Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why So Angry?

We had a few errands to run in town today. The weather has been beastly hot, so we made a quick run into West Omaha.

Why is everyone in West Omaha perpetually angry? I don't mean the annoyed angry people get when the need to stand in line-I mean angry. Hostile, mean, crazy angry. I don't know what goes on in their churches around here on Sunday, but all the nicely dressed, fresh-from the house of worship parents and children looked like they were ready to kill someone (which , coming from church they probably ought to know is generally frowned upon). You have a day to spend with your family-can't you take a deep breath and try to enjoy your children?

Don't misunderstand-I'm fully in favour of anger. Anyone that has spent time in my company has heard me (frequently) lose-it over some outrageous example of stupidity, or rudeness. You don't want to know the sorts of things I scream at cars when driving. No, I'm not one to refrain from anger-but it isn't a constant state. I scream at the idiot in his car passing me on the right at 90 mph, and then, I'm over it. I don't stomp about like some sort of boorish, spoiled child day after day. It must be exhausting.

I do my best to avoid West Omaha, but on the occasions when I'm forced by weather, or convenience to do errands there, I find that speaking to people in a voice you would ordinarily reserve for a slow three year old is rather effective.

Me: (to woman talking on iPhone next to blueberry display, of which she has already selected hers from) Excuse me.

Simple enough request, correct? I was polite.

Mind, I made eye contact-she heard me, knew I was speaking to her, and continued chatting as though I did not exist, or merit a response. She was in her church clothes, and had what looked like one of those expensive streaky hairdo jobs. You know what people around here consider a, "nice person."

So I employed the speaking to a slow child tone, complete with high-pitched, sing-song-y pattern.

"Pardon me, but you see, other people would like blueberries as well."

Well, that got an angry scowl, but she did move along, and at least an angry scowl acknowledges me as a human being, so I take it as a sign of progress. I would never think to speak to an actual child this way, but now I find it useful for dealing with fifty year old middle class women in West Omaha.

No comments: