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To wonder how rude people get so far in their lives without being punched?

(36 Posts)

For clarity I would never punch someone as I am a good egg, I'm just curious.

DH and I were back in the town we grew up in the other day (it's a very backwards rural area with weird ideas, lots of prejudice etc, for context) as we were helping with a show. DD was being looked after by my mum. We popped to the chippy to get some lunch, and while we're in the queue, this woman walks up to us and stands beside us in the queue rather than behind us, and starts just making polite small talk.

I reached out my phone to make sure my mum hadn't messaged me if DD needed anything, at which point the conversation goes like this -

Woman - "How much do you spend on that thing? The average time you young people spend on there is five hours. Do you spend five hours on it?".
Me - "Probably" (I wasn't really sure what she was getting at so I just went along with it).
Her - "When my grandchildren come to visit me, I ban devices. They're there to sit and spend time with me, not look at their phones".
Me - "Oh, that's a good rule to have".
Her - "It's a very good rule to have, I know! Well don't you have a life? Don't you have a job to go to?".
Me - "I'm a stay at home mum".
Her - "Well where's your child then?"
Me - "She's spending some time with her nan".
Her - "You young people. You can't be a very good mum if you're on your phone".
Me - "Well I don't use it when I'm with her..."
Her - "Does she know who her mummy is?"
Me - hmm "Yes..."
Her - "Well, do you spend any time with her? Does she know her numbers? Does she know her alphabet?".

At this point I just started laughing as she carried on ranting in the queue behind us. Thankfully we were served at this point and left quickly. She'd started moaning to the people behind her about young people and their phones. I'm 22 and I was checking for messages, I'm not exactly a moody teenager or playing Candy Crush 24/7 grin

I just don't understand how people can get to a fair age (she was at least 60) without getting punched for saying the wrong thing to the wrong person? I don't condone violence, it's just there are people who punch people for looking the wrong way at someone, never mind interrogating them and questioning their parenting skills - are people like her just very good at spotting who not to insult? Do I need to develop more of a threatening exterior? grin

WhooooAmI24601 Mon 02-Jan-17 17:43:37

I think they survive without a throat-punch because most people are too well-mannered to reply negatively (or physically). Everyone's too polite to call them out on it.

One of DH's Aunts is like this; everyone in the family lets her get on with it because they know to engage and argue is a waste of breath. DH barred her from our house when she said that she wasn't sure if DS1 really had ASD or was just a naughty shit. Still nobody stands up to her though.

LaundryQueenHatesIroning Mon 02-Jan-17 17:43:46

Stupid, ignorant cow, I'm furious on your behalf angry

Also I'm a 33yo mum of a baby and I still find time for Candy Crush! grin

Soubriquet Mon 02-Jan-17 17:45:36

I think they rely on everyone else's politeness which is a shame really

If more people bit back, they would think twice before being rude again

BadKnee Mon 02-Jan-17 17:46:33

Does not sound normal to me. Suspect SN or dementia. The rudeness is not the problem there. If the conversation is reported accurately the problem is lack of context/ boundaries. She does not know you or your child. There is no rudeness in the sense of trying to get an advantage as there might be with pushing past or interrupting.

She has randomly begun an exchange which has no connection with you or who you are or even really the situation. That type of "conversation" is quite typical of dementia patients.

The fact that the town is "backward" has no relevance.

Star Wars Angry Birds is my weakness Laundry grin don't be furious, I found it quite funny to be honest, especially when she kept winding herself up and we were just stood laughing to ourselves.

That's a good point Whooo, everyone ignores them because it's not worth the hassle to engage them. I'm guessing the woman's family don't listen to her ranting about technology any more so she has to direct her attention at total strangers in chip shops grin

gluteustothemaximus Mon 02-Jan-17 18:02:20

I wonder this too! But maybe the rude buggers in life pick their victim specifically. Pick a polite soul to say whatever you like to never get what they deserve.

Someone I knew spent his whole life being rude and throwing his weight around. Except when it really mattered and his bully tactics would have come in handy. But he was a bully too. Bullies don't pick on bullies, they pick a battle to win. Makes them feel big and clever.

Not sure if the lady in your story fits that bill, but in the main, that's why rude people cruise through life without a punch. IMO obviously.

Euphemia Mon 02-Jan-17 18:05:35

I have a colleague like that. Incredibly rude. She only doesn't get punched because I value my place on the register of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. confused

PintofLagerandAPacketofCrisps Mon 02-Jan-17 18:10:38

I think these rude people they get more and more bitter as they go through life and find that they are well and truly on their own. Yet somehow it is everyone elses fault

TheNaze73 Mon 02-Jan-17 18:20:47

She sounds like an idiot. YANBU

ChasedByBees Mon 02-Jan-17 18:35:38

I think just an icy stare and 'don't be ridiculous' is sufficient. Then do not engage.

TitaniasCloset Mon 02-Jan-17 18:43:06

She sounds not so much rude as not quite right in the head God bless her. Might be an or dementia as previous poster said.

Namechangeemergency Mon 02-Jan-17 18:43:14

Those sort of people are quite common where I live. There is usually one in the family.
I was shock when I moved here. I have friends who are assertive and don't take any crap but when Nan or Auntie Joan or Gary's wife spout their bollocks they don't say anything!
They fume silently instead.

Its to do with 'respect' for 'FAMILY' or some such old bollocks.

ijustwannadance Mon 02-Jan-17 18:51:27

It's because you just can't get away with hitting people these days. Especially with all those young people ready to film it on their phones. grin

I know it's impossible to diagnose someone from a brief conversation but she didn't have any other characteristics of dementia, and no obvious SEN.

The reason I mentioned what the area is like is because it's not unusual for people to be very forward with their opinions - they'll happily walk up to you and start discussing how awful immigration/gay people/people on benefits are - I've just never had anyone walk up to me and actually insult me personally before.

We have someone like this in the family. No dementia or SN, just a prick (not saying this woman is a prick as obviously none of us can diagnose/rule out dementia or SN on the basis of this thread, but the family member is). We don't put up with his bullshit but it's a wonder he hasn't been punched, come to think of it.

cocopopsrock Mon 02-Jan-17 18:57:49

You done well. I would have punched her square in the throat

krustykittens Mon 02-Jan-17 19:01:34

I used to know someone like this. She was unremittingly vile and it got to the stage where I told her not to speak to me or my children anymore. Yet no one else did it. We shared some sporting facilities so bumped into her a LOT. She had been a member for years and had never been pulled up on her behaviour so by the time she reached her 60s, she seemed to think she was entitled to be as rude as she was. People just used to shrug and say, "It's how she is, what can you do?" Never understood that myself. You can ask people to keep a civil tongue in their head when they speak to you or not speak to you at all.

UntilTheCowsComeHome Mon 02-Jan-17 19:05:43

These are the 'I just say it like it is' people.

No, you're just a rude fuck with no social skills.

FatalKittehCharms Mon 02-Jan-17 19:28:25

YABU for even thinking about punching.

Get some backbone and tell people like this they are being rude instead of laughing at the time and then wondering later why they don't get punched.

TaliDiNozzo Mon 02-Jan-17 19:34:05

If her name is Sandra you could well have been in my home town. Can't stand people like this.

Tanith Mon 02-Jan-17 19:44:07

I'd suspect SN or mental health issues, too.

I once met a man who would pick on perfect strangers in town and say exactly the same opening gambit. I know that because the first time I met him, I engaged and had quite a job getting away from him and he became quite abusive.

I met him again a few days later. He didn't remember me and said and did almost exactly the same routine, only this time I ignored him completely. He went away, presumably to lock onto someone else.

They never get punched because the people who respond to them are not the type to land them one.

Blacksox Mon 02-Jan-17 19:46:51

I am always surprised about the number of people of MN who meet complete strangers who are really rude to them. This has never happened to me.

Get some backbone

Wow, rude grin. Sorry for not wanting to end up in the local newspaper as "degenerate outsider berates local pensioner". I wish I was exaggerating; even the local newspaper in the area is ridiculous! Gossip masquerading as news all the time.

Blacksox I've never had it before, I've always read threads like this before thinking "Ok but did that really happen or are you exaggerating?", I think that's why I was so shocked.

HateSummer Mon 02-Jan-17 22:51:18

She obviously had some mental issues.

But re: the phone thing. I'm 33 with 3 kids and I love my phone. Recently in addicted to slither.io...it's a bloody frustrating shitty game that makes me swear but I love it!

DJBaggySmalls Mon 02-Jan-17 22:51:54

Maybe she was recently widowed and now has to go out for someone to carp at?

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