I spent the day at the Jersey Shore. Well, part of the day. We attended the First Day Event on the Ocean City Boardwalk and watched our son and daughter-in-law race in the 5k. We manned the sidelines with our twin grandsons, the camera and stroller packed with gear, prepared to create memories.
Everyone was Superman or woman today. There were even Superkids in attendance along with a few Batmen. Although cold and windy enough for me to wear my full-length parka it was a nice day that I didn’t think the die hard Polar Bear Plungers would be able to brag about after their jump into the Atlantic Ocean, scheduled after the race. Yes, there was excitement and activity today at the Jersey Shore.
As a kid, I don’t remember this much activity on the first day of the new year. I always thought New Years Day was boring. Playing outside was usually out of the question because the weather was typically dismal and chased all of the neighborhood kids indoors. Nobody’s parents wanted more kids in the house so we had to retreat to our own homes to play with our own Christmas toys, quietly, as ordered. There was never anything on TV except parades which I didn’t like at all.
Maybe the activities we enjoyed today did happen back then and I just didn’t know it and my parents weren’t interested in attending. I suspect not and may never know if I don’t start asking people how the first day of their childhood New Years Day was spent back then … I’ll get on that right away.
The other interesting thing that I noticed today and wished that I didn’t, was that despite seeing everyone enjoy being out and about, they also seemed insensitive to others around them. I’m not talking about smartphone and gadget distraction either. I can’t say that I saw anyone overly interested in their phone instead of their environment at all today, and that’s great. There was something else going on.
Maybe I was just in a mood, it was a little crowded with over 600 people in the race. Or maybe I had too much coffee. It’s just the stupid little common sense things, like kids riding bikes on the boardwalk, even though followed by their parents, were not guided to ride safely while respecting the space of pedestrians. Two kids faced down my husband while riding their bikes directly at him. One was riding with no hands and just thought it was great. That kid’s goofy mother was about 10 feet behind him, just smiling and not saying a word. My husband looks a bit formidable, I think that I would have screamed out in fear for my child’s safety.
And then there were those parents who used their occupied strollers to block the right of way or any clear space where others were trying to pass or walk through. People, stop the insanity, your kids were in harms way and you were more focused on chatting up strangers, like the stroller was empty or that it wasn’t yours to watch.
And then the people who disrespect the race photographer by jumping in front of him when they were warned five times before with a bullhorn to stay behind the orange cones and to get out of the way for the safety of runners. The same type of people with cameras who think nothing of body blocking photographers who are set up for shots. I make the distinction between the two types of people who take pictures with a camera because a photographer is sensitive to their surroundings and they usually make sure that they do not interfere with anyone else’s set-up, knowing how horrible the experience is to lose a good picture to rudeness. I’m just assuming that this a person with a camera and not a photographer because he came out of nowhere and body blocked me and three other people.
I really had no intention of focusing on the negative experiences of the day because they truly were limited to those listed above and, well, maybe a few others that I didn’t want to relive through writing. Today I had so much fun just watching and playing with my beautiful grandsons and being out of the house. I’m just writing about my observations and interest in the behavior of others in large groups and I find it fascinating how they are seemingly unaware how they can affect the whole.
It’s as if they think they are invisible or maybe others are invisible to them. I am not sure what to think about the phenomena but it really does interest me because it obviously has an impact on me and everyone around me.
Where are we going with this disconnected societal behavior, the invisible man syndrome? Is our culture evolving or devolving into this disregard for others within our environment? How much have we changed? Better yet, have we changed or are there just more people and is it harder to manage because of a larger population … I doubt that, you can still have manners. I think that people aren’t learning manners. Or, they just don’t care about the feelings of others until they get theirs satisfied first but, that would be the same thing … or a behavioral disorder. I’d like to think they didn’t learn manners. What are we creating for future generations? Why aren’t more people concerned enough about the generations alive now who have to suffer through this? Is it just me and my perspective? Looks like I’m going to have to take a poll on this one too and I’ll get right on that.