I’ve been toying with the idea of this post for a few days now, and it’s based on some recent and past behavior I’ve come across; I just didn’t know how to begin. Then, like a flash, I remembered the great television commercial from the 1970s with Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin. It’s funny to think about people talking about toilet paper in this glowing way back in the 1970s. Charmin must have really tapped into something, because the catch phrase, “Please, don’t squeeze the Charmin,” became incredibly popular.
Mr. Whipple didn’t want people squeezing the Charmin, despite its irresistible softness.
I, on the other hand, don’t mind if you squeeze the Charmin, but I do mind if you do some of these things that I find rather irksome. I’ve seen some behavior over the last few days that prompted me to write this snarky post. Forgive me for blowing off some steam.
#1–Please don’t grimace and curse in your car because you have to let pedestrians and bikers pass on the crosswalk. The other day, my family and I were on our way to dinner when we were stopped at a light near the B&A Trail in Severna Park. A woman became quite enraged that she had to stop for pedestrians, and she didn’t hold back her potty mouth, allowing all sorts of obscenities to fly because she had to stop momentarily. I was hoping my daughter didn’t see her behavior, but unfortunately, she did. It’s generally not a good idea to get that mad over a situation like that. If she becomes agitated by that, what the hell else does she get mad about?
#2–Please don’t connect with me on Instagram or Twitter (I accept readily unless the party is in question or is vulgar or not PG-rated) only to turn around 24-hours later to disconnect with me so that you build up your followers account. If you are in it to solely bump up your followers and do not want to reciprocate the follow, it’s phony, and I don’t have time for that. Some of these people who have 21,000 or more followers and reach out to follow you hoping you will follow them back will only turn around and unfollow you days later. Do you follow? It’s so obsequious and annoying.
#3–Please don’t bring your whole family into the library and TALK LOUDLY AS IF THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON YOU! I was in my local library yesterday grading papers when this woman, her kids and husband walked in with the decibels turned WAY UP! People were trying to work in the library, and while I know kids have a kids area and can be loud there (this is fine…I have no problem with this at all…I do remember what it is like to have small children), in this particular case, it wasn’t the kids who were loud, but the woman. She came in the door almost shouting at her kids. I think everyone in the place was a little stunned by it.
#4–Please don’t yell at me for letting an elderly woman go in front of me in the express grocery store line. If I choose to let a woman hop in front of me who is a senior and who is clearly struggling to accomplish the task of getting a few items from the supermarket, shame on you for trying to reprimand me publicly for being a Good Samaritan. You can wait the extra three minutes for the sweet woman to purchase the seven things in her cart so she can get home. Luckily, I have a mouth that works, and I told the aggressor to shove off.
#5–Please don’t tell me who I should vote for…ever. I am quite capable of making up my own mind, as are millions of other Americans. I spend countless hours dissecting the issues and comparing the candidates. Additionally, I don’t need the media to try to sway me or to bad mouth candidates, either. As someone who teaches journalism, it is a sad state to see media outlets with agendas–no matter which side you stand for–and to watch the deterioration of news coverage as it becomes more and more slanted and subjective and less and less objective. All I need are the facts; I can take it from there.
#6–Please don’t make my child feel inept for missing a ball in the infield, or for anything else he or she does when trying hard. A few years ago, one of my son’s coaches yelled “lazy” when my child missed an infield pop-up. It was Little League ball, for God’s sake, and my kid was a competent, scrappy little player who always tried hard. I didn’t handle this well. This sort of humiliation is why team sports get a bad name sometimes. Remember coaches: These are kids just out there to have fun. ESPN was not waiting on the warning track to do a live remote.
#7–Please don’t ever tell someone they can’t do something or make them feel small for trying. As a teacher, this is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. So much of what we do or what makes up our goals comes from our heart and our own belief in ourselves. Once you kill someone’s spirit, unless he or she is tough as nails, it could have long-lasting negative effects. Some can rise above hate-mongering or being belittled for dreaming and reaching for the stars, while others may need more nurturing and guidance. People who enjoy bursting other people’s bubbles are probably insecure themselves, however, think twice before you say something that might discourage someone from really going for it.
I think I’ll stop there. Sorry readers—I haven’t written one of these in a while and it felt good to get a few things off my chest.
I feel better now.