The other evening, I was at the Vancouver Public Library's Kitsilano branch.
A scooter-bound elderly woman and the librarian were having a nice little chat when they were rudely interrupted by a man.
He said in a booming voice, "This is the library. Your conversation is disturbing."
Or something to that effect.
The two women appeared immediately embarrassed and ceased talking.
I actually wanted to defend them. Where is this man's manners? He had no business to shout at them and humiliate them.
The library patron was an old woman in a scooter and what's wrong with a little conversation?
They weren't harming anybody. Isn't Vancouver isolated enough?
In other cities, this is normal behaviour.
I've noticed an increase in rudeness in the library.
A few weeks ago, a disgruntled cyclist hissed and give me a little side swipe because she wanted to grab a DVD.
She could have come next to me and taken it. I wasn't really blocking her view.
In another instance, I was searching for a Henry James DVD. A crazy Thomas Pynchon fan muttering "Thomas Pynchon, Thomas Pynchon" was standing right in front of the DVD. He saw me but he wouldn't get out of the way.
Another time, I had a lady breathing down my neck where I could smell her lunch. She was looking for novels as I was. But why the hell was she clinging to me?
I prefer conversations and being asked to move instead of side swipes and sign language.
The library is a public space and should be respected for all that it is. What's the point of calling yourself community-minded if you forget your manners in the library?
My definition of a community-minded person is someone who interacts politely and nicely with the community every day!
Maybe that should be a New Year's resolution for a lot of us.