Sometimes I finish my other half’s sentences. But just when I know what he is trying to say. Then only when I feel he is grasping for words. Oh and occasionally when we are talking to each other, or to someone else. I even “help” him finish lines when he is talking on the phone. Then there are the times he is reading out loud from a magazine or a book when I chime in, ending a sentence, even if I don’t know the end of the sentence he is reading.
Well, seeing all the finish lines I cross for him, all gathered up like that, I talk for him a lot huh? Now that I can see my self-imposed helpfulness, I think this behavior is rude. Which makes me a rude little dickens. Rude. There is a strange sounding word. Rude. Rude. Rude. Nope no matter how many times you say it, it sounds, well, rude.
Just how far do you have to push the envelope before you become rude? Is it rude to blow your nose at the table? Depends on if you use a tissue or not! Yuck! I don’t think we should pursue this line of conversation. It would be rude–and gross.
Isn’t it still rude to put your hand in someone’s face as they are talking to you? Or talking over someone as they are talking? This last one I saw on television recently. Of course the people involved were major politicians so I guess they figure they are allowed to be just as rude as possible by talking over each other. Not to be outdone by these two bigwigs, the news commentators or talking heads also talk over each other. How do I decipher what actually is going on in the country when everyone talks at the same time? So you know what I did? I put my hand up in front of the television said, “Talk to the hand,” and stuck my nose in a book. Felt just wonderful.
There are so many ways to be rude that I had a time picking and choosing which rude behavior to focus on. Besides interrupting and that nose blowing situation, how about staring, ignoring, picking teeth, snapping gum in church, and cutting in line to name a few that can be named. Oh there are many more rude behaviors that are just not talked about.
But what is one of the first rude behaviors do we learn not to do? Pointing comes to mind. We start as small fries, pointing at things and people that are not what we usually see. Kids are very susceptible to pointing. And mothers are quick to grab hands that are pointing. She smiles as the object of “the point” looks back with either a knowing smile or a grimace angrily pointed at a child that knows no better. “It’s not polite to point,” the mother will say—but she usually will follow up by staring at what the tike was pointing at because she can’t believe that anyone would go to the store dressed up like a smurf and stand in the cereal aisle! Weird.
There are degrees of pointing. As an adult I don’t point with my finger, I point with my eyes or my head. We were recently in a store and I saw a young guy in the electronics department who was about six foot six inches tall which by itself isn’t all that uncommon. However to add to his height he had a very bright orange Mohawk that was about 14 inches tall and standing straight up. It wasn’t just on the top of his head. Oh no! It was from his forehead all the way down to the nape of his neck. Looked kind of like a sun burst from the side and I didn’t want my other half to miss the scenic view so I pointed—with my head. Must have looked like a bobble head going boinkity boink, like I had some sort of tick causing my head to bounce from upright to my left shoulder. Internally I was shouting at him, LOOK! LOOK!
Other times we point with just our eyes. Pointing with your eyes is a bit more subtle than head pointing. It isn’t eye rolling, which is pointing and communicating something like, “Oh brother!” at the same time. Eye pointing is like head bouncing—with your eyes. Do it a bit too vigorously and you could get eye strain. In eye pointing you try to get the attention of who you are with to look at something strange, by moving your eyes quickly over and over again in the direction of what you see. Usually your eyebrows will go in unison with the eye point, in the direction of what you are pointing at, but should not be pointing at, because pointing rude.
You tried eye pointing just now didn’t you? I did too! For practice.
Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.