06 April 2007

The Polite Game

The Polite Game

When the MG and I went to California for my grandmother's 100th birthday, we discovered a fun game to play, completely by accident.

We were waiting at SEATAC for our flight and decided we were hungry. So we stopped at one of the EXPENSIVE cafes...actually, I think it was Starbucks...well, if it wasn't it is now just to make it a fun Seattle theme...


I had to go back to the counter to retrieve something and there was a woman standing there that was dressed to the nines. And she was standing in the way.
I SUPER politely asked her "Excuse me, please."
She looked at me with a mixture of "Little people don't talk to me. Ever" and surprised apparently that I used my manners. So, being me, I used them again upon my return because she was still standing in the way. Again, the surprised look.

I mentioned this to MG and we decided that until we got to CA. we were going to be hyper-courteous and freak people out. And we did and it did.

The one clear reaction I remember was from a security guard at LAX. A plus-sized black woman with a very stern expression. I had to ask her directions because we were lost-ish. (a whole other story but suffice it to say that we were supposed to fly into Anaheim and not LAX but there we were.)

At first, I got the one-eyebrow-raise and then she curtly answered my question...to my relief because I was having flashes of strip searches in my head upon waiting for her response...When I thanked her, I even got a glimmer of a smile. Just a glimmer but I'll take it. The smile could have been from pleasure of terrifying a little white girl, but who knows?

So, we played the game during the entire trip and people were 95% surprised and probably a little freaked out. Psychological warfare, that's what it turned out to be. FUN!

And I still play. Especially if I think quickly and someone has just been rude to me. My favorite: not holding the door for the next person will usually garner a cheery "No, thanks! I got it!" as I catch the door before it closes.

And if you actually hold the door for people, WOW. People are usually surprised, which in turns surprises me.

Next time you're out & about: Play the Polite Game. It's nice, it's easy and it freaks people out.

No comments: