Saturday, October 30, 2010

Exceptional People

It seems my world has been full of exceptional people lately and I feel compelled to throw this down on 'paper' and get it out of my head.

Exceptional people. Maybe not exceptional in the way you're thinking. And I wonder if moving from the environment we're currently in to the States will change anything. I'm thinking not. The grass is not always greener. Watch out, I'm on a rant.

For example, there are many exceptional people at school who feel they can park or drive in any manner they please - even when the school offers free parking in back and asks everyone to please watch out for persons walking in the parking lot. I can't write much more on this topic because Bart has listened to this for 3 years now and refuses to anymore :) (the first year we were here it wasn't too bad). Yes, I've sent emails and suggestions. The school this week installed large, orange poles in the "drive" line to keep exceptional people from creating a 3rd driving lane in a 2 lane parking lot.

Twice in two weeks, exceptional people have nearly hit me head-on because they didn't want to follow the tractor in the road and wait for clear passing. The first was with my dad coming home from Lauterbrunnen - the van literally jumped out at us from behind the tractor. Dad looked at me and said "it's a good thing you saw that in time and swerved - that would have been real bad." I know. We were quiet for a while and tried to figure out why? And both times I was very visible - big car with lights on ??????

Other exceptional people don't feel they have to wait in lines with everyone else. This is an example of what we run into frequently (I think I've mentioned that only the Americans and UK seem to line/queue): Bart and girls are waiting in the crepe shop to order (in Gruyere). They are the only ones at the counter besides the customer already being helped. Another couple walks in. As the current order is finished, Bart is prepared to start ordering but the lady (new couple) interrupts and starts to place her order. He interrupts and says (in Engl. while they're French) that he's next and has been waiting. He said "she huffed at me and they walked out." Bart and the girls got their crepes. He's very tired of this - it happens a lot (although they don't generally walk out; they stand disgusted that they now have to wait).

It's hard in an environment of impatience and exceptions to the rule to teach your kids to be patient and kind and wait their turn. Rachel sometimes says, "well, mom, no one else is paying attention to the rules, why should you?" AAACCKKK! Part of that response is her Middle School brain trying to sort itself out. The other part is simply watching my frustration in trying to play by the rules but getting thwarted in the process ("exceptional" parking causes problems for those trying to get to legitimate spaces).

We live in a frenzied world that wants it all now and to their own personal specifications. Not easy sometimes. So I will continue to tell the girls to be patient and kind and I will do my best to model it. But perhaps keep my mouth shut a bit more in the car when I'm frustrated.

At least the tractors will be off the roads soon - snow's coming..........

"A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." Proverbs 14:29

So I'm working on being the patient man - thank you for your patience in reading. And while we know there exists plenty of impatience everywhere - our future destination should be a place where people know how to wait in line. Right? Please tell me I'm right??????


Makila said...

My kids ask every day why people are parked in the DROP off lane at school. I tell them they aren't following the rules. I have serious cases of carpool rage some days. LIke the days I tell Ben I want to install blades like in the movie Grease on the sides of my minivan. :)

Susan said...

I must confess most times I'm glad that I don't drive here - think of all the speeding tickets I'd have by now! I haven't had to contend with car-pool lanes or rude drivers either; for this I'm thankful.

But I've certainly had my share of folks cutting in line - or ignoring it. And I've learned to be more forceful, or at least hold my ground. I smile and say firmly "I'm next in the queue".

Judy said...

If you move to Minnesota you will run into "Minnesota Nice", which can be annoying at a four-way stop when no one wants to go first and everyone just sits there and look at each other. "Minnesota Nice" manifests itself in all sorts of annoying ways.

In Singapore there was no such thing as personal space and if you left too much space between you and the next person, someone would march right in that space. I remember the looks on my kids' faces of "Why did they do that?".

Oh what fun different cultures can be.

MOM E said...

Makila's "blades on the minivan" made me work (DC area) we are discussing paint ball guns, enough splats on your car and everyone will know you are a jerk!

Olson Family said...

Oh Good - It's not just me! Love the comments. Hey Susan - 2 years and I'm speeding ticket free!

It will be funny to see how the girls are in the States - they're so used to swimming upstream with the rest of the salmon here - they might be considered a bit aggressive? :)