I get we’re living in the “I do whatever I want” era, but to what end do we allow certain behaviors to be tolerated? Freedom of expression is one thing, but blatant disrespect and lack of caring needs to stop.

Usually I write about my personal experiences, motivation and the crazy world we live in. This piece is about personal experiences and life, but it’s really more of a straight up gripe.

I was dining out at a buffet restaurant with my kid. I was people watching, as tend to do and I often make comments about those I see. It’s not that I’m overly judgmental, nor do I think I’m better than others (well, maybe a little) but I often question what goes through the minds of people when they’re out in public.

Specifically what I refer to here is personal appearance, hygiene and demeanor.

The first thing I noticed when walking in the restaurant was a guy wearing sagging pants. I get it’s a “fashion trend”, but this person had his pants down to his knees with his underwear (crotch and all) fully exposed. I’d understand it a little more if it was a teenager, but the guy was probably all of 40.

Whatever. But as I waited in line at the counter, I noticed an overwhelming odor. The man behind me smelled like he crapped his pants. He seemed okay with it, so I guess I was supposed to accept it also. As I walked around getting my food, I couldn’t help noticing body odor. Do people not use deodorant anymore?

As we sat, I looked around the restaurant. What I saw made me feel like I was in a homeless camp.

People were dirty. I mean literally dirty, like they just dug a mud pit with their bare hands. I saw adult men wearing ripped, tattered and stained shirts and pants. I saw morbidly obese women wearing clothing way too revealing for their body shapes (ex: fat rolls pouring out of five sizes too small tank tops and spandex shorts).

And it wasn’t like it was one or two people, nor were they all together. My first thought was an outreach group rounded up all the homeless they could find on the street for dinner, but it wasn’t so.  There was a baby’s birthday party, another child’s 8th birthday celebration, families dining together, couples on a date and so on and so on.

The crowded restaurant was full of people who look like they’re never seen a mirror. There were all different ages, races and ethnicities, both male and female, so I’m not picking on anyone. I just didn’t understand what I was seeing. I’m not saying you need to dress up every time you go out, but is it asking a lot to not look and smell nasty in public?

Maybe I was just in a mood where I was being overly critical, but what I saw wasn’t all. What I heard disgusted me more.

Keep in mind, there were many families with young kids present. The explicit words uttered in casual  conversation not only in front of their own kids, but loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to hear made me wonder (as I often do) what is wrong with people.

A kid who was sitting nearby us couldn’t have been more than 9 or 10 years old. He had a phone out and was listening to some rap song (loud enough I could hear clearly 3 or 4 tables away). The song had less than pleasant lyrics, dropping the “F bomb” more times than I count ,as his mother sat there texting on her own phone oblivious to the world around them.

As I looked around the crowded restaurant, no one seemed bothered by anything I was observing, yet the very nature of non-caring people bothers me to no end.

Am I just old fashioned? Am I weird because I try not to offend others around me (except with my writing LOL)? Should I not care that people are nasty?

When I’ve told this story to people, I’ve received mixed comments. Some say it might be due to poverty. Maybe so, but my argument to that is if they’re too poor to buy deodorant or soap, how can they afford to take their family of five to a buffet that costs more than $8.00 per person? 

I know not everyone is cultured and I know some people honestly don’t know any better, but why do we tolerate this behavior in public? When did these behaviors become okay?I don’t believe your financial status has anything to do with it. I think it’s just laziness.

We all have days where we just want to be lazy, but when it comes to personal hygiene, feel free to do what you want at home but please clean up a little before going out on the town. Is that so much to ask?

What do you think???

Written by Marty Augustine

Marty Augustine - Writer