Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whatever happened to...

 Courtesy. Privacy. At the moment these two things come to mind.

I am sitting in my living room, with the windows closed. Yet I can hear my across- the-alley neighbor talking on his cell phone. Granted, I hear only his portion of the conversation, but really, should I have to hear ANY of it?  

This is not an odd occurrence.  Usually, several times weekly, I am privy to Mr. Cell Talker's conversations. Sometimes they are simple, even friendly. Other times they are laced with expletives that lead me to believe he's angry with the person on the other end.  

I know things which the Hippa Privacy Act dictate  I shouldn't know without his consent!  I suppose talking loudly in a public thoroughfare implies his consent to allow the sharing of these details, however I have NOT consented to be made aware of theses personal issues.

Last weekend as I was changing for bed, at 11:30PM, I could hear him ranting about some place that in his estimation was "a (expletive) palace!"  and how he'd "live in the (expletive) place!"  Those who know me well, know that I am not overly sensitive to coarse language. In fact it is an area I often struggle with. But why am I hearing this from a middle class man who has a home in which he could be having said conversation?  It's not like he's out there doing something!  It's dark. He's pacing in the alley! Go into your house, for goodness sake, or at least for my sake!

Not that Mr Across the Alley is the only offender around here.

I have heard folks across the street arguing with the cable company about their payments. Again, these people have a home, but choose to have these conversations outside, while walking back and forth in front of their house. I don't get it!

Another neighbor often will walk outside his house and either sit on the front steps during his conversations, or else, like the before mentioned guy, pace the sidewalk.  I have been the unwilling recipient of knowledge about his 12 step program, his dinner plans and much more.

What ever happened to keeping one's personal business personal? When did it become acceptable to share with such abandon? Especially with folks who are simply  neighbors by accident of fate?

Do these people even realize that they are inadvertently sharing details of their lives with anyone in earshot? Are they so self absorbed that they think we find the minutia of their day to day existence fascinating?

Am I just becoming overly sensitive as I age? Am I the only person who finds this behavior annoying?

And since I mentioned annoying, when did it become acceptable to wear ones pajamas to the grocery store? I know I've ranted about this before to friends.  But I am seriously asking when it became acceptable to walk to the grocery store in an item of clothing that one would sleep in? I know we send pictures of people inappropriately attired as email jokes, but I see it all the time.  I live very close to Kuhn's Grocery and see woman and girls, mostly, on their way to the store in items that I recognize as sleepwear. 

There was a time, when I was growing up in Lawrenceville, that there was a woman who often strolled the main street in her pj's, with curlers in her hair. She was mentally ill. But even she wore a robe over her jammies!

Again, I ask, am I just getting old and becoming a fuddy duddy? Or have we allowed our casualness to cross the line into inappropriateness?


  1. It's horrendous, isn't it?


    Soon you and your hubby will be in a place where you can roll away from offensive people and noises... ah!

  2. Well, as an avid blog reader who loves reading about people and their lives, I suspect I'm infringing upon some sort of privacy, but you are all so enjoyable!
    But I can say that I DON'T go to the store in my pjs! I completely agree with you on that!
    Lovely to read you :)