Confessions of a Children's Author

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It's Raining, I'm Ranting

Why is it that when it rains here there seems to be some stupid gene that takes over in people? Yesterday when I was driving it seemed that I was either behind someone who thought it necessary to drive 20 mph despite there only being intermittent drizzle at the time, or in front of some idiot who was determined to weave in and out of traffic with no blinker at 50 mph on city streets (which is stupid enough, but even more stupid with sudden puddles everywhereand people not driving like their normal selves).

This is the kind of day to just curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book--which, actually works out well today, since I went out to my car this morning and had a dead batteryand am not going anywhere at the moment. I'll call AAA in a bit, but first I have to do some stuff around the apartment (which includes reading a good book which is due back at the library tomorrow). While we're in a ranting mood, however, here are a couple more things that have been bothering me:

Public doors: When I went to the post office the other day, there was a woman who walked quickly out of the parking lot and into the post office with me a few steps behind her. She pushed the door to enter the post office...and let it swing back into my face, not even turning around to see if anyone was behind her (there was--me!). This seems to happen more often lately. Excuse me, people, but how frigging hard is it to turn your head halfway over your shoulder and use your peripheral vision to see if there's anyone there so you don't let the door slam into them??? Or, another favorite--when I walk into a building and I do check to see if someone is behind me, and I hold the door open for them to be polite...and they walk right in, without an acknowledgement of any sort that somehow the door magically stayed open for them, as if they expected me to be their personal door-holder-opener. What the heck has happened to simple "please" and "thank you"??? Or "excuse me" instead of pushing by in a crowd if someone has to get past? They're called manners, everyone, though it seems they're on the endangered species list.

Manicured little girls: Can I just say ewwww?!? I admit, when I was little it was very exciting to get a Tinkerbell cosmetic set (do they even still make Tinkerbell cosmetics?), and I couldn't wait to put the nail polish on to feel grownup. It was very sheer, from what I remember, mostly clear polish with a hint of color. Flash-forward to present day: my husband and I were out a while ago and I saw a girl who was probably about 12 years old, who had long, fuschia nails, possibly acrylic (I wasn't close enough to see that). I was so curiously horrified that I could not stop staring at her hands--I mean, they were very long, and very fuschia--not something I expected to see on a tween. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw something that topped the 12-year old fuschia nails--a girl of maybe 8 or 9 who was sporting french-manicured acrylic nails. I couldn't decide which was worse, the fact that an 8-year old had acrylic nails (they weren't press-on nails for play, these were salon-quality), or that she was fashion-conscious enough to have them french-tipped. I know, to each his own, but there was something so monumentally disturbing to me about this, as if I could tell just by looking at this girl that she would grow up to become one of those people who just walks through doors held open for them without so much as a how-do-you-do. I guess part of it is that girls grow up fast enough these days--do we need to encourage the adulthood at such an early age? It's not a bad thing to be a girl instead of a woman--especially at 8 or 9. One of my sisters-in-law used to paint her 5-year old niece's nails for fun (still a bit young for nail polish, if you ask me). Now, instead, when the sister-in-law goes for her manicure, she takes her niece for a manicure, too. I'm trying very hard not to be judgemental, so suffice it to say that if I ever have a daughter, she will most assuredly NOT be going to a nail salon at five years old.

Oh wow, the sun came out. I guess my rants for today can go the way of the rain--come again some other day...


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