Monday, August 10, 2009

More people-watching

I meant to write about this when I got back from my trip a couple of weeks ago. I was standing outside the airport waiting for my ride. Standing in the shade with my luggage, trying to stay cool and not succeeding. I watched all kinds of people arriving, and observed their joy at greeting loved ones.

Along came an older couple - pushing two luggage carts piled high with luggage. A van pulled up to the curb and out got a man and a woman. The side doors of the van opened and there sat two kids - a girl and a boy, probably about 11 or 12. The girl was eating a bag of chips.

I was trying to figure out why the older couple had so much luggage, and why they were not even greeted by the people in the van. I expected hugs and kisses, but they didn't even say anything and just proceeded to deal with the luggage. I then decided that there was too much luggage for the older couple, and that the group had been traveling together and the younger family had gone to pick up the van. That explanation made sense, and so I moved on to the next part of my speculation.

The woman and older man struggled to push the carts to the van, and the two men proceeded to pile the luggage into the back. The older woman made her way to the other side of the van, looking for a seat, but the two kids just sat there and did not seem inclined to move over to let her in (I assume she was their grandmother). The girl just kept eating her chips, oblivious to making space, getting out and helping with the luggage, or doing anything other than moving her hand from the bag to her mouth.

I did not think the men could possibly get all the luggage in the back but they did. The older man got into the front passenger seat - I guess he was the grandfather. The younger man was the driver. The older woman slid in beside the boy, who moved over a bit towards his sister (who was still eating chips). The mother came back from wherever she'd gone (maybe the bathroom), and she slid into the other side - 4 people sitting in the second row intended to seat two. The woman pulled the door shut and off they went.

I was left with the feeling that the younger generation had not shown any consideration for the adults; they were self-absorbed and the adults allowed them to get away with it. If that had been my maternal grandmother she would have been calling us 'saps' and shamed us into getting out and helping. My grandmother loved her kids but she didn't worship them; I think she believed that they should worship her, as their mother. She might have been on the right track...


Life's a Beach! said...

I think my brother and I had a healthy enough fear of our father not to EVER act like that to adults, much less grandparents! I have noticed lately a lot of kids who seem really self-absorbed. They don't seem to notice if they're running someone over with their bike on the sidewalk. They expect the person to get out of the way. My pet peeve is kids on those damn skate shoes in stores. Parents allow them to race up and down the aisles. They scare the crap out of me, so I can't imagine how it must feel if you're elderly and feeling vulnerable and not as balanced. I'm always pleasantly surprised when kids are polite.

Leslie said...

oh, its not just kids, Sue...its young adults too, actually, including a lot of the generation directly behind US...we comment on it ALL the time....Lanny calls them "oblivious"...people who are so self absorbed they have no clue about anything else going on around them...I don't think they are necessarily trying to be rude...they just don't care so long as they are "where" they want to be...."I got mine, I don't care about you"...I agree we would not have done that growing up, we would have been smacked for it...but we weren't raised to think that we were "special" and entitled to anything we my soap box...sounding like an old folk!

Islagringo said...

I have so much to say on this subject but I'll just let it ride. Except maybe LAB should push her cart in front of the skating kids?

Bennie said...

Yes the kids do not act like they did when I was a kid either. I would have been told to get out and help had I sat there. Actually I would have been afraid to sit there and not offer help.

I even sat at the kids table for big family gatherings until I was nearly 20.

Sue said...

Beck - I don't know if we were afraid of our father (probably not), but we respected our elders and did what they told us to do. And "just because" was a good enough reason. Good point on how vulnerable the elderly must feel!

Leslie - agreed. Will be blogging about being an 'old folk' later today.

Wayne - too much to put in a blog comment, huh?

Bennie - that is too funny about sitting at the 'kids' table. I can't remember when I stopped being a kid and was expected to help out like an adult. Probably sometime in my teens. Kids take longer these days to take on the 'adult' role - partly our fault for letting them.