People today are self-absorbed. They don’t care what anyone thinks. There is less focus on discipline, integrity, boundaries, fairness, honesty, and respect. Living in society is not getting everything you want. It’s not about focusing exclusively on your own wants and needs. It is about being a useful and respectful person in society.
Based on my experience as a legal adult for the past 13 years, I’ve found that about a quarter of people are self-absorbed, self-centered assholes and feel entitled to do anything they want. And what sucks is that people don’t get to dictate policy regarding who gets to invade their personal space with disrespectful behavior. Man-sitters can take up the space of three people and create a hazard when they stick their feet out in high-traffic areas. Business travelers wrapped up so tightly in their own business don’t realize that lengthy speakerphone conversations and taking up all the outlets at the charging station ruin things for those around them who just want to juice up their phones enough to check their e-mail or call home.
Fruit Ninja at full volume shouldn’t be your only entertainment in restaurants, but some people act like it is. Dining companions, please try to corral your friends when they’re being obnoxious. I know you don’t want to, but I sure as hell don’t want to. It might make you uncomfortable to call out your friends, but it saves them from getting… spoken to by a far less forgiving restaurant patron. Like an off-duty bouncer who just came for a margarita. If you don’t correct your friends when they’re being assholes, someone else will.
Assholes change the dynamics for the adults trying to relax. Obnoxious, loud people who can’t keep their conversations to their own table and drunk, rowdy sports fans whose friends can’t be bothered to cut them off ruin people’s evenings. This sense of entitlement takes many forms. I’ve had assholes bring sandwiches piled high with raw onions onto a plane so they can eat them three hours into a six-hour flight, or spread out two laptops on their tray table to take up all the space in the row. That’s just not appropriate. It shows an utter lack of consideration for others; it’s as if these assholes live in a bubble, unaware of everyone around them.
Today’s sense of entitlement guarantees that you’ll hear people shouting at each other, talking loudly on the phone, watching loud YouTube videos, and making drunken passes at fellow patrons in an airplane, store, bar, restaurant, train, sidewalk, or any other public place. If you’re not going to act like an adult, and your friends aren’t going to make you act like an adult, then I don’t want you around me. Who would want your disruptive, bad-behaved ass in their immediate vicinity? Basically, you are being a person that only your friends can love–and tolerate. And for the record: They’re not loving you much right now either.
Assholes in a bar are a buzz kill; and God forbid you tell one to keep the volume down! Other patrons and even the friends of people who act like assholes wish restaurant and bar owners had a strict “no assholes” policy. If you just do anything you want, you’ll drive us crazy when you’re out on your own and people don’t cater to you. You can’t pay me enough to be your baby-sitter.
I’m not an asshole-hater. Wait, no, I totally am. I totally, totally hate assholes.
ETA clarification, because apparently clarification is needed: Now that we’ve established that ranting about the minor and even major unpleasantries of human interaction comes across as misanthropic and curmudgeonly, can we also agree that harassing mothers (and it’s always mothers who get the abuse) when their kids commit similar or even lesser offenses smells strongly of Get Off My Lawn And This Is My Frisbee Now? And can we agree that if Bar Drunk and Onions On A Plane are both so insignificant as to be unworthy of mention, it’s possible that the question of kids in public might not warrant 3,403,942 rounds of debate?