All Articles Tagged "rudeness"
Like some, when a new year rolls around I get a little nostalgic. During my reflection there’s been a memory that has not necessarily haunted me, but will always be with me, and it always reminds me to be thankful for my mother’s sometimes crass and overbearing behavior.
I’m originally a southern girl. Though I was born in Illinois, I was raised in Alabama, up until I was in 1st grade. People always assume that racism is stronger in the south, and maybe it was the fact that I was a child and I was ignorant to it then, but I was never really made uncomfortable about my race until moving to Illinois. Once we all got our own place, my sisters and I started playing in the neighborhood, eventually making friends. One of my friends, let’s call her Karen, was white and had two older brothers. The reason why this friendship was such a “miracle” to my family was because Karen’s father and her two brothers were Neo-Nazis.
Karen and her mother was always sweet and my family loved them both, but we never dealt with her brothers or fathers. However, they found us interesting. Though they once egged our house and put swastika flags in their window one day facing our house, it wasn’t anything compared to the horrible things they did the other black family that lived right next to them. While playing hide and go seek, we would occasionally find their “White Power” and “Die N-Word” rhetoric on hiding stations, but after living there for years, it was as if we fell off their radar. It wasn’t until a hot summer night my sisters, mother and aunt were in our living around 10:30pm watching television with the front door open.
We heard a knock and we all turned to the door to see a nervous and shuffling Karen. I jumped up excited to see my friend and my immediate instinct was to open the screen door. The moment I reached to unlock it my mother yelled: ”KENDRA-DON’T-YOU-OPEN-THAT-DOOR!” I rolled my eyes and talked to Karen through the screen. ”Hey Karen, why are you here so late?” She looks off into a shadow where there was whispering. She looks back at me and says: ”Can Kendra come?” To say I was confused was an understatement because, she was clearly talking to the only Kendra in the house. So I ask her: ”Karen, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” My sisters and aunt went to windows and peeked out and started pointing at figures moving in the shadows. I heard the whispers getting more frantic and the only end result was that I was getting more confused. I heard “tell her to open the door” from the shadows, and before I realized it, my mother grabbed me by my shoulder, pulled me from the door and yelled at Karen for coming to our house so late before slamming the door in her face.
Part of me wanted to get mad at my mother for being rude, but a LARGE part of me felt relieved. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew once Karen started listening to “the voices” that I was safe within the confines of my house. My sisters and aunt who lived with us began to tell me how they saw what looked like her brothers, while one family member said they saw a third person. Moments like that stick with you, and you can find yourself wondering: ”Oh my goodness, what would have happened if I opened that door, or went with Karen?”
Karen and I stayed friends before my family and I moved a year later and all she could say about that night was that her brothers asked her to. She had no idea what they had planned, but they thought I should come over. Once we moved, I lost contact with Karen. The overwhelming sense of relief that my mother intercepted my interaction wasn’t realized until I was in college and my mother called to tell me that Karen’s father had just went on a killing spree. His wife divorced him and took the kids. Fearing for her life, she got a restraining order and moved away, not telling him where she was. In retaliation, he killed her parents, attempted to kill her sisters, and shot a few cops before killing himself.
Now, I’m not saying that if I would have opened the door that day that I would have shared that same fate, or that my body would have been swinging from the large tree they had behind their house (“A Time to Kill” was really big at that time, so that imagery sticks with me), but it’s an overwhelming feeling to realize the close proximity I had to someone who was capable of killing people he knew for years, what would have happened to some “N-Word” he only tolerated?
Though I don’t like when people are rude (especially when I go to restaurants with them, I don’t want the server spitting in my food!), I can’t help but feel thankful whenever I think about my mother’s abrasive measures when Karen came to the door that night. Without that, I really don’t know where I’d be right now…
My mother always told me that you can tell how a person was raised by how great/poor their manners are. If I were to take make my mama’s views my own, I’d assume that almost every other person was raised by a pack of wolves in an untouched forest. I don’t wish for us to revert to the Victorian or Elizabethan ages manner-wise, but My God, some of us can do treat others a little more nicely, and carry ourselves with a little more respect.
So, here are 6 signs of poor manners. Hopefully none of our readers will see their traits within these scenarios. And of course, please list what you consider to be poor manners in the comments section. We’ll be looking for them!
The conversation started off with a lean and a “girl, can you believe…” So, I knew it was about to get real. The follow up question didn’t live up to my expectations though.
It went something like, “Girl, can you believe this woman just asked me where I got my hair from?”
I sat back and thought for a minute, then said, “… And you were offended by that?”
Though, her weave was expertly sewn into her head, a black woman would have had to be completely ignorant about weave culture to know that this hair didn’t grow out of this woman’s head naturally. I always thought that if you wanted to know where a woman’s hair came from, you simply asked her…politely. It was something I’d seen done often. I would have taken such a question as a compliment. A black woman would obviously inquire because she admired or planned to duplicate the look for herself.
This woman didn’t see it like that. She said, “You go through all this trouble, trying to make it look real, only for people to come up to you and ask where you got it. It’s rude.”
Hmm…now if the woman ran up on her and put her fake hair on blast for all the world to hear, then maybe that’s one thing; but as a woman who’s worn weave before, it’s not something I would have been offended by. I would have taken it as an opportunity to help my fellow sista tap into her own level of flyness. But that’s just me.
We want to know what you think about this.
Has a woman ever asked you where you got your hair? How did you respond? Do you think it’s rude to ask a woman where she bought her hair?
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