a social setting and we’re supposed to smile and laugh instead of confronting the person right then and there and make them explain their remark. God forbid. That would be rude.
I’ve become very fed up with people biting their tongues. When we do, it allows other people to think that they can continue to behave like assholes with no repercussions. Here’s a very hoity-toity example from my personal life in the past year:
I was in the Hamptons last summer (yes, you’re allowed to start gagging) with family and friends. After sitting in tons of traffic to get out there, and about a thirty-minute wait for a table at the restaurant, we were all ready for a cocktail. I went to the very crowded bar to buy a round for everyone. I squeezed in next to an older couple. The woman was dressed in that distinctive Hamptons preppy style and had full on gray hair. She was at least in her sixties. Age generally doesn’t matter but in this case I’m pointing it out because this woman was clearly old enough to know better. As I was signing the receipt she murmured something to her husband. Well, not murmured. It was so packed that I was literally almost on top of her and she said it with enough diction so I’d be sure to hear.
I don’t remember the exact comment but it was something along the lines that I didn’t tip the bartender enough. First off I’d like to point out that you don’t tip 20% on drinks at a bar like you do with servers. But her comment got the blood under my skin boiling and here’s where I wish I had Andy Cohen and a Real Housewives camera crew with me. Sorry in advance but I did not flip a table or throw a drink in anyone’s face.
I took a deep breath and poked her on the shoulder and said, ”Excuse me. Maybe I’ve done my math incorrectly; it’s been a long day. But if you have something to say to me you should say it to me and not ‘whisper’ it loudly enough for me to hear. It’s incredibly rude and you’re not a teenager. I’d think you’d have better manners.”
She had plenty of balls while she was making the comment but when I confronted her she went white as a sheet and insisted that she hadn’t said anything. This denial pissed me off even more and I basically told her she was I liar and that I heard her and next time she should mind her own business or at least have the courtesy to say something to someone’s face. And with that I turned around, left the bar and downed my Sauvignon Blanc. Needless to say I waited until we were seated to order another as there was no way in Hamptons hell I was going to be near that biatch again.
Could I have let it slide? Probably. But why should I? If someone is going to have the audacity to say something like that and make sure I hear it, why should I be a wallflower and pretend? This is just one of many examples that has gotten me to the place of saying exactly what is on my mind. I’m never going to go out of my way to be malicious but I highly recommend putting people in their place when you need to. It’s empowering and liberating.