“Excuse me” – There, was that so hard?
Why is it that, in this over-crowded, bustling city that we live in, it has somehow become acceptable to graze or even bang into each other without so much as saying “excuse me”? In other words, why has it become okay to display a general lack of regard and outright rudeness to others?
Regardless of whether or not someone hurts someone else when they smash them in the arm as they walk by hurriedly, it is now the norm for people to continue on their way without so much as a backward glance at the person they assaulted.
It is not as though one cannot feel anything when coming into contact with another human being. It boggles my mind that I am treated as though I am thin air, especially when I know very well that the guilty party did in fact feel something when he or she hit me.
I can be walking along on any given day, minding my own business, often lost in my thoughts; that is, until someone smacks into my arm and knocks me back to reality.
Sometimes I feel like saying “I know you felt that. That’s not just thick air you felt; you hit me, and I have the bruises to prove it.”
To add insult to injury, occasionally when I make a face expressing my displeasure at having been knocked halfway across the sidewalk, some perpetrators have the audacity to look at me as if I have some nerve!
With technology such as it is these days, somehow people gradually began to feel that it was acceptable to keep their heads in their smart phones rather than watch where they were going. To make matters worse, once someone does bang into someone else, they offer no apologies.
If only the person would just say “excuse me” or “sorry”. I am not saying that I would ever be happy to be slammed into on the street, but those few simple words would go a long way. All I am asking for is an acknowledgement.
In fact, the other day when a woman bumped into me accidentally and actually said “Sorry”, after the shock wore off, I replied with a “Thank you.” I hope she did not think I was being sarcastic because I genuinely appreciated that she acknowledged her mistake. I was so grateful that I almost didn’t even mind being banged into by her.
I am not exempt from accidentally grazing another person with my arm or a bag I happen to be carrying. Funny enough, it happened recently, but the difference was that I immediately apologized – although I still received a dirty look which I thought was a little unnecessary from the woman I had bumped into, I understood her irritation nonetheless.
It is not actually okay to go around physically touching and jolting other people. Let’s put a stop to this new culture that behaves as if smashing into people on the street, malls or public transit is acceptable, and be a little more careful not to mention courteous.
If things continue as they are, one day, after one too many times of being carelessly bumped into by yet another self-absorbed, bad-mannered walker, I just may turn around and say “Could you please do that again – only this time say excuse me!”♦
Copyright © by Andrea Freedman March, 2015.