Wednesday, April 12, 2006

After you

Place: Celebrity Cafe & Bakery.
Time: 11:55 a.m. Sunday
Scene:
Five people wait outside the still-locked doors of this neighborhood cafe, waiting for the place to open at noon. All five are grown-ups. We acknowledge each other with nods and smiles and mentally tick off our order of arrival: Nice older couple in tennis togs first; then the lady in yoga pants holding a six-pack of seltzer waters; white-haired lady in Sunday School attire; then me. We know that when the doors are unlocked we will line up accordingly. It's an order-at-the-counter type place. And it's teeny-tiny inside with lots of outdoor tables at which to dine.

At two minutes till noon, four college-age girls bop up, each in an identical outfit of chewed-hem denim miniskirt, Bernardo sandals and T-shirt depicting some form of the word "Kappa." They ignore the five of us earlier arrivals and wouldn't you know, the owner of the cafe steps up and unlocks the door just as they position themselves in front of it on the sidewalk.

Door opens. Sorority chickies push toward the counter and proceed to order vast numbers of take-out sandwiches, salads, cookies and beverages. Then they slow things down further by charging the eats on four different credit cards. The five of us WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRST IN LINE take our places on the sidewalk in correct order and wait--for-fricking-ever--for the me-first!-Kappas to get what they want in their sweet time.

The place is the size of a thimble, so even after they've placed their orders, the Kappas don't move aside to let anyone else step up to order (you're supposed to do that--they bring your food to you when it's ready). They just stand there like idiots, not realizing they're keeping not just five patrons WHO ARRIVED BEFORE THEY DID from ordering, but now another seven who've lined up behind us.

45 Comments:

Anonymous Ethan said...

Ironically, I was just grousing about the "Age of Invisibility", which is whatever age people grow to be and decide that anyone younger doesn't exist ahead of them in line.

Example: Some 30-ish guy (not me) waiting at Central Market for the next available express register. Silver-haired woman behind him for minutes on end (thus aware that there is a line with other people in it). Next register opens. Guy steps forward, only to be cut off by silver-haired lady who snorts as she retreats to wait her turn.

Since I was in line after her, I was able to be more amused than annoyed, but the "age of invisibility" thing normally raises my blood temperature. Of course, this may be societal payback for the treatment of seniors as a whole. But still.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The obvious questions is - why didn't you simply tell the 4 girls that they should go to the end of the line or move out of the way after ordering? Perhaps they just did not notice the line.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was driving down the street and a car pulled out of no where and almost hit me. It was clearly his fault, and what do you know, on his bumper there was a sticker that said "Buck Fush". This liberal almost hit me when I was driving perfectly fine down the road.

And this is why people hate liberals.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Norm said...

Second of the two anonymous (anonymi?) should look up non sequitor in his dictionary -- if he has one. (Sorry, could not resist the ad hominem in reponse to such an inane post.) But, first anonymous has a point. "Excuse me girls, I believe other people were ahead of you." Or, you can just report their sorority house to campus police for prostitution and drug dealing. Win-win.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the obvious question is: If we hate them, why do we talk (and write blogs) about them so much?

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They cut in front of the line because you let them.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or maybe they really are just better than you...

8:50 PM  
Blogger Koru's Daughter said...

I can not understand why you did not say something. Do you think they will awake from their self-absorbed state when it rewards them by getting everything they want when and how they want it? Perhaps there are lessons we need to teach them beyond the mechanics of writing.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

anonymous (#1), if I had a dime for every jackass with a "W" sticker who swerved into the left-hand lane of an interstate highway while driving 50 miles per hour, I would be a rich, rich woman.

So shut up and use your turn signal next time.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Dr. Lisa said...

Actually, I do have to say that one of the gifts being a professor has bestowed upon me is that I now sort of feel free to bawl out bad behavior among college-age people even when it's not my role to do so. So I've gotten very pushy about telling younger people "no budging" when I feel like their behavior calls for it.

That said, I don't mind budging too much. I used to live in West Hollywood, where a lot of older Russian Jewish refugees settled when they came to the US. These little old ladies so totally did not wait in line ever. I reckon they had either dealt with food shortages at some point and so they were aggressive, or it just wasn't something they did, because they budged on each other like crazy.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, they need one of these upside the head:
http://www.cosmicpsychos.com/cosmicpsychos/images/cosmic_cover_lg.jpg

11:08 PM  
Blogger merc said...

How is it that every comment section on this blog turns into a "liberals suck!", "no, conservatives suck!" piss off?

Good Lord, no wonder truly great men and women don't run for high office very often. Who wants to mess with all the elementary school recess B.S.?

Insofar as the topic goes, I never hated sorority girls when I was in undergrad. There were some class acts and there were some vapid idiots. Basically like any other cross section of society.

I'd have said something to those girls, though. "Hey. Wait your turn." It takes complicity to be walked over.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the bumpersticker-story means that you should not blame a group when one person behaves stupid.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Oh Professor, I feel your pain. I'd also like to say it was the individuals and not the group itself but sometimes it's hard to distinguish when you come across so many people who look alike.
Many times when walking around campus these prissy girls in groups will some how take up the entire sidewalk. One day I decided I will not move into the grass to let them by and I swear to god I came inches from total collision when one of them said "Excuse me!" to which I replied "uhm, sahray maam, next time I's stay un the grass fo you to pass, yessa."
bitches.

9:32 AM  
Blogger thinker said...

I've found directness with humbleness to be very disarming. Like... "Normally I wouldn't mind giving up my spot, but I got here early because I'm in a bit of a hurry. Would you mind not cutting ahead of the line?" That usually gets apologies and better behavior. If I get a refusal, then I go off like a crazy person, and hover six inches from their ear and breathe heavy.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really should blame the Kappa's .. they're all just doing what Mummie and Deddie have shown them all their lives: Step over anyone and everyone (unless they're wearing the same faux-fashion as you, and you know them from The Country Club).

The ONLY way to treat these cretins is to ignore them, the same way you were ignored, Prof. Just walk RIGHT THROUGH THEM to the front of the line, and place your order. When they scoff (and they WILL) just smile your best ScarlettSmile, bat an eyelash or two, and say "oh my, I didn't ever even see you." (THEN change demeanor to Leona Helmsley and continue:) "Now Step To The Back Of The Line Where You Belong. wE WERE HERE FIRST."

Odds are the Kappas will retreat to their Porsches (the ones Deddie bought for them, with the de rigueur [W] sticker) and speed away, tires squealing like a wounded pig.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary...are you serious??? How has your racist ass never been shot? But, I'm not a hater. Jesus loves you no matter how ignorant you are. Amen.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Anonymous,
them's harsh words for not showing your name. It wasn't meant to be insulting or racist. Do you still think they should burn the Adventures of Mark Twain? Would talking ghetto be more acceptable.
I was making fun of their derrogatory demeanor towards me. Sorry if it personally insulted you... and may JESUS help you and your sensitive self.

1:17 PM  
Blogger milowent said...

could she have made a huge stink about it and pushed to the front? sure. but it gets tiring correcting the impolite manners of others. you pick your battles, ignore life's idiots, and move on with your own life.

>>Anonymous said...
So the obvious question is: If we hate them, why do we talk (and write blogs) about them so much?<<

Well, that makes no sense! Was Hitler something that shouldn't be written about? (That is not comparing sorority sisters to nazis, of course.)

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Sebastian said...

Prof,

I love your posts, but this is one in which you should have stepped up to the plate and told those snobby twits to hike to the back of the line. As a college student at a tony, yuppie university(One that can actually win a football game, unlike your ex uni), I have had to deal with kids who are very into themselves. The only way that you combat it is to stand your ground, and refuse to be their doormat. You were there first, and you should have said something along the line of "Hey, people were here first, how about you fall in line like everyone else!" It works for me all the time at the local bagel shoppe! Keep blogging away..

Yours Truly,

Sebastian The Ibis

P.S--How's the book coming along?

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you ask Joseph Scarpino what it is like when someone complains about a couple of non-sorority types cutting in line?

If you do not remember the name Joseph Scarpino just do a goggle.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love when these girls come into my video store and attempt to locate a movie they have to watch for class.

"Do you guys, like have, the Shawshank redemption?"

Me - It's in the drama section.

"I see the drama section, but I can't, like, find the movie."

Me - It's under "S" for Shawshank

"OHmygosh!? This stuff is in alphabetical order?! I ALWAYS wondered how you, like knew where stuff is!"

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to milowent:

When the sorority girls start orchestrating a holocaust, then we can start talking about them. But cutting in front of you in line? Please. There have to be better topics. I think we've beaten this one to death.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, they knew; they didn't care. And they won't care next time.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it should be obvious that the owners of the store should be aware that people are waiting outside and somewhat aware of what the pecking order. I say this because the store is small.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think this type of behavior is unique to sorority girls or that age group. Rudeness is an equal opportunity character fault.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez. Act like an adult and tell them that y'all were first. Quit whining.

3:56 PM  
Blogger BranV said...

Urrggh, gurrrrgle...this is the kind of thing that will surely put me in an early grave as I stew in my proper-southern-girl-don't-make-a-scene silence. Dear husband keeps telling me, "just throw an elbow!" Of course the one day I did it didn't turn out so well, but that's another story.

Now that I'm a 30-something back in school, I am always highly amused by what I overhear. In fact, I overheard two premies in class the other day:

#1: "So like she told me that she was really worried about me because I was getting, like, too skinny."

#2: "Wow, I would totally consider that a compliment!"

*sigh* It must be impossible to have writer's block with such good material in constant supply.

(Personally speaking: the funniest thing I remember about living in Dallas was how many times I saw someone with a KLTY sticker flipping cars off in traffic or going road-rage crazy. What is shocking is how many times I'd mention it to someone who would start laughing and nodding. Apparently it's something of an epidemic. Maybe subliminal broadcasting?)

9:19 AM  
Blogger John said...

Prof, you really need to grow a pair. If you're not going to raise your voice and put them in their place at the back of the line you could have at least left and taken your business elsewhere. So what did you accomplish here? You reinforced their sense of entitlement and rewarded the manager's poor service to you. Don't complain about your own failure. I want to hear what happens when you lose your repressive middle classness and break out the lash in public. That will be a post worth reading... but this? Yawn.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Little G said...

I hear ya. I get really angsty when people cut in line but my partner tells me to let it roll off my back. I cannot.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay Kaye said...

I'm not in a sorority at SMU, and I'm usually a really big fan of your website (I recommend it to everybody) but I have to say that the last line of your post is just ridiculous. If you're going to lump ALL sorority girls into a category, that's fine, but you have to realize how ignorant you are being. Sure, there are bitchy sorority girls, as there are bitchy people in any group of people. However, majority of the girls I have met in sororities at SMU are great people who I feel lucky to know. In fact, my roommate for next year is a DG, and she is the most polite and kind person I have ever met. While I don't know very many Kappas, the ones I have met have all been very sweet girls. Believe it or not, the sorority girls aren't out to get you or anybody else. You could have pointed out that you were there first or asked them to move out of the way.

I agree with almost everything you post in your blog... but in this particular post, I think you're taking advantage of an unfair stereotype.

Have you ever thought about the fact that maybe those sorority girls are rude to you because they know that they are just a stereotype to you? If you had an open mind towards them, maybe you wouldn't have so many bad experiences.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lindsay kaye is right, prof is the most egregious steroetyper in town. I have also seen her censor perfectly parallel stereotypical remarks about South Dallas. Funny how that works. Power of the pen I suppose.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous JonesNought said...

Granted, one of the original five probably should have said something. But as a previous responder noted, you pick your battles. And granted that there is some stereotyping going on here.

BUT.

First of all, it wouldn't have mattered whether the Prof or anybody else said anything. What the Kappa girls did was rude, rude, rude. (People have been killed for less.)

And second, I have always felt that if you are going to *advertise* your affiliation by wearing a uniform or a t-shirt or some other obvious, in-your-face form of group identification, you had bloody well better be extra careful about your actions so that you don't give people a reason to negatively stereotype you.

Unless, of course, you just don't fucking care--in which case, go ahead and stomp all over other people to your heart's content. If they let you.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been on the UT campus for about 20 years in one capacity or another (half as a student, half as a prof), I have to say that the generalization of sorority girls as self-centered, egotistical, snotty little bitches rings pretty true.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

Thank you Jonesnought - well said. I wish the "anonymous" commenters could be brave enough to leave their names - it gives your thoughts more credibility.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Having been on the streets of south dallas for about 20 years in one capacity or another (half as a student, half as a prof), I have to say that the generalization of black guys as killers collecting unemployment rings pretty true.

There, fixed it for you. Stereotyping is fun! Way to go prof!

6:24 PM  
Anonymous b said...

All you had to do was say something, not go on a tirade on your blog.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm really suprised by the nastiness posted here in reference to the rude bitches who cut people in line and never even noticed them. This isn't about sorority girls. It's about assholes.

And for the person who made the comment about black men being killer collecting unemployment, your post is one of the lowest I've ever seen posted here. Liberal, conservative, whatever, your post was disgusting, and it's scary that someone like you is spewing such hate. Shame on you!

10:27 PM  
Anonymous South Dallas Jones said...

I'm a former resident of South Dallas. I thought the remark from Anonymous was poking fun on the sterotypical nature of generalizations rather than a mean-spirited slam on black men. I could be wrong, but that's the way I took it.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:24pm is the exact same post as Anonymous at 6:21pm, only the target group and the generalization is changed.

I think the point was that stereotypes are unfair, regardless of who they target, and that phantomprof promotes stereotyping by bashing sorority girls (or labeling them Ashleys) - which is no more acceptable than bashing a different race or social status (we have plenty of labels for them too you know). A point South Dallas Jones picked up but Anonymous at 10:27 somehow missed.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Loosely Twisted said...

The more you let people walk all over you the more tired and dishearted you become. Also the more complacent you become in letting anyone else run ramshod over you.

Case in point.. Bush..

no further comment is necessary.

Loosely Twisted

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, anonymous 10:27PM did not miss the point. I think that the anonymous person who made the point about black men being killers to protest the stereotyping of sorority girls should post his/her name. First of all, stereotyping a group of people as rude or selfish is a FAR cry from stereotyping a whole race as killers. And to try to draw that parallel is ignorant and mean spirited.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still stands true that Prof definitely did some hard-core stereotyping in this entry. I'm not at SMU, but I AM in a sorority and still have manners. There are rude people and there are not rude people, and during rush one of the prereq's for getting into a chapter is not "well how bad can you make other people feel?" That's a generalization that has been beaten to death, though a recurring theme in the prof's blog.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:28 is dead wrong. Sorry, you don't get to accept the stereotypes you agree with and reject those you don't. Not without beginning every sentence you utter with "I am a hypocrite, but"

5:40 PM  
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7:38 AM  

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