He came into the framing shop fifteen minutes after I did; perhaps 15 years my junior, he was well dressed in crisp chinos, and an oxford cloth shirt. He was joking about getting a free fame. He wanted a poster framed as cheaply as possible, he informed the proprietor of the custom framing and gallery shop. I was looking for a bargain, too.
I listened to his friendly banter – banter that quickly became an angry diatribe about the debt ceiling problems embroiling Washington. He went on a great length how everything would collapse – everything, including this shop, would go belly-up immediately because of the bull-headed congressmen who would not just raise the debt ceiling and put off their agenda until later. He kept it up – talking at the proprietor who remained unflustered but quiet, as she continued estimating the cost of his framing.
When he got the estimate, he became discourteous – exclaiming how could such a little job cost so much. She offered an option that would have saved him thirty dollars – but he curtly dismissed it. He then asked that the print be wrapped up in brown paper and said he’d think about if the framing of such a print would be worth the money and left.
Very little oxygen remained in the shop. I wonder if this man even wondered how he sounded?
The incivility that passes for political dialogue is depressing on the airwaves, and discouraging on a person-to-person level. It reminds me of the tone emanating from the late ‘60’’s.
I wish I had had answers to each of this man’s accusations and assumptions. But, frankly, I am on information overload. Some of what he said made sense – but much of it didn’t. However his railing to strangers, and then demeaning the cost of the product for which he asked made it seem like Potomac fever had infected Severna Park.
I don’t have the answer to the current financial crises – it boggles my mind how what seems so simple is so complex. Doug and I are frequently tightening our belts when we catch ourselves overspending. It is not fun – but when the money is gone what are the other choices?
I want the leaders -- from the feds to the locals - to stop borrowing and spending – making us think we are entitled to benefits we truly have not earned. Now if the leaders have been poor stewards – own up to it; if you are trying to clean up a mess someone else, quit whining; you asked for the job! Get working on the solution, or get out of the way so others can. But don’t bully bystanders.