Etiquette School is in session! > "So kind of you to take an interest."

Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack

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Softly Spoken:
I had to share this and I guess it fits here the best.

I was downtown yesterday after an appointment waiting to catch the bus home. This particular main street where the bus stops is always filled with very...ummmm...colorful...individuals.  ::)

As it was rush hour I was waiting with a sizable crowd for the bus to unload when one such individual behind me decided to strike up a conversation with the young lady in front of her and to my left. The "conversation" went something like this:

Nosy Older Busybody: *very loudly* "My Deity do you realize how short your skirt is? Does you mother let you go out of the house like that?"
Twenty-something-looking Girl: *cool stare and deadpan* "Yes."
N.O.B: *continues loudly* "Why would you wear a skirt like that? Don't you know what happens to girls who wear short skirts like that? You'll be lucky if you aren't raped and killed wearing that skirt!"
Me:  :o*muttering out loud to no one in particular* "Oh. my. Deity."
Skirt Girl:  ::) :-X*ignores ranting NOB because you don't engage the crazy*
Annoyed Man Behind Me: "Hey back off lady, her skirt isn't that short. I've seen worse." (My reaction to the last line:  ???)
N.O.B: *continues rant about short skirts leading to rape and murder in some alley somewhere, but now directs ire at man*
Annoyed Man: *realizes he broke the 'don't-engage-crazy' rule* "Okay whatever I'm not going to debate you about it." (My thought: Because of course the apparel of a complete stranger should be loudly debated by two other complete strangers!  ::))

I did not witness the end of this encounter, because I paid my fare and fled to the back of the bus knowing that N.O.B. would most likely sit up front. If she had continued I think the bus driver would have thrown her off.
I found it interesting that the man chose to defend against what the woman was saying about the girls skirt, instead of calling her on her right to say it. I would have thought "mind your own business" would be a more accurate response than "the unsolicited opinion you have chosen to inflict on a total stranger happens to be inaccurate." I don't see how he thought the best way to diffuse the situation was to somehow change the woman's opinion of short skirts. I think it was a roundabout way of telling her to hush the blank up, i.e. you are wrong = there is nothing more to be said/end of 'discussion.'

You know, people complain about how we are all isolated and plugged into our devices everywhere we go, but I'm not completely against it if it lowers your chances of having to deal with scenarios like the one I just described. Luckily, when I don't have my earbuds in I can rely on the guidance of eHell. ;)

Iris:
I see your point about the man and what he said, but if I'm honest I suspect that in the same situation I would probably have said something like "Leave her alone, I think she looks lovely!" And then realised 4 hours later that I was just as rude.

So I guess I'm willing to assume his *intentions* were good, but execution was poor. If nothing else at least he drew focus onto himself.

How awful for the poor young girl though. What a dreadful woman to attack her like that.

Softly Spoken:
Oh I agree Iris. I think he was just trying to diffuse the situation as best as he knew how.

I sometimes find it frustrating that it is apparently rude to tell people to mind their own business when that is exactly what they should be doing. Like if he or even the skirt girl had told her to MYOB, she would have been all "how dare you etc. etc. and free speech / it's a free country yadda yadda."

It doesn't seem to be on the approved list of eHell phrases but how do other people feel about a statement like "I don't see as that is any of your business"? Because sometimes it really really isn't!

Pen^2:
I agree with PPs. He probably thought, "This nasty so-and-so is being horribly rude! We all have to suffer it, including that young lady!" and did his best on the spot to try to diffuse it. It didn't work, and in the end he was rude (but far better than the nasty so-and-so, in my book), but I think the intention was in the right place. As the young lady seemed to already realise, anything she said, no matter how sound, would have been met with crazy yabbering. The man realised this too late.

"So kind of you to take an interest" can be quite encouraging to some people. I think "I don't see as that is any of your business" is more of a "leave me alone," but I'm not sure if it's etiquette-approved.

BeagleMommy:
I agree that the man was trying to diffuse the situation, but he may have made it worse by creating a debate.

The girl in the skirt could have responded "I'll give that all the consideration it deserves."

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