A Lesson In Courtesy

“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” Theodore Roosevelt
My husband and I had a last minute date night last night. We were fortunate enough to be gifted some amazing tickets to see the Brave play the Phillies and the seats were amazing. Well…they would have been amazing had the seat stealers actually moved back to where they were supposed to sit. No matter. We sat just a few seats down and the seats were still amazing. We were in left field, in the home run ball zone, and my husband was beyond tickled. It was an amazing night, the weather was perfect, and all we had to pay for was the parking and our food and drink and souvenirs.

And then they sat down. A group of young, beautiful people. Who were, for a lack of better words, shitty drunk. High pitched voices of the women pierced our ears, disturbing the quiet murmuring of the crowds around us. Incessant drunken conversation that stemmed around the procuring of more alcohol. Knees hitting chairs, loud and unnecessary chatter…honestly it reminded me of that scene from Mean Girls. All of the vapid, meaningless name dropping of the camera men to try and get on tv since the game was televised combined with the drunken yammering was enough to kill the mood for us. My husband moved us. Twice. (No worries…unfortunately for the Braves the stands weren’t filled so we weren’t taking anyone’s seats.) We managed to get far enough away from the drunkards to satisfy my husband.

As we sat back in our newly acquired seats, we were able to relax and watch the game. We held hands, kissed, talked about the players and the obvious mistakes in the plays. We marveled at the perfection of the weather and the night, how amazing it would be to do this again as a date night and how much fun the kids would have going to a game. The look on my husbands face as he watched the game was priceless. And to think, all of his happiness at being at Turner Field could have been taken away by a handful of discourteous attendees. I took a picture of the back of their heads and ranted on instagram about them.

obnoxious ballgame people

“Thank you, drunk and obnoxious attendees of tonight’s Braves game. Because of your ridiculous and incessant prattle, we had to actually leave our seats. Just because you are young doesn’t give you the license to drink irresponsibly, talk loudly for the ENTIRE section to hear, and detract from the entire experience around you. Be wary of how you present yourselves in public, for you never know if the people you irritate are the ones looking at your resumes.”

And then I thought of all the times my behavior may have been seen as discourteous or rude. Instead of washing myself in all of the guilty feelings and wallowing in my ignorance, I took a step back and thought about something my dad has always said. ‘Where their rights begin, yours end.’ It has taken a long time for me to know what that means to me and how to apply it in my life. I can’t expect people to do what I want them to do all of the time. I’m not their keeper nor am I their mother and if what they are doing is bothering me, I have a choice on how to handle it. I can either speak up and make my discomfort known, which can lead to arguments when alcohol is involved, OR I can make the choice to remove myself from the situation. Last night, my husband made that choice to remove us both from an uncomfortable situation without causing a scene or making a fuss. And for that I am grateful. I am grateful that his courteous behavior removed from the company of discourteous people.

Life really is what you make of it. You can roll with it, rage against it, or remain stagnant and allow it to over take you. Last night, we rolled with it. Last night we learned more life lessons.  And last night was a good lesson on how to handle rude behavior without even saying a word.

“Courtesy is the one coin you can never have too much of or be stingy with.” John Wanamaker

Alarm Clocks and Power Outages

“If age teaches you anything, then one of its lessons is certainly not to hurry if you’re already late….”
Sergei Lukyanenko, Day Watch

Let’s face it. No one likes Mondays. For the majority of the population, Monday mornings mean an end to a much needed weekend, a start to a long hard week at work, going back to school…basically unpleasantness. Monday mornings can signify unpleasantness.

In my house, Monday mornings are always a hit or miss. Lately, we, my family and I, have been doing well. We get up on time, get ourselves out the door without much issue, everyone catching the bus or getting to school and work on time. Yesterday was a total miss.

Storms have been pretty prominent in our area and on Sunday night or early Sunday morning, we had a power outage/surge that reset all of the clocks. Now, had this been a weekend, no one would have cared. But no, this happened on a Sunday. At *MY* house.

Roll over, looks at phone (which is on silent so I can sleep): Holy SHIT! It’s 7:30!!!

I jump out of bed, go wake the children. Youngest missed the bus…and is gonna be late. Again. Fuck.

Commence to running around trying to get ready while refereeing two preteen daughters and a teenage son over bathroom rights and how we all need to keep our hands to ourselves (yes…we STILL have to remind them of that).

All kids get ready in record time. Dog is walked and fed. Kids are dressed. Coffee is done.

Get out the door, get youngest to school, sign her in.

Get oldest to school (not late…SCORE!)

Get middle one to school. She swears she is late. I beg to differ. So far, I seem to be the correct individual.

Then it is my turn to sit in traffic. I finally make it to work 45 minutes later than I usually do and the day just seems to snowball into one giant mess.

It’s funny, really. Waking up late can throw your whole day into a tailspin from the moment your feet hit the floor. My routine was disrupted. The kids were arguing. My day at work was long and tedious and I was grumpy about EVERYTHING. I was mad at my husband for being himself, mad at stupid customer service people who weren’t going fast enough for me, mad at co-workers for asking me questions that only I could answer, mad at myself for being a bitch. But it was no one’s fault. No one was to blame for any of it. It was a fluke, a sometimes these things happen situation, the proverbial “Act of God”. (I am in no way  a traditionally religious person, but the turn of phrase seems to fit.) And this one small upset threw off the entire day.

Today is better. Today was an on time day. I even had time to stop for a Starbucks! But yesterday was just bad. Granted, it could have happened on any day, but it didn’t. It happened on a Monday. So I shall be more wary of Mondays having learned this hard lesson. I shall set back up alarms on my phone. I shall make sure the kids have back up alarms as well. I shall lay out my clothes for Monday mornings on Sunday night and make sure everything is set out for the kids as well.

Lessons, even small ones, should never be taken for granted. And yesterday was a hard lesson to learn. Mondays can never be trusted.

“Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day.” The Mamas & The Papas