Is This Really Necessary?

Ahh, summertime, and the livin' is easy. This past week has been soooo quiet and slow, I find myself wandering around the house almost...dare I say it?....bored. Ironically enough, it seems my office job always slows down in summer, and, coupled with summer recess for all my school and church music activities, I suddenly find myself with lots of free time. So, what have I been doing to pass the time? Starting a vigorous new exercise program? Working like a demon on revising my novel? Doing all kinds of good deeds for my many friends and neighbors?


Mostly this week, I've been loafing. I figure I've earned a few days of goofing off. For instance, this morning, after the ritual walking of the dogs, I hopped into the car and headed off to do some errands. I made an amazingly fast run through the drive-through at the bank, then an even quicker trip to Home Depot to pick up a couple more hanging baskets of petunias. Before heading on to the grocery store, I decided to stop at the Panera Bread next door to Home Depot, and indulge myself in a mid-morning coffee break.

At 10:45, the place was quite deserted, so I had my choice of tables, inside or out. With a cloudless blue sky, gentle breeze, and temperatures about 72 degrees, the choice was easy. I settled into one of several empty tables, sipped my coffee, while desultorily looking through a copy of the morning paper someone had left behind. Ahh, peace~what a treat!

Suddenly, a young woman burst through the door, followed by her male companion. I barely glanced up, because I was busy watching a mother duck leading her five babies across the grass toward a small decorative pond. The couple settled into the table behind me - they were both in their early 30's, dressed in business casual, and carrying some paperwork with them.

"I didn't mean to be so late," the young woman started explaining, in quite a loud alto voice. "My damn clock somehow got screwed up and I didn't wake up until about 20 minutes ago."

"No problem," her companion said. "Let just look at the schedule for next week, and we can...."

Loud electronic music begins to play. "Shit!" the young woman says. "Hang on. I've got to get that."

At this point, I decided to try and tune all this out, finish up my coffee and move on. After all, I'd been enjoying myself out there alone for all of 20 minutes - what more could I ask?

"Well, that is just all f...ed up!" came the young woman's vehement cry. "You just tell her there's no way in hell that I'll put up with that! That just really makes me so mad!"

A moment of silence.

"No way! You can just tell her to go f... herself! Yeah! Allright. Okay, Mom. See you later."

Now, I'm really not a prude, and I readily admit to using, well, colorful language on occasion. However... is this kind of verbiage necessary? And, in a conversation with your mother, while sitting in a public place with a co-worker?

There appears to be a trend toward using four letter words as normal adjectives in daily and very public conversation. It seeems to me a mark not only of disrespect, but of total igonorance. Had I been sitting at that table with a young child, would she have bothered to moderate her language? I rather doubt it. Because this young woman seemed totally oblivious to the fact that her words and tone could be offensive. She also seemed totally oblivious that anyone else was in the area, as is she and her concerns were the most important things going on in the universe. Once again, I found myself shocked and dismayed at the amazing self-centeredness that people can display.

Shaking my head, I tossed my empty cup into the trash, and headed toward my car, determined not to let this display of bad behavior spoil my day. That would just be too f(oul)ed up for words.