Over the weekend, I watched fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July (American Independence Day!). We went downtown and sat on a pedestrian bridge, waiting until the fireworks started and just chatting with friends until they started.
There were people who had waited patiently in order to snag a good seat sitting all along the sidewalks. Many were there even before we arrived. But when the show started, just about everyone walking along the bridge seemed to stop in the middle of the bridge and stand.
So- two rows of people sitting, with people standing in front of us. Faaantastic. Luckily, we were far enough back to still see okay, and we made sure to scoot back in case the people in front of us needed to move back. There was a lady, though, who couldn't see well from her staked out spot and was furious.
She spent most of the fireworks show yelling at people to sit down or move out of the way, with such polite requests as "There's a BABY back here! MOVE it!" Anytime someone stopped in front of her, she told them to move down (and stand in front of other people) because "her baby can't see!!!" When someone she was with took the baby and held him in a different area, where he could see, she whined (loudly) that the reason she came was to see the baby's reaction and she couldn't see it when he wasn't even near her. The man handed her the baby and vented that, "Fine, you should just do what you want then. I'm done trying." As more people moved and stopped in front of her, she'd yell, "My baby's crying because he can't see! Get outta the WAY!" (Apparently not realizing that fireworks, being loud and bright, could probably also scare a baby enough to make him cry. Or, you know, this woman yelling in his ears.)
As if that wasn't enough, some salesmen walked by with glowsticks. "HEY! Light man! Hey- HEY! Guy with the LIGHTS!" she hollered. He has a hard time hearing because he's not very close, he's in a crowd of people, and there are fireworks being shot off. Finally, the guy turns around and she tells him, "You know, maybe you should LISTEN if you want business." And she proceeds to take her sweet time paying this man for a glowing lightsaber thing while he stands directly in front of a couple and our group. So, heaven forbid someone stand in front of her and her baby- but no big deal if she causes them to stand right in front of other people.
This woman is driving me crazy. Her bitching has been constant and annoying throughout what should have been an extremely pleasant fireworks display. Honestly, if I were the guy selling glowsticks, I would have loved to tell her to be nice if she wants service and walked away. Money's good, but sticking it to her by not letting her get what she wanted would have felt even better.
I'm quickly losing my faith in humanity, but then, a few minutes later, I hear a kind voice from behind her. Someone politely asked if she wanted to come back there. The nice woman explained that they had a great view, and she and the baby should be able to see just fine without anyone in their way.
And, my faith in humanity was quickly restored. Even though this lady was being an incredible annoyance, someone still offered her a better spot when they didn't have to offer anything. Kindness means a lot, but kindness to someone who's berating others and doing nothing to earn it means even more.
If you celebrate it, hope you had a happy 4th of July!