Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rudeness Is As Rudeness Does

I do believe in respecting the dead, but I believe in respecting the living even more ……. because of course, they can appreciate it.

Recently my family had some interaction with the Rudenick family.   I originally was going to call them the Summit County Hillbillies, but then I realized that would be insulting to the hillbillies.  Hillbillies may be uncultured, but that doesn’t necessarily make you rude, no the Rudenicks as you will see are in a class by themselves.
I went to the hospital to visit my father-in-law who was very seriously ill.  Family members had congregated in the waiting room because the hospital was limiting visitation.  Almost immediately I noticed the Rudenicks.   They were spread out of the other side of the waiting room taking up an enormous amount of space for the number of people present.  A young woman, who I will call “Miss Piggy”, was lying down on a couch.  The Rudenicks were also engaged in loud, personal, conversations.  They were acting as if the waiting room was their home and being very disrespectful to the other people there.

Then one of the Rudenicks arrived a load of food for the group.  They should have eaten in the cafeteria, but hey, this is our home so let’s get “carry-out”.  Incredibly, Miss Piggy did not even sit up to eat her sandwich, she ate it lying down!  This was crude, rude, and probably a choking hazard.
The Rudenicks needed to send more than one person to get their dinner because the poor guy dropped a full cup of ice after coming through the door. This was not an issue since the ice fell in the Rudenicks vast domain.  However no one cleaned up the ice and eventually one of the Rudenicks inadvertently kicked a couple pieces into the aisle way.  Now we had a safety issue.  I pointed this out to my brother-in-law Tim, who was standing near the ice.  Tim, being a very conscientious person, picked up the ice in the aisle and then proceeded to pick up every other piece and throw it in the trash.     

Miss Piggy stopped gnawing on her sandwich and apparently took exception to this.  She looked at me and said (with attitude), “We were gonna clean that up.”
The words are “Thank You”.  If somebody does something kind for you, especially when you are under stress, the words are “Thank You Very Much”.  I think this is the standard for people around the world, but not here. 
What I wanted to say is:  “No, you weren’t.  You were not going to touch that ice! You wouldn’t get off your fat ass to walk down to the cafeteria.  You wouldn’t even lift your fat ass up to eat your sandwich.  You were not going to bend your fat ass over to pick this up.  You were just going to let it melt!”  What I did say (with absolutely no emotion) was there was a safety hazard that had to be addressed.  
Unfortunately my father-in-law’s condition was terminal and within days he was transferred to a hospice.  It was an excellent facility that would provide a calm, dignified, experience for my family.  Until like a swarm of locusts, the Rudenicks invaded the place.  That’s right, the Rudenick family matriarch was now right down the hall.
Volunteer groups bring food to the hospice daily for the close members who do not want to leave the facility.  The Rudenicks viewed this service to be a daily “free lunch” and scarfed down all the food.    They camped out in the kitchen like vultures around feeding time.  They crowded the kitchen and made it difficult for anyone else to enter the room to even get a cup of coffee.
The hospice has a “solace” room.  It is a place of peace where people can go to grieve privately after spending extended time with the patient.  But forget about having a peaceful experience now.  This area was treated as a “family room” by the Rudenicks.   They spread out as they did at the hospital and occupied the entire room.  Loud family conversations, not whispers, were the norm.
This behavior prompted one of my very compassionate family members to proclaim, “We can only hope for a fast death” and he wasn’t referring to my father-in-law.
The Postscript:  My father-in-law, Don Richardson succumbed to melanoma on February 28, 2012.   My mother-in-law asked me to delivery part of the eulogy which was difficult to do, but not for the normal reason.  Don was a great, exceptional, man.  Communicating his greatness to people who already knew that was a challenge.  Because you see, if Don would have been in the hospital waiting room when the ice was spilled, he would have immediately cleaned it up for the Rudenicks without being asked by anyone.  And when the woman objected, he would have smiled broadly and told her he was glad to help out.