Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Entitlement and the Little Yellow Bus

It's summer in the city, which means kids are going to camp, which means lots of small yellow buses abound. While mostly unassuming, these bus tend to cause minor headaches for other drivers. The dreaded red STOP sign can cause a traffic jam several streets long, which causes the avenue traffic to get jammed, which isn't pretty a pretty.

A lot of times the bus just stands with the door open and the red sign out with no kid in sight. It always perplexed me why exactly is the bus acting like there are kids there when there nowhere to be seen. (Side note, I used to love the red STOP sign when I was kid riding the bus home from school. There was a sense of power: making all the cars stop just for me. Of course my perspective drastically changed once I became one of those drivers waiting for the little kid to finally cross the street.) Today I got my answer.

There was the little bus and there was the long row of frustrated cars behind it. Again, no kids in sight but I did notice on the sidewalk a few parent-like-adults gazing at the bus. There was a taxi right behind it and losing her patience the taxi passenger got out, I presumed to walk the rest of the way, instead she entered the little bus. Moments later a mid-thirties, thin, well dressed (for the gym) woman emerged after the woman from the taxi. Loudly, sarcastically, and without looking at the long line cars she pronounced "Well I'm sorry, but they're only five years old." Presumably, she was above reproach, she was just a caring mother making sure her little angels was well adjusted on a camp bus.

The incident  stayed with me this morning. The arrogance, the lack of care for other people and their time, the my stunned me a bit. Here was a woman teaching her children that they are the center of the world, they are more important (not to her) than everyone else. No wonder articles are being written arguing American kids might be the most spoiled kids in the history of the world.

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