Quiz! How Rude Is That?

The current presidential campaigns sometimes make me wonder if my standards of rudeness are overly strict.  For instance, when speaking of soldiers who have risked their lives to protect me and have ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, I generally don’t refer to them as weak.  I would consider that rude.  I would also consider it wildly inaccurate and monumentally stupid, but then, I’m not in politics.  If I were, I’d consider those to be selling points.

costume-15847_640All right, all right, I’ll stop with the political diatribe (even though I’m right).  What I really want to say is, when this many people strike me as being this rude, the devil’s advocate in me has begun to wonder if the one who’s really out of line is me.  Are manners now meaningless?  Are precepts of politeness simply passé?  Do I demand too much decorum and thus doom myself to deportmental disappointment?  Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the alliteration (and the made-up words).  All I ask in return is that you take this quiz designed by experts (me) to tell if I’m unduly uppity (sorry) or if people just really are that rude.

1. Public (Restroom) Interrogation

I walked into the ladies’ room of a department store the other day, and a woman who was at the sink looked up and started talking to me.  I made a polite reply and went into a stall, at which point the woman not only didn’t stop talking, but actually continued to talk to me the entire time I was in the stall.  As a matter of fact, she asked several questions.  I wasn’t sure if it would be worse to say nothing or to answer (I said nothing).  Seriously!  How rude was that?

A.  That’s pretty rude.  I mean, what if you had a bashful bladder?
B.  Cut her some slack.  Maybe her boundaries were off, but she was just trying to be friendly.
C.  Was it number one or number two?
D.  You mean how rude was it for you to say nothing?  Yep, that was pretty rude, all right.  And mean.  That poor lady.
E.  Depends.  Are you a dude?

2.  Fuming Amid the Fumes

I was stuck in traffic with a friend, and by traffic I mean a seemingly endless line of cars moving at an approximate rate of five feet per hour.  After about twenty minutes (or 1.67 feet), and I’m surprised it took that long, some complete asshole came barreling down the shoulder because, you see, he really needed to be somewhere.  Just as he was about to leave my field of vision, which admittedly isn’t hard to do, some other complete asshole let. him. back. in.  Come on!  How rude was that?

A.  OMG, I know, right?  Who does he think he is, passing on the shoulder like that?  Wait in traffic like everyone else; you’re not that important.
B.  OMG, I know, right?  Why did he let that car back in the lane?  It’s the most sacred rule of the road:  thou shalt not let the asshole back in.
C.  Did you know that more people think it’s always wrong to cut in line than think it’s always wrong to commit murder?  I wonder if that means that offing someone who cuts in line is justified….
D.  The only possible excuse:  was the first asshole on the way to the hospital with a woman who was in the process of giving birth?  (By the way, if that was the case then I’m really, really sorry for calling you an asshole.  Also, congratulations!)
E.  You’re just ticked because you know you couldn’t get away with it!

3.  I’m Sorry, I Don’t Have To Take This

I went up to a sales associate and started asking about a product.  In the middle of my question, the phone rang at her counter.  She held up a finger and answered the call, which judging from the content was neither pre-arranged nor from a supervisor, either of which I would have understood.  The entire time she was on the phone and I was standing there, she kept her finger raised.  Eventually, I raised a finger of my own (I actually did!  I’m so proud!) and walked away.  But really, I mean, I was standing right there.  How rude was that?

Survey of actual responses:

A.  Rude!  I get so mad when that happens to me.
B.  So rude!  Not to mention terrible customer service.
C.  So very rude!  And completely awesome on your part, by the way.
D.  Incredibly rude!  I’m amazed all you did was flip her off.
E.  So very, incredibly rude!  I’ll bet the person on the other end of the line was that asshole who passed everyone on the shoulder.


Mostly A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, or E’s— I have no idea what it means if you got one letter more than the others.  That you think I’m overreacting?  That statistics are less meaningful than you think they are?  This really isn’t that kind of quiz.  If it makes you feel better, you can make up a reason that you got mostly B’s.  I’ll totally back you.

So leave a comment to tell me if my standards of seemliness are laughably lofty, or if these people were as devoid of propriety as a presidential candidate.  Am I being unreasonable or are they being rude?  Or is it a little (or a lot) of both?  You tell me!

[Image in public domain via pixabay.com]

Cookie Monster’s Real Name, And Other Useless Knowledge

cookie-monster-1132275_6401I do my best philosophical thinking while I’m folding laundry.  The other day, as I folded yet another fitted sheet and realized both that I actually know how to fold a fitted sheet, and also that there is no point to folding a fitted sheet, I started thinking about how many other things I know that serve no practical purpose.  For instance, I know Cookie Monster’s first name.  It’s Sid.  No one needs to know that (except, presumably, Sid).

Then I started wondering:  how did I wind up with all this useless knowledge?  It began with a few odd bits of information from family and friends, knowledge I never wanted but kept anyway to be polite (like how to fold a fitted sheet), but over time it became such a massive pile of crap in my mental garage that there was barely enough room for the Porsche 911 that the Little Blind Girl In My Head totally drives.

Now, though, I need that space for things like retirement planning and how to tell if fruit is ripe.  So, to clear out my mental garage, I’ve decided to have a mental yard sale.  I thought about having an auction, but I don’t really need any more voices in my head.  So if you like to stockpile pointless facts for emergency use at, judging from experience, family reunions and office parties, come spend a little time in my psyche (it’s BYOB).  I’ve got some good stuff.  Here’s a sample item:

Useless Knowledge For Sale: The proper use of finger bowls

There isn’t one.  Everyone just assumes they’re for washing your fingers.  Finger bowls aren’t brought out until just before the dessert course in a formal dinner, however, and— formal dinners not being known for their finger food— you’ll almost never need to wash your fingers at this point in the meal.  The proper thing to do with a finger bowl is almost always to set it off to the left so it doesn’t get in the way of the dessert.

In fact, needing to use a finger bowl is the fine dining equivalent of the walk of shame.  It means you’re such a messy eater that, despite having been provided with three different spoons, four different forks, and six different knives, you still managed to get food all over your hands.  Honestly, it’s like you were raised in a barn.

(If this happens, by the way, no one actually expects you to use the finger bowl.  Just wipe your fingers discreetly on your napkin and then “accidentally” let the napkin slip to the floor, at which point you have an excuse to replace it with a cleaner model.  This method has served me well for years.)

I realize this isn’t much of a sales pitch, so I’ll throw in another, somewhat related bit of arcane table manners trivia free of charge:

Useless Knowledge Gift With Purchase:  It’s completely acceptable to eat asparagus with your hands.

Unlike much of what was said at the recent political conventions, this is actually true.  You may daintily dine on the succulent shoots without using so much as an asparagus tong and then smugly wiggle your fingers around in your finger bowl in perfect propriety, though you should stop short of flicking water at the people who used utensils.

Unfortunately for me, I hate asparagus, so this fascinating knowledge does me no good, even if the Queen of England were to invite me to a formal asparagus tasting replete with finger bowls of every description.  One little blind girl’s trash is someone else’s treasure, though, so up for sale it goes.

Asking Price:  The proper use of Tumblr

woman-1459220_640I went on Tumblr a few times to try to understand what it is, but the longest I went without getting trapped in porn was fourteen minutes.  It may be that porn is, in fact, the proper use of Tumblr, I’m not sure.  But I’m told there’s more to it, and knowing how to use Tumblr seems more relevant these days than knowing how to use a finger bowl— at any rate, it’s certainly more common.  So if you’re interested or if you’ve got something else to trade, feel free to make an offer.  I’m open to negotiation, and I really want my mind-garage back.

And anyway, Queen Victoria once drank from a finger bowl, so what do I know?


(All images are in the public domain via pixabay.com)