Pointing out People’s Differences Makes you Rude

It has been way too long since I wrote a rant on here. I guess that is kind of a good thing, it means nothing too outrageous has been going on. But now it is time, I am a bit grumpy about a recent interaction.

I have been beating myself up for the last day since I witnessed a horrible woman rudely point out something about another person at the store in our town. I normally would have spoken up but to be honest, I was a bit shocked. I had my daughter with me who is seven and had to explain over and over how what this woman said was being rude. It was so strange that my daughter felt bad for the man in line, she did it to.

makes-you-rude

This is how the one sided conversation went.

I was in line at the small town grocery store we live in to pay for our things. Looked up and a gentleman was on the wrong side of the line. The teller let him know the line was on the other side and he walked over. As he approached the line a woman who was very loud while we were shopping said to him the following;

Hey Lurch, you can go ahead of me. I forgot my wallet in the truck.

The man looked at her with a perplexed look. He was maybe late 20s and very tall. I doubt he got the lurch reference. For those of you who do not know who Lurch is, he was the butler on the Adams Family. A tall, monster who lives with the family, almost Frankenstein like.

The man thanked her and stepped forward. But she continued.

God Damn! You must be what 7 foot?” She loudly said.

The man quietly responded “6 foot 7” He looked as though he shrunk with every word she shouted at him.

She then went on to talk about how she was average height and he was the tallest ‘F-er’ (I kid you not but she said the actual word) she ever saw.

The cashier was noticeably embarrassed for him. I was embarrassed for him. My daughter watched and says to me as we walk out “That woman was rude”.

This woman had a lot of noticeable differences that could have easily been pointed out. She was loud and rude and extremely rough around the edges and spoke like a truck driver. Her appearance was like nobody else I have seen in our small town. This I normally would have celebrated as I love when people are unique. But she was in  no place to point out other people’s differences. Her behavior made everyone in the store very uncomfortable. I wish I had told her she was rude. I wish I had said something to her to let her know how she was making this man and everyone else feel.

I empathized for him.

I may have been more sensitive to this as my boys are very tall. So much so they get it pointed out all the time when we are in public or meet new people. They know they are tall, they do not need to be reminded. I can understand the comments that are more out of curiosity or fun.

Where do you get your height from?

I can see why your mom takes you shopping, you can reach the top shelf” Almost every shopping trip we go on someone asks my boys to reach something they can not 🙂 These are harmless comments. My boys do not like to be the centre of attention or made to feel different.

Below is a quote from a movie my boys often repeat to each other as they can relate to the dialogue.

From the Internship-

Billy McMahon: [to Kevin] Me and you are the same height.
Kevin, Matress Salesman: [shakes head dismissively] We’re not the same height. We’re not the same height. I’m handsome tall – you’re the type of tall where, you walk through the airport, people stop what they’re eating and look at you. You’re like a freak.

I came home from the store and told my family we had just saw the rudest woman ever. I explained what happened and what she said. They could not believe it. All night it bothered me that I did not say anything to her. I let her make that man feel bad about himself. I wish I had spoken up.

As a redhead I always get asked strange questions and have people point out the obvious. Some in a curious friendly way and others, well it has been beyond strange. I know what it feels like to be made fun of for something you can not control. I know all too well how a stranger can strip you of your confidence and make you want to run for the door.

Why do people feel they need to make others feel so badly? What exactly made this woman think how she was treating this complete stranger was ok? I did use this experience as an opportunity to educate my own child but I wish I had done more.

I have learned to embrace my differences. They make me who I am. I try to teach this to my children as well. I hope the man realized this woman was inappropriate and I hope he brushed it off.

“The greatness of art is not to find what is common but what is unique.”

Isaac Bashevis Singer

With the new school season here I thought this was very timely. Our children will be meeting many different people and having them know each is different and unique is a great thing. Not something to make fun or or point out.

What would you have done? Have you had someone point out your differences and make you feel this way?

Comments

  1. That would be an uncomfortable situation. I’ve been at the end of a person like that lady. Except instead of height it was weight. Older women at the bus stop commenting I was “too skinny” and one even suggested I eat a sandwich. I kid you not. I ended up switching bus stops after telling them they had no right to judge. It’s one thing to be teased as a kid but by a grown adult? No thanks. I could have lashed back with insults of my own because nobody is perfect but I’d rather not lower myself down to that. Sometimes with people like that lady in your story, saying something would have probably made you her next target. You wonder if people like that actually own a mirror or hear themselves when they speak.

    • My thoughts exactly 🙁 I remember when you had that incident too. I guess we just need to look at it as a chance to educate our children and remind ourselves not to act like those horrible people.

  2. Wow, I don’t know what I would have done but I’m seriously one with no filter. If I had my kids with me it would be a bit different, but I can’t stand people like that lady. How rude. I would have probably spoken to the man, and ignored her – hoping she would chime in and I’d get my two cents with her but I may have also been shocked and just listened like you. I can’t believe people anymore!

    • I normally am one to speak up. It was just so shocking and bizarre. I hope he did not think too much about it after

  3. I’ve always been sensitive to this sort of thing and I guess that’s why I’m always careful to not say something to make people uncomfortable. We’re all different and we need to appreciate others what they are.

  4. I would’ve made it quite clear how belligerent the woman was and I probably would’ve said something along the lines of WTF makes her thinks she so perfect? If it continued, I’d walk right up to them and tell that young man that he could play for the NBA someday with his height and that I’d love to be that tall so I could look down on people such as this disgraceful woman insulting him, as I gave a really noticeably sly smirk at the woman.

  5. Doris Calvert says

    Oh I definately would be putting her in her place and make her feel like she made him feel and then they usually don’t do it again, I cannot stay quiet! I must admit the statement made to your sons about reaching the top shelf is something I would say, not to be rude but because I would be jealous as I ca hardly reach the second shelf and do not have a son to help me!Sometimes people donot realize howthey make others feel, so now I know not to say anything about the top shelf, I learned something today 🙂

  6. That lady probably lives in my building. I live with the rudest people ever. A while back one of the moms had her young son with her and decided to pick a fight with a grown man in the courtyard where everyone could see and hear. Her son was freaking out screaming and she was either oblivious or just didn’t care.

  7. LOL I once had a woman ask me if I dyed my 2 yr old daughters hair blonde …I have lived long enough to know that common sense, is NOT that common.

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