Have you noticed that people, even in a big city like New York, chill out and relax their nerves a little during the holidays? Me neither. But let’s assume they do and we just haven’t been in the right place at the right time to experience it. I do think in general we feel more relaxed somewhere in our hearts, though feeling chill and being chill are two different ideas. We still stress about gifts (not me or my wife this year!) we still get annoyed at the super-long lines at Wal-Mart (not me this year!) and we still wish that people would drive better, be more aware of their kids climbing up our legs while we are waiting on line, and that there were cheaper stress free events for families to enjoy, and so on. Still, I don’t allow that stuff to dampen my spirits. I keep Christmas in my heart through the season and I try to hold onto it through the other eleven months of the year. I may not always hit the mark, but I often come close.
My real issue is that not even the holiday season curbs public vulgarity. What you say in your home is on you. And if you curse like a sailor in front of your kids then don’t be surprised when they follow your lead. But what you say on the subway, and in line at the supermarket, and in department stores, and in restaurants is on everyone within earshot. It’s simply not cool. Hearing the f-bomb dropped multiple times while I’m out with the family enjoying the holiday windows at Macy’s kind of kills the experience a little. Kids are in on it too, even while they are with their parents! I heard a kid about nine-years-old ask his mother “what the hell” was wrong with a particularly raggedy looking Santa. Really? Where I come from kids aren’t allowed to say the felony curse words (f-word, s-word, and heavens forbid the c-word), or the misdemeanor curse words (ass, damn, hell) at all, and definitely not in front of adults. I won’t even get into teens. Many of them seem to think that they can say what they want in front of whoever they want and wherever they want.
As for me, I’m grown. I’ve even been known to literally talk “shit” here and there on this blog but my readers, whom I love like play cousins, are grown too and choose to hang with me. I don’t force my words down anyone’s throat. The choice is taken away when I’m with Dev grabbing a hot dog and the man behind me is on his cell phone spewing vulgarities about how terrible his favorite football team is playing. What’s more, according to my son there is an epidemic of cursing seven-year-olds in his school and the teachers are frustrated, while the kids are deeply amused. I wonder where they are getting all of this potty language from?
I know this is the time of year for joy and happiness and I am not sounding very joyful or happy right now even though I am feeling quite giddy. I truly love Christmas and the holiday season in general. My point is that we should be more aware of who is around us before we say what is on our minds while waiting on line (I’m obsessed with long lines) to take a photo with Santa. It’s called common courtesy. Unfortunately it’s not so common. Oh fudge!