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Parenting the Whole Wide World

As above, it was a good day on the “farm”…but a crappy day everywhere else.

I called a phone number.  An answering machine picked up, with a terse, “leave your message,” about the same time a tossed pen impacted my thumb-bone in a painful fashion.  I did not leave a message, figuring I’d call back later when my thumb didn’t hurt quite so badly, and when someone might be home to answer the phone.

Phone rings.  It’s a sullen teenaged voice, “You just called?”

Er, yeah.  I really HATE that.  If I had wanted to leave a message, I would have, son.  Cunningly enough, you have in place an actual answering device to handle said calls, and you choose to filter all calls through said machine, ergo, if someone does not leave a message, then it must not have been important.

“Had I wanted to leave a message,” I replied carefully, “I would have done so.”  And hung up.

Not the most charitable of responses on my part, admittedly, but, as detailed above, I really HATE that.

The phone rings again.  “Um, yeah, did someone there just be rude to my son on the phone?”

The phrasing is not exact but I think illustrates the inelegant grammar of the caller quite nicely.  I explained to her that I did indeed call their number, but by mistake.  A white lie, I admit, but I was already fairly torqued and would be damned if I’d be dealing with them in the matter for which I had originally called.

“What number did you call?” she asked.  I had to laugh, and asked her why that mattered…I got an answering machine and hung up.  And I found it exceedingly rude to be *69-ed by a complete stranger, had I wanted to leave a message, I WOULD HAVE!!!

“Well, it was RUDE to CALL my number…” she shouted.  I lost it, both my temper and my hold on the near-hysterical giggles.  “How is it rude for someone to put your telephone to the use for which you presumably purchased it?!?” I yelled right back.  “Have a nice night, y’idiot!!”


This evening’s email brought a little gem from a woman intent absolutely excoriating me for having a hand in a law firm’s posting of a blog entry that made mention of her friend’s motorcycle accident death.

“Erm,” I explained, “I did a site design for this domain over two years ago, but I have nothing whatsoever to do with the CONTENT they choose to put on their site.  Not to mention they A) aren’t even using the site design I made for them, and B) operating under a completely different site concept (used to be a personal blog, now a site for personal injury lawyers).  Take your complaints to the site owners, lady.”

She actually writes back, still with the lambasting, saying I clearly was also culpable in profiting off her (no-doubt) dear friend’s death because I am credited with the design of said lawyer’s site.

I confess at this point I became rather pointed, the specifics of which I shall spare you, my gentle lamb-like readers.

I find I do not react well to rudeness these days.  Bringing it to the perpetrator’s attention, in as sarcastic and cutting a manner as possible, is so much more satisfying.  This goes for phone calls, emails, grocery store visits, what have you, I’m not picky.

I haven’t the faintest clue where to lay the blame for the increasing lack of courtesy in the world (though our instant-gratification society is a big old front-runner), but I’ve Officially Had It.  Like Ms. Violent Acres here, I’m all about pointing out the rudeness these days.  Husband has been doing it for some time, a skill of his of which I remain in awe.  I usually am so very aghast at the rudeness that I let the Golden Repartee Moment slip by.  No longer, by gum.  If you’re rude, I’m going to call you on it, and maybe next time you’ll remember to NOT be rude.