Monday, December 28, 2009

Keep Your Parking Lot Etiquette in Check

Or, alternately titled, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???"

Have you gone to Target/Wal-Mart/Kroger/Kohls/etc. to get the half-off Christmas cards for next year and drastically reduced and broken to bits candy canes? I haven't braved the crowds yet. I say "yet" because the idea of Hershey's Kisses at 75% off is just too tempting to pass up.

So, what is it like out there? Are the checkout lines a marathon event to rival Black Friday? Are the parking lots a mess? Texan Papa had some first hand experience with the asphalt jungle before Christmas. He was outside hell Toys R Us to find a puzzle for our Angel Tree adoptee. He saw someone pulling out of a parking spot, so he waited and put his blinker on. While pulling out, another car drove up and decided to wait for the spot also because the car that was backing up was obstructing the view of TP's Jeep. When the spot was available, TP pulled into the parking space and to say he got an earful from the other person waiting for the spot, well that's an understatement. I think many obscenities were used and I believe the bird was flown more than once. Not by my husband, though. He thinks these incidents are just another chance encounter with the dregs of society. I mean really, is a parking space SO important? Is it worth raising your blood pressure over having to walk an extra 30 feet to the front of the store?

Just before Christmas, I was watching the Today Show and saw a video of a Ft. Lauderdale man being run over by a car. This man, a college professor and landlord of an apartment building, asked the driver of the car to move his vehicle off the grass from where it was parked. Apparently the driver didn't like the way he looked or the way he asked it or something. So he decided to use his car to chase and run over the landlord/professor.

Good Lord, what has the world come to? When in the world did we cross that threshold from "running a person down with my car is inconceivable" to "running a person down with my car is my right and an acceptable expression of my rage"? I mean, if there's one thing I'm trying to teach my kids, it's that being angry is okay. Anger is an emotion. We can't control our emotions. However, what we CAN control is our reaction to our anger. When did that lesson quit getting taught? When did freedom of speech evolve into freedom to do whatever the hell I want?

America is going to hell in a handbasket, whatever that means, but I know it's not good.


Bear and Bones Mama said...

Anger is a topic we are constantly...working on with our 5 year old. That anger is ok, but how do you express is, what is appropriate, etc. What do you do? Our 5yo is so quick to light up when he's told no or "wronged" or, it seems to be, the light from the sun shines incorrectly in his view. We've talked about a child therapist to help since we often feel inadequate in helping him - our tools wrong somehow. I'd love some advice or thoughts or ANYTHING!

Wendy said...

I had to go out on Dec 26 and it was a NIGHTMARE.

Mostly all I can say to this post is "amen... amen... amen."

On the topic of anger, I struggled with anger for a very long time in my daily life. Something I learned is that even anger is within our control. One of my pet peeves is "I can't help how I feel." It is so untrue. We have an initial reaction, but by our actions & our choice of how to think we control our emotions, too.

I don't want to teach my kids to stuff their emotions, but I don't want them raised how I was, by people who are ruled by their emotions & generally out of control.

In an era where everyone is taught that being angry is okay... everyone is angry and out of control. Maybe anger isn't okay after all. Col. 3:8 says "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." If you can "rid yourself" of anger & rage, then you ~can~ help how you feel.

At the very least, when I began to see anger as a choice, it stopped being a problem for me.

I mostly see those 'dregs of society' as people who are perpetually in a state of child-like immaturity. When did it become acceptable to act like a toddler forever? Working with young girls I recently saw a 9-year-old girl have a screaming, stomping tantrum. This was unheard of when I was a kid - that kind of child would have been ostracized by the other kids. Now it isn't all that unusual. It isn't even acceptable to tell mom that her kid's behavior was inappropriate: she would just defend her kid.

You're right. We're all in a big hand basket & I'm pretty sure I know where we're headed.

Jennifer said...

Well I would answer while you're pregnant, but that just doesn't seem to be appropriate.

But seriously. If I could control myself from mowing people down in that hormonal state of misery then everyone should be able to.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Wendy, you know, I think you are so right and I"m going to rethink my position on emotions. I need to help my kids understand that emotions CAN be controlled. I know that I didn't really learn how to control my emotions until I was older (I could control my reactions, but I felt helpless to control my tears, my anger, etc.) I'm going to figure that one out.

And BBMama, the only advice I can give is to be really deliberate in what you tell your kids. For example, don't say things like, "Be nice" or "Be respectful". Instead, be specific. Say things like, "If you don't like it, you can say, 'I don't like that but okay.'" Instructions like "be nice" or "Don't be mean" are too vague for kids. They still need the instruction book on life and how to talk. I mean, SPECIFIC instructions! ha ha

Someone Being Me said...

Here in my part of Texas I didn't see that many people out shopping on the 26th. Our Target was busy but not any busier than a typical Saturday. It did seem like pretty slim pickings though as Target had already emptied several of the holiday aisles. We also went to Hobby Lobby and Big Lots and both were not very busy but also didn't have a lot of selection either.

Gigi said...

One of the most profound thing I ever read (sorry can't give credit where due-can't remember where I saw it) was "you can't change people; only your reaction" (totally paraphrasing) - but it's true! And once you realize this you can let a lot of stuff go. But you are 100% right-people aren't being taught how to behave anymore and it both saddens & sickens me. But reading blogs (and comments) like yours give me hope...

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Oh, gosh Gigi. I can't believe I give you hope... I kinda always thought that I simply added to the lunacy quotient of the world. Nice to know that I might actually help it level out...


Foursons said...

This is one reason why I only shop in the middle of the week in the early morning hours. The only other people who are out and about are old. Very old.

Gigi said...

TM - yes you give me hope - because when I read about how you are raising your kids (and how most of your commenters are) I have hope that the next generation will be more polite, respectful and generally nicer than some that are currently out there! As hard as it is - keep it up! You are doing a great job!

Landshark said...

Haven't had to brave Toys R Us in quite a while. I can't tell if I miss it or not, but...probably not. We live in the D/FW area, too (okay...we live in FW), so I'm guessing you're anticipating Part II of the winter storm just like we are. What's worse? Little kids who get cabin fever or big ones who drive and insist that winter storms don't pose a problem with their transportation?

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