On Friday night I took my kids to Olive Garden sans husband. The wait was 30 minutes but my daughter insisted on eating there. It was supposed to be our special night out together while dad was off camping. The place was packed (why do people like Olive Garden?). My three-year-old son wanted to be held. Mind you, I am very pregnant. In fact, earlier in the day at my pre-natal I was told that my baby was large enough to be born right now! Anyway, we wait. People keep opening the doors and my son is cold so further inside. I am now leaning against a wall, because I can't hold my 45 pound son and stand up on my own at the same time. There is a 'man' sitting on the bench just inches from me. A young, 20-something man. He's busy texting. There is no way he doesn't notice me. There are two other men in close proximity who, though the room is full of standing women, some elderly, don't budge.
Let's get something straight. This is not a man vs. woman; feminism issue in my mind. I am not old fashioned when it comes to women's rights. I think I am perfectly capable of doing everything a man can, and then some. But didn't that guy's parents teach him any manners? If there were a single dad standing next to me struggling with a baby and a toddler and I were by myself, I would have gotten up and given him my seat. And even if I had my kids... I would have made some effort to help him. I'd give my seat to an old lady or an old man. I would offer to move over.
I watched him. When his wife finally arrived, he didn't get up for her either. When the other couple they were meeting arrived he stayed seated. When his little buzzer deal went off, he got up.
I thought of saying something. I texted my husband about it. My text included some choice words. He texted back, "You should have said something." What was I going to say? I would have been the crazy hormonal woman and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference to him.
But what about manners? What about taking a look around you every once in a while? What about offering a helping hand? Are manners and just simple courtesy dead?