Friday, February 29, 2008

I really don't understand people

I brought Brandon to the beach today. After we had been there for a while, there were these two women who showed up...I honestly don't know what the hell they were thinking, but let me try to recreate their train of thought as I would imagine it had to have been:

"Wow, what a beautiful day to lay our fat asses down on the beach and chain smoke! Hey look, that whole half of the beach [which is about the size of a football field] is empty...but I don't want to have to walk all the way over there! I mean, that would be an extra 30 feet! It would take a good 8 seconds to walk over there! Let's set ourselves up five feet away from this lady and her 2-year-old. Oh, wait, is she pregnant? Awesome! Let's make sure we're directly upwind of her!"

Honestly. Who plops down five feet away from ANYONE and starts smoking when there is literally NOBODY 10 yards away...let alone upwind of a pregnant woman and a toddler? Brian's response when I told him about it: "It's a public beach." But does being in public excuse you from being polite and courteous? HELL NO! If anything, good manners are MORE important when you're in public! Because who the hell cares how rude you are when you're home alone? The whole POINT of good manners is that you are considerate of OTHER PEOPLE.

So I gathered up my stuff and said, "come on, Brandon, we have to go home." Then I looked up and noticed the EMPTY half of the beach and thought...what the hell, why should I have to go home? Brandon is having a good time and that's not fair to him. Or to me. "Actually, Brandon, let's move over there. Come on, bud, we have to move. Follow Mommy."

What I really don't understand is that these women lifted their heads and looked at me as if they were SHOCKED that I got up and moved. Like it was rude of me to want to protect my children (born and unborn) from their smoke. It wasn't like I said what I said to make a scene or even to make a point; the only reason I even said anything out loud in the first place was to get my 2-year-old's attention! (And it's not like I said it loudly enough that they would have even heard it if they hadn't plopped down so damn close to me.) Regardless, it was clear that they thought I was being rude and unreasonable. For moving my pregnant self and my 2-year-old away from the smoking cigarettes they had lit FIVE FEET AWAY FROM ME, UPWIND.

Honestly. I don't give a shit if you kill yourself. I really don't. But don't consider me rude for wanting to keep my children away from you while you do so.


Dianne said...

I call these type of people - "Hooray for me, the Hell with You" people.

I am a smoker (yeah I know) but NEVER would I subject others to my issue. Even before all the laws - I never smoked anywhere near other people - especially children.

Remind me of something that happened just before NJ made all restaurants non-smoking.

I was at a family style place, the table next to us was full of a huge family - looked like 3 generations. There were 2 babies and a toddler. I went outside to smoke and when I came back the Mom of one and 2 other adults were smoking at the table. The Dad thanked me for caring more about his kids than his wife did.

Sunshine said...

I would have moved too, but I probably would have been muttering under my breath about the situation as I ambled on by them to relocate.

My MIL smokes like a chimney and I really wish she would stop.

Iowa just passed the law about no smoking in public places too. As a Libertarian I don't agree with it, but as a non-smoker I do reap the benefits. Which makes me sound like a hypocrite.

Should you see these two at the beach again, report in if they plop down next to you again or if they steer clear of the "rude pregnant woman"! :)

Mother Hoodwink said...

Why are people dumb? If they had given me any kind of stare, I would have said something.

Kerry said...

Dianne - "Hooray for me, the Hell with You" - YES, that's it exactly. I can't think of a better way to put it.

Sunshine - Hawaii has a no smoking in or within a certain distance (can't remember what it is) of ANY workplace, so...that's pretty much everywhere. You know, now that I think of it, the lifeguards were working, so technically the beach is a "place of work", so these women were breaking the law. Hmm.

Tara - The more pregnant I get, the less patience I have, so if something like this were to happen again in 3 or 4 weeks, it's very likely that I'll say something. Even though I'm normally WAY too passive-agressive for that.