I feel lucky to live where I live. Though I’ll curse the frigid cold come January/February, it truly is a beautiful area. The small city I work in is located on beautiful Lake Champlain, where I can sit and admire the Green Mountains of Vermont. As often as I can, I grab lunch to go and venture to a quiet spot on the lake to unwind. Today was one such day, but I got a few more spectacular views than I bargained for.
Pulling up beside me was a black BMW with New Jersey plates. Jersians…ugh. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a few friends from Jersey; but most of them had the good sense to leave the state and arrogant folk behind. Out of the car sashays a beautiful dark haired young woman and who would appear to be her Mother. They fuss in the back seat for a bit, but I can’t tell over what with the heavy window tint. Finally they emerge with the most adorable baby, a diaper bag, and a changing pad. I have children – I know these items well. They saunter over to the picnic table directly in front of my car, obstructing my view of the gorgeous lake. They ooh and aah over the baby, making her giggle uncontrollably, and then they begin laying out “the tools”. Seriously? ON THE PICNIC TABLE? First of all, other people will eat here. Second of all, I am eating here! I understand their desire to not get poop in the BMW. I understand that automobile seats have an awkward slant which keeps the baby rolling toward the back rest. I also understand there’s a CHANGING STATION in damn near every public bathroom in the U.S.A. (even in most men’s rooms – GASP!). Common sense and consideration for others, people. Not difficult concepts. I always changed my children in private; if not for the sanity of others, just to keep wandering perverts from seeing their cute little baby butt cheeks.
I shake my head in disgust and visualize myself chucking French fries at them, summoning a flock of pooping seagulls. I’m snapped back to reality by the thought of the baby being dive bombed and having her adorable eyes plucked out by ravaging seagulls. Mom and Grandma pack things up, toss “the package”, load back into the car, and take off.
Just as I’m regaining a portion of my appetite, an old Econoline van with Indiana plates pulls up beside me. Out hop an Asian husband & wife, stretching and cleaning wrappers and water bottles from the van. I’m thinking how fun it must be to travel across the country in a conversion van with the one you love when Asian husband rounds the van with a toothbrush and a bottle of water. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. He stands near my driver’s side headlight, pours water over the toothbrush, brushes away as he paces in front of my car, SPITS, takes a gulp of water, and SPITS again! Having an above average violent thought process, I see myself starting the car and nudging him as he gargles. Just a little nudge. Some people need that, y’know? Asian wife seems to find absolutely nothing wrong with her husband’s behavior, in spite of the fact that you know what else this restaurant has inside? BATHROOM SINKS! Asian wife climbs into the back of the van, rifles around a bit, and emerges with dental floss. Well, thank God! What would a tooth brushing be without floss? Yep, Asian husband proceeds to very laboriously floss between each. and. every. tooth. I wish I’d had the stomach to be thinking to take pictures of the contortions of his face at this point. He looked like an Asian Gilbert Gottfried flossing, rinsing, swishing, spitting. Lunch was over. OVER. I stared guiltlessly and incredulously at this man, thinking perhaps I was being Punked! (At least 3 times a week I’m highly suspicious Ashton Kutcher is lurking in the bushes).
People, I know we all have the same bodily functions and hygienic needs, but allow me to share a word: MODESTY. As humans, we appreciate aesthetic beauty and fresh scents. We want each other to show up fully groomed and smelling wonderful. What we don’t necessarily want is to see the process which got you there. I was MARRIED and never had the desire to see my husband brush/floss/pee/etc. I most certainly don’t want to see anyone else doing it. In public. While I attempt to eat my lunch.
Etiquette, folks…get you some.