(asked by Alexandra H. currently in Paris)
1. Today while getting on the bus at a rear door (on a long bus, where it’s acceptable) I arrived at the ticket validater about 3 seconds before an older woman who was obviously in a big hurry. She tried to quickly get her hand in before mine, but since I was there before her she had no chance. When she saw she couldn’t intimidate me out of her way she “let” me go first. I validated my ticket and sat down. She then said to me in a sarcastic obnoxious tone “you should say thank you when someone allows you to pass in front of them”. I told her I was in front of her and saw no reason to thank her for resisting shoving me aside. She then complained loudly to her friend that she had let me go in front of her and I didn’t even thank her and was I “mal elevee”. Rediculous! She tried to push her way ahead of me and was unsuccessful, so I should apologise??
2. When walking down the street with my child in a stroller, an older couple didn’t see me (it was dark) and the woman stumbled on the wheel of the stroller. They then yelled at me for not excusing myself! I mean, I’m walking along minding my own business and I’m supposed to excuse myself because someone doesn’t pay attention to where they’re walking???
Why should I apologise for other people’s blunders or bad behavior? What’s the logic?
Is this just me or are you really just venting more than actually asking a question?
Well, I’ll answer anyway.
Well, you mentioned the Parisian (not French, please, just Parisian) “faux” manners and sense of self-entitlement. Here they are at work. And on that matter, worse than the Parisian, we have the Parisian older lady.
Parisian older ladies (especially from the bourgeoisie, actually you don’t see that type of behavior as much from poorer older ladies) think they have every right in the world, that they are always in the right and that they will do you a favor if they don’t treat you like crap.
Those people are despicable and don’t really deserve the respect that a normal older lady usually deserves and you shouldn’t bother giving it to them, ever.
I could give you many examples why those persons are pure evil, but that would be just me venting too and it wouldn’t be very constructive (I’m still mad at myself for not putting that one back in her place a few days ago).
I don’t think there’s much to add about this situation.
Well, here is an interesting one. See, there’s another thing that’s extremely annoying (not as much as older bourgeois lady, but not that far from it) in Paris, it is people with strollers.
I don’t know what’s up with Parisians, but they’re worse than rabbits, they produce babies these days like they’ve never heard the word contraception.
And a very unfortunate consequence of that behavior is strollers.
Especially because most of those young parents are bobos, so they feel compelled to have these horrible strollers that look like SUVs and that should simply be illegal.
Why am I saying that?
Because Parisian sidewalks were just not designed for those vehicles (or any vehicle for that matter, yes, I’m alluding to you scooter drivers) and are a pain in every pedestrian’s ass, and believe me they don’t need this in a city like Paris were car drivers think it should be legal to run over pedestrians.
Of course, we could all get along if young Parisian parents -especially mothers- showed some respect and didn’t feel like they have all the rights in the world and that everybody should jump out of the sidewalk when they arrive with their snotty-nosed humans-in-training. I don’t know what makes them think that, I hesitate between either the fact that as they think that their baby is the most special person in the world, why can’t we see it and bow on their passage or the fact that they are totally oblivious that the special privileges pregnant women have during nine months instantly disappear at the very moment they spat out their baby into the real world.
Sadly, it rarely happens, they think they have every right over you because they push that pseudo-vehicle with a pseudo-human in it (or because they are mothers and you’re not… even if you are, if you’re not pushing a stroller, it doesn’t matter to their eyes).
That being said, in your case, it’s totally possible that the woman bumped into you, I don’t know. I’m just saying…
(but strollers have bumped into me several times -and I understand, those things are unmaneuverable- and every single time, the woman expected me to excuse myself because I had dared touch her little dictator’s vehicle or something along those lines, so you’ll understand my suspicions)