And beside us, and in front of us…

What is it with rude people and are there more folks behaving badly now versus when I was growing up or have I lost my patience with them? Since there’s nothing I can do to change other people’s behavior, I realize it’s time to adjust my attitude. Sigh, I get it and promise I will start appreciating the far-reaching humor people provide and the niceness that exists in the world and everyone who is kind when our paths cross.

Tomorrow. I’ll do it all tomorrow (Yes, Scarlett and fiddledeedee to you, too.). Today, I need to bluster about a bit, voice some redheaded opinions and hope that we can all learn to be nice to those in front, beside and behind us.

Rant 1:

There are many fast, distracted drivers in Pittsburgh. As friends know, I often pontificate about the fact that my 2008 Rogue has bluetooth and yet I’ll see folks driving Lexus, Mercedes, Volvos—you name the high-end car—and they are holding their phones. What’s up with that? Are they too lazy to connect the bluetooth? It takes all of what, five minutes to log several phone numbers? Maybe I should start a business: Will add your contacts to your car! Oh wait, the newer cars can input your phone book from your smartphone. What a concept.

Yet, on our summer road trip I lost count (yes, I keep a tally) of how many drivers we passed with a far newer car than mine who were doing the cell phone lean (elbow against window, phone held to ear), drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette—all the while forgetting that they’re driving a deadly weapon down the highway going 80 mph.

Rant 2:

The above leads to the lost art of merging. When and how did it suddenly become that the Reverse Yield is accepted as proper driving? I’d write more here, but I devoted an entire blog to this topic, so pop over to it and let me know how this works in your city.

Rant 3:

The Red Lodge Home of Champions Rodeo in Montana, held over every Fourth of July, is an iconic piece of Americana. If you’re in the area, it’s hard to resist attending.Red Lodge Home of Champions Rodeo


We had a pile of family members go this summer and grouped together in two rows. Key word there is “family,” because we choose to go on Family Night given that we had two little kids with us. Sitting behind Alex, Jackie, John, and me were several people who arrived drunk and got drunker as the rodeo went on. They jabbed their knees into our backs, cursed not nice words, and dribbled beer on us. It didn’t matter that at various times each of us told them about their behavior. They were in their own world and didn’t care about the impact they were having on others.

I’ve never understood people who spend money on tickets to an event, then get so blasted that they cannot possibly remember any of it. There was this Keb’ Mo’ blues concert once … but that’s another story.

Rant 4:

The Fourth of July Parade in Red Lodge is another slice of America as it should be that isn’t to be skipped by visitors. It reeks of patriotism, small town pride and the basic joy in being alive in the best, free country in the world.

Red Lodge Fourth of July parade


While there weren’t as many horses this year—no Lipizzans as I had hoped for my husband to see—it was great fun with candy being thrown from a variety of vehicles, including the horses, for the kiddies to catch. It could have, should have, been great. But there we were, my great niece (6) and nephew (4), polite as could be, picking up the pieces that fell near them. When they could. Because a dad behind uswas urging his at least four-years-older boys to run over my kids and grab every piece of candy they could.

It was embarrassing. The older boy kept hesitating, making me believe he didn’t think this was the best behavior, but his father berated him until he dashed again in front of the little ones.

Did he think there was an award at the end for whose bag was the heaviest? Wouldn’t you hate to see him taking those boys trick or treating?

Rant 5:

A friend was telling me about the soccer league her 14-year-old daughter belongs to. While I certainly accept the value of teaching youths sports (heaven knows I might be more of a joiner today if I’d played/been good at any sports in school), it seems to have gotten obsessive these days. How is a teen supposed to excel at homework, simply be a kid, have family time, and practice/compete in a sport three times a week until nine p.m.? I don’t get it. And the real rant here? The coaches who scream at and chides children as if a national title and millions of dollars were on the line. Lighten up.

The End:

Speaking of the need to lighten up—RM, it’s probably time to stop raving about those folks behind us and start sitting with my back against the walls so I can enjoy people a bit more.