What Do You Do When Grown People Act Like Kids?

I can only believe — mostly because I want to — that right now we’re going through some kind of farcical growing pains in society. Why? Because I see too much name calling, finger pointing, lying, he say she say type behavior going on, and it’s exactly the type of nonsense you engage in before you mature.

If it’s not Republican reps name calling Democrat reps — on the front steps of the capitol within ear shot of a reporter, no less — it’s every stupid and completely boring tidbit of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s defunct marriage being trotted out in the press like we should actually care. Come on, people. Really?

I’m referring to Florida GOP Rep. Ted Yoho’s behavior toward Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) of New York on earlier this week. Of course, each of them says something different happened, but the gist of it is, she was walking. He stopped her, pointed his finger, said some random, rude things, and when she called him on his behavior, his parting shot was to call her a fucking bitch as he walked away. There was another Republican with Yoho at the time of the incident, but apparently he has the whole hear no evil see no evil thing going on. So, in kind, I have conveniently forgotten to mention his name here.

It’s like, yeah. We do need some media respite from all things ‘rona: spikes, deaths, industry shakeups, business shutdowns, unemployment, etc. But damn. Even that would be more reasonable than having a grown man parse words on the floor denying responsibility for a stupid ass situation that he created. Is that really what Florida tax dollars are paying this man to do?

AOC also took to the floor to address the issue, but she was defending herself after Yoho made it seem like she was exaggerating everything to get attention. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy that. She didn’t start this. He approached her. He was rude first, he even acknowledged it. She says they’d never even had a conversation before this incident. He kicked all this off, then pulled the old, “I have a wife and daughters I would never” card to try and get out of taking responsibility for his actions when she – in habitually jazzy AOC fashion — ended it with her “bitches get stuff done” comment.

First of all, Yoho — which is way too close to yahoo not to point out the irony, noisy person not email — grow up. Second, we don’t know how you treat the women in your life, so using them as a cover for your bad behavior is weak af. AOC being AOC she said much the same in her own defense.

But seriously. Time on the floor has to involve addressing this type of foolishness? Americans are on fire right now, on so many levels. We’re literally an embarrassment on the world stage — and we’re dying, let’s not forget that — and this is what’s going on between our political leaders? And they wonder why no one wants to be bothered with politics.

Vanity Fair article filed the discussion under a state of men in politics umbrella, and there’s legs to that. But I feel like this rash of adult bad behavior goes deeper. It’s not limited to men for one thing.

For example, the video I saw recently of an older white woman who was politely asked by a store employee to wear a mask. Whereupon she promptly sat herself down in the middle of the floor and refused to move. Really?

Or the video of an older man who literally assaulted a Walmart security guard because he too refused to wear a mask. I almost peed myself laughing — if you’re feeling petty, watch it; it’s ludicrous — but it wasn’t funny. People’s lives are at stake.

I don’t get it. It’s not like people are unaware that there is always, always, someone watching. And not just watching, listening, recording! But they act up anyway. It’s like they can’t even control themselves.

It’s rooted, I think, in entitlement and privilege. Whether it’s misguided patriotism – “I’m an American! I can do what I want” – or economic privilege, it depends on the situation and the level of idiocy involved. But at the end of the day, certain individuals feel they have the right to circumvent the needs and wants of the collective. That their opinions should be enough to flout the written and unwritten rules. Why? That could be a whole lot of things, but a big part of it is immaturity.

So, yeah. Growing pains. I just hope this weird, unfortunate societal adolescence we’re dealing with — as the world tries to right itself amidst all this disruption — doesn’t last as long as traditional teen years. Parents have to have patience with their bratty offspring. It’s in the fine print in the parenting manual.

Politicians picking fights and then hiding behind their female relatives rather than say, “I was out of line. I’m stressed out, and the cracks are showing” — which one could half way respect and possibly forgive, since it shows some semblance of integrity — no. We don’t have deal with that. That’s as ridiculous as a senior citizen imitating a piqued toddler, staging a sit in a Costco because you asked her to please don’t catch a potentially deadly, virulently infectious disease — or give it to anyone else.

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