Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kanye Moments: "I'm going to let you finish..."

(Pre-Script: This post will hit you like a one-two punch if you read it as either the song,"Good Intentions," #19 on the playlist, OR the song, "Everybody's Changing," #56 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on one of those songs, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
There is a cultural phenomenon that happens every Sunday morning in churches of every size and denomination all over America .* It sounds like this:
"I didn't mean to interrupt"
this is most often said by a person who has just interrupted someone else;
it is horse you-know-what, and should be regarded as such.
Usually, the interrupter has approached two people engrossed in conversation before or after church and just started talking talking talking over whatever the current conversation is, or talking to the one party without acknowledging the other. The person addressed is then distracted from the first person he or she had been talking to, and the person not addressed is left standing there feeling irritated and slighted, but with a smile on his or her face as he or she waits for the interrupter to finish talking with the person he or she had been talking with first, then leave...although now the conversation will be different because who knows if they will remember what they were talking about, and the tone will be different, because it is always different after that, and because a little bit of the interrupted person's light has been quenched in that moment.
"I didn't mean to interrupt..."
"I'm going to let you finish..."
...the interrupter then says, with a smile or a nod in your direction, some sort of fill in the blank apology, some sort of "carry on," and blah blah blah good wishes.
horse you-know-what.
Of course you meant to interrupt.
Hello, has the wisdom and logic of Yoda** been lost to this generation? "There is no try, only do?" Because that's true, you know.
There is no "try," only "do."
If you interrupted me, you did not try not to interrupted me. You did Do interrupt me.
You did Do devalue me as a person.
The person who interrupts thinks that he or she is justified in this behavior; his inner dialogue probably goes like this:
"I am in a hurry."
"I have not seen this person all week."
"It is really important to me that I tell this person this thing."
"Everyone is waiting for me at Denny's, and I am starving."
Dude, your crispy hash browns are not more important than the people standing in front of you.
And also, guess what, the person you are interrupting's inner dialogue probably went something like this:
"I am in a hurry."
"I have not seen this person all week."
"It is really important to me that I tell this person this thing."
"Everyone is waiting for me at Denny's and I am starving."
So who's crispy hash browns are more important?
Let's review a little courtesy 101:
DO NOT approach two people engrossed in conversation and immediately start talking over them.
DO NOT approach two people engrossed in conversation and hug one, even if you are silent.
DO NOT stand awkwardly close to two people in conversation so as to let them both know that you are impatiently waiting to talk. Stand a comfortable distance away.
DO THEN let them acknowledge and approach YOU when they are ready.
Hey, maybe churches should have that posted on signs in their lobbies. I mean, the gym I go to has a sign that says "please allow others to work in between sets on weight machines," which is a common courtesy, so why not signs in churches?
"But Michelle, what if it is an emergency?"
-so says my Dear Imaginary Reader.
To which I say, It never is, Gentle Imaginary Reader. It never is.
I have been attending church my entire life, and have been both the interrupted and the interruptee, and trust is NEVER an emergency. It is just inconsiderate immature rudeness.


*This does not only happen at church, but church is the most common place where I have witnessed this particular violation in common sense good manners.

**Of Star Wars. I am not a Star Wars girl, but I know a good bit of wisdom when I hear it.

No comments: