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Donna Gets it Right ----

9 - 9 -04

Excuse Me, Ms. SUV-lady

I’ve noticed, and not just recently, that hardly anyone says “excuse me” anymore. Why is that?

On any crowded Saturday at the grocery store, I’ll notice someone who wants to get past someone else. I watch them stand there, shift their hips, roll their eyes, sigh loudly or do the really annoying fake cough. Finally the person blocking the aisle will turn around and say “Oh, sorry did you want to get by?”

Even my husband doesn’t want to say it. He looks at me and whispers “I’ll let you say it.” Let me? Do I have some magical way of making someone move? I mean, I don’t mind saying it. I ALWAYS say it. For reasons unknown to me, my Mom is the same way as Ted. She’ll stand behind someone forever, waiting for them to move. I always have to whisper to her, "Mom, say 'excuse me'."

I guess the worst of all is the person who says it, rudely, and still bullies their way past, practically knocking you over before you can get out of the way. It infuriates me. Why is it so hard to say excuse me?

My 3 year old can make a 400 lb. man move by just using those 2 little words. Even though his “excuse me” starts with “BEEP, BEEP”, it still works.

I think it’s just plain common courtesy. It seems though that people these days have no idea what common courtesy means. If we break it down, common means "general, belonging to or shared by all". (Translation: we’re all supposed to know about it). Courtesy means "a polite or considerate act".

Hmm, I think I’m on to something here. It’s the courtesy part that’s the kicker. Some people just weren’t taught to be courteous. Courtesy is more than just saying “please” and “thank you”. It’s letting someone go ahead of you in line when you have a basket full and they only have 2 items. It’s leaving a room when you need to talk on your cell phone. Just like the definition says, it’s an act.

The one place I wish I could say excuse me is in traffic. When I’m all the way in the right hand lane and need to quickly get into the left hand lane, being able to say excuse me would be advantageous. As it is, I have to use the blinker, and then wave my arm furiously to let someone know that I need to get over, NOW!

This very thing happened to me recently. After Tropical Storm Gaston ravaged the Richmond area and left so many without power, I stopped to get my ex Mother-in-law some hot water so she could have her tea. I needed to get 2 lanes over to get to a 7-11 store. I blinkered, checked my rearview mirror and saw an SUV coming, but had plenty of room to go. As I started into her lane, she sped up, trying to cut me off. I waved my arm, but she kept coming. So I put on the brakes and tried to get back into my lane but was still a little bit in her lane. She swung around me, practically came to a stop and started to chastise me (cuss me out), through her closed window. My kids were in the car so my censor was on. I mouthed back to her “thank you so much, blah blah blah!” which she obviously didn’t appreciate. So now she really gets angry and starts pointing at me furiously………with her cell phone.

So people please, do as Bill and Ted say, “Be excellent to each other”……

Until Next Time…..



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