Sunday, September 22, 2013

When men lean in

There's a certain kind of rudeness that exists only in Euphemistic NJ, or maybe a handful of places like it. It's not the blunt, no-nonsense rudeness of a city, or the suspicion of outsiders of a remote small town. It's... here's what it is. It's that you're about to go into a coffee place (with your husband, lest this seem like a gender issue) and you hear a man (middle-aged, white, otherwise nondescript) say to his friends that he's going in to get a coffee. As we were in the doorway to the coffee shop already - we'd arrived first - the man says "excuse me" and pushes his way in front of us. Not to meet up with someone already in the place, but simply to cut in front of us in line and order his (complicated, as one might imagine it would be) drink first. Why? Because his coffee and time were just that much more important than ours. But he didn't seem especially rushed. He just... wanted what he wanted, and, uh, leaned in.

It was the kind of thing where it would have been entirely appropriate to say something, but what stopped me was less the potential for making a scene (not that that didn't enter into it at all), but the sheer awe I was in at his sense of entitlement. It was just... people do that? I wasn't so much upset by what had happened as amazed. I've seen variants of this while driving, or while commuting by train, so I could see how it fit with... not by any means how everyone here behaves, but a certain percent of the population. But this was a truly beautifully-executed example.

5 comments:

Petey said...

I blame you for enabling such behavior.

And don't make a scene. Make a difference.

You had two perfectly viable options:

1) Taser the dude. No jury would convict you.

2) Do a Citizen's Extradition to the UK where an ASBO can resolve the issue in a more civilized manner.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem...

Phoebe said...

But... this guy provided me with entertainment! Maybe I'd rather encourage such behavior (to a point) because it's fascinating?

caryatis said...

People don't do that in New York?

Phoebe said...

Caryatis,

No, not in my extensive experience of NYC coffee shops.

Petey said...

"People don't do that in New York? ... No, not in my extensive experience of NYC coffee shops"

You might want to check out this informative post on the all-around superiority of urban environments.