Does anyone remember the “Do Something” campaign from a number of years ago? I don’t remember all of the details about it, but the gist of it was for everyone of us to go out and do something for your community. Get involved, volunteer, contribute something positive to your environment. I’m actually too lazy to be a really active activist, but once and awhile I get the opportunity to do something. It’s usually something small, something most people would overlook or consider not important enough to do anything. Those are actually my pet peeves. The little details of every day life that get overlooked but actually contribute in a big way to the demise of society by marginalizing common courtesies. I have a looooong list of pet peeves, but there is one that just pisses me off. And today I got to do something about it.
My family went out for brunch today. We just ran up the road to the local IHOP, nothing major. My MIL (mother-in-law) lives with us and uses a walker to get around. This makes me more aware of our surroundings when we go out places. I notice fairly quickly how accessible places are because I have to figure out the easiest way for my MIL to get in and out of an establishment. It also makes the lack of consideration from other people much more vivid for me.
So we come out of the IHOP and I noticed this car parked right in front. It was a red Ford Focus and I was admiring it because I thought Ford had made some nice details on it. As I am looking at the car I noticed that it was parked in a Disabled Only parking spot yet there was no disabled decal on the plate or hanging from the inside rear view mirror!!! Grrrrrr!!!
Now there was a big sign posted about a $500 fine for parking there illegally, but I felt like it would have been going over the top to actually call the police and expect them to rush right out and issue a citation. And mostly I’m just not that vengeful. . . mostly. I also thought about going back inside and mentioning it to the manager. But I really didn’t believe that he or she would have yelled into the restaurant, ” HEY! Whoever is the asshole who parked illegally in the disabled parking spot you better move your car before I call and get you fined $500 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas!” I am THAT kind of vengeful and would have enjoyed it, probably a little bit too much for 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas. . .shhh, don’t tell Santa on me.
Instead I did what I do best, I used my words. I pulled out a sheet of paper from the notebook in my purse and scribbled a little reminder not to be an asshole, others can see you. Here is what I wrote:
Either you forgot to hang your disabled decal in your window or you just don’t care about the needs of others. Karma catches up. Have a happy holiday. I hope others show you more consideration than you have shown those who need the spot you just took!
Now I realize I didn’t do anything major, but that wasn’t the point. I honestly believe that all the little common social courtesies that we have allowed to slide by the way side over the last 50 years has turned our society into a group of individualized, selfish assholes who can’t see past our own noses and what is happening to those around us. Little things like holding a door open, helping a stranger with a load of groceries, or allowing someone to exit an elevator before pushing your own way on ( there have been times that I really wanted to shoot someone for that one). No wonder there is so much rage, unrest, violence, and terrorism in the world. If we are assholes to each other on an individual basis why are we surprised at the level of global hatred we have for each other in larger groups based on race, gender, nationality, religion, or politics?
So in my own little way I held someone accountable for their actions. It gets tiring allowing others to get away with being rude, disrespectful, and inconsiderate. I wait tables and I have to do that for a living. But when I am out and about and I see such blatant disregard for others, I refuse to be silent. All I can hope for is the person who parked that car in the disabled only spot to feel some shame and never do it again. And that’s all I want anyway. That and the new Wii U system. . .