Today we went to a Christmas parade in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. Why you may ask? I don’t know for sure, but if you think of a good reason, let me know.
Oh wait! My daughter was marching with the St. Francis Marching Band, and they were performing in the parade.
I’m still not exactly sure why I was there. I mean, it’s not like she can’t march without me being there. I’m pretty sure she can march and chew gum at the same time, so my presence would be superfluous.
So we left the comforts of Hollidaysburg and headed up the face of Mount Crumpit to see a Christmas parade.
Now I am not a big fan of parades to begin with. Basically, it is a convention of rude people. I absolutely refuse to watch a parade in Disney World. People start claiming their territory like two hours before the parade, because God forbid someone’s kid isn’t close enough to actually get run over by Mickey. There are actually guidelines to watching a Disney parade . . .
Don’t – Arrive just before the parade starts and expect to find a good viewing location. “Excuse me, pardon me. Ouch! Look out, would ya!” Nobody likes a party crasher. You can expect these kinds of reactions if you get to the parade route when it starts and try to improve your view. The guests who arrived early won’t appreciate it and may have a choice word or two for you. Save yourself the embarrassment and plan accordingly.
In Hollidaysburg, people start putting out chairs early the morning of a parade, much like this town below.
I have always thought that leaving unattended chairs to save a place is the height of rudeness. If someone–at least one person–is there, then I can understand it, as long as that one person isn’t reserving half the block. If you want to wait in line to be first, fine. Then WAIT. Don’t send a chair in your place! And I am apparently not alone in my disdain for people who reserve “their space” hours ahead of time with empty chairs, as the town of Canonsburg, Pa. considered a ban to the practice . . .
A western Pennsylvania borough council is set to vote on a compromise policy to solve concerns about people who put out curbside chairs to reserve seats for the borough’s popular Fourth of July parade.
The issue has come to a head in Canonsburg because some people have put up chairs to save their seats nearly two weeks in advance. Some folks tether the chairs together with rope or chains, or link them to utility poles. That can block access to sidewalks and causes other problems when the chairs blow over in stormy weather.
Officials don’t want to ban the practice entirely because the chair-placing has become an event unto itself, with many residents decorating their chairs in a festive way.
TWO WEEKS???!!! Seriously? Chair decorating? And this makes the practice less rude?
But that was not a problem in Ebensburg. We brought our own folding chairs, but I don’t think anyone else on the street we were on brought their own chairs. And the street didn’t start to get crowded until about ten minutes before the parade began. I’m not sure Ebensburg ever gets crowded. But we had gotten there early, set up our chairs next to the curb–because you just know if you set them further back, some ***** will stand in front of you. And we actually sat in the chairs instead of using them to keep our place while we did other things. Like there’s anything else to do in Ebensburg anyway, but I digress.
But sure enough, with the parade just minutes to go, a mother crosses the street with three young kids in tow. Beside me is a tree. There are people on the other side of the tree. She stands in front of the tree, and sits her kids on the curb in front of her. Of course, there is not enough room. By the time the St. Francis Band came, the kids had already inched down and I had to sit sideways because there was no room at my feet.
I thought about saying something to the mother–I assume it was the mother, because grandma would have been brought up in a generation where people had respect for other people. Maybe it was a crazy aunt. I do not know. I did not ask.
But I was not happy. (So which dwarf was I? Rim shot-cymbal.)
I could not back my chair back, because the tree would block my view worse than it already was.
So I got up and stood behind my wife’s chair. I thought perhaps when the guardian of these innocent parasites saw this happen, she would realize that it was rude for her kids to push me out, and correct the situation.
She did not.
I glared at her. With disapproval. See the photo–that was me!
She didn’t even look at me. She didn’t acknowledge my disapproval.
Finally, I picked my chair up and moved it down and sat behind my wife. She was able to inch next to a fire hydrant and my son moved a little, but my parade experience was certainly not filled with the holiday spirit.
The sad part is, if the rude woman had simply asked if it would be okay for her kids to sit in front of me because she was late because she was a single mom or her husband was in Afghanistan, and she had to work two jobs that morning and her car broke down because she couldn’t afford maintainance and she would have been here sooner but . . . I would have been less apoplectic about the whole situation.
My wife thinks I over-reacted.
I thought I controlled myself very well.
And three more children are being raised to ignore and disrespect others. I don’t see anything festive in that.
Have you ever had any bad parade experiences?