Rude moms

talking womenYears ago, my parents took us to the Christmas show at Radio City. What I remember more than the falling soldiers routine or live camel on stage was how the group next to us talked the entire time.

For the full two hours they gabbed about everything from Christmas gifts to their drunk uncle to the homeless man who scared them in the Port Authority.

Why, I wondered, would you come to a show to talk? Coffee shops are for that nonsense, or bars.

We said “please stop talking.” The ushers asked them to quiet down. Management got involved. And yet, the conversation continued. Nothing worked.

Their behavior was not only disruptive to all the (paying — those tickets ain’t cheap) theater-goers seated around them, but it was terribly disrespectful to the performers.

I was reminded of this yesterday during family day at the library. The event started with 30 minutes of reading and songs and concluded with crafts, games and entertainment.

We got there before it started, and settled in with C among the other children and parents. Promptly at 10, two librarians greeted everyone and began the program.

libraryThey used props and made funny sounds. The children paid attention and the parents watched, smiling and snapping photos.

Well, all the parents except two. Two moms — we’ll call them Hoodie 1 and Hoodie 2 — talked the entire time. This wasn’t the occasional observation or comment, but rather a 30-minute conversation about their lives.

I gave them several looks, complete with a frown and pursed lips (good thing I don’t have Botox). H2 looked back, but they didn’t stop.

The librarian gave them looks, but they continued, arms crossed, talking.

R focused on them, catching H2’s eye, but they were too engrossed in their riveting chat to care (or notice) they were not only disrespecting the children, but the librarians.

I debated asking the women to please be quiet, or to go out in the hall, or another room, but feared this would cause a scene and, as a result, a greater distraction. I also worried “take your conversation outside” could be perceived as “take this outside.”

It was too cold for that. Fighting terrifies me. Not to mention, it’s tacky and ineffective and sets a far worse example.

On the way home, R asked why I was so surprised by these women.

“Rudeness seems to be the norm these days,” he said. “People are so self-absorbed they can’t notice how their behaviors or actions affect others.”

We also talked about how if no one says anything the cycle doesn’t stand a chance of stopping.

He’s right.

We will try this event again (there’s a similar one later in the month) and, if something similar happens, I’ll speak up — in a calm and quiet voice, at the end, when I’m not interrupting the leaders or the participants.

And I’ll be sure to blog about it, even if I’m in traction.






6 thoughts on “Rude moms

  1. Alan Ilagan

    I agree, and I don’t think it’s just Moms, but people in general who are losing touch with simple human decency, particularly at public events like movies or shows. The problem is that if they’re as self-centered and obnoxious to so rudely behave, they’re usually going to fight back, which is why I rarely say anything either. Then again, withering glances work about 85% of the time for me.

  2. Denise

    My nephew was in a concert / fundraiser at Crossgates yesterday. While I fully accept that its the mall, and people will be walking past and talking I was SHOCKED by the mall employees’ behavior. Three of them stood behind us (in an area clearly marked for audience members) laughing, talking loudly, and watching some sort of video on a phone THAT PLAYED MUSIC. As I was walking over to them to ask them to stop, a man from the audience beat me to it. I was shocked when they said no. I heard one of them say something about “personal time”, as they kept shaking their heads. They did actually stop, but the question then becomes what happens next? You ask Hoodies 1-2 to be quiet and respectful– and they say no? !

  3. Simone

    I know this isn’t exactly like 2 mothers being rude but recently I attended our normal church service. A family sat behind me and I thought that it was nice to see a family bringing their children to church. The kids were maybe 4 or 5. Halfway through the sermon the mother started reading them a book. It was very rude in my opinion. All I could hear was her reading the book. I was shocked that they thought it was ok to read during this time.

    1. Tara

      if the hoodies weren’t going to be engaged they should have have stepped away.

      Mom reading to children in church during sermon is outrageous! There are much better ways to handle the situation.

      As a child, my cousins and I grew attending church that didn’t have children’s services during main sermon, but gram and granddad had a plan and stern looks to deal with us. My gram, to deal with the inevitable restlessness, sat in back of church (plus all 4 kids) give us stern looks and eventually the bag quiet would be unleashed. The bag of quiet was books to read silently, crayons and coloring books. The bag was a last resort, we were not allowed to whisper or talk to each other, and there were consequences for stepping out of line.

  4. Nicole Maguire

    I don’t normally speak up either but when we took our kids to see Maleficent in the theater, we were parked right behind a group of obnoxious teenagers. I asked them to be quiet, nicely, twice and they gave me the stink eye twice. I was “that” lady but they left and two other moms thanked me…

  5. Lori F

    Unfortunately, it is people in general who have no idea how their behavior affects others. Last night I went to see, “South Pacific” at SLOC. Sitting behind me were two couples. During the first half, the two women talked throughout and one of them sang along with almost every song! After intermission, all 4 talked throughout the overture and then started talking once the actors took the stage. At this point, I did turn around and said, “Please, please, I am begging you to stop talking!” They were silent for the rest of the performance, but it was still quite annoying.


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