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In my experience, the overwhelming majority of people are considerate in their encounters with me. If there is ever an issue, it's usually due to haste or just not looking, most notably when people let the door go in my face.

If I'm left feeling uncomfortable, it's usually due to an exaggerated gesture, like clearing a space big enough for me to drive a car through, or warning everyone within fifty yards that I'm coming. This is particularly true of staff in music venues. I know it's partly down to deafness caused by years of loud gigs, or a general weariness caused by years of dealing with drunken idiots. Either way, it is charming to make your way through a crowd with a chaperone with shoulders like a rhino, shouting,

But lately, I have encountered one section of society who don't always offer me such courtesy. I recently had a set of doors persistently obstructed while my presence was met with ambivalence. On another occasion, I was at performance when someone stood right in front of me. When I pointed out that I couldn't stand, I was told, "Well you should have got here in plenty of time then."

Rest assured, I made it absolutely clear that I had arrived in plenty of time,using th strongest language appropriate to the situation The gentleman in question tempered his behaviour after that, but on both occasions, it was people from the same demographic who were behaving in such a selfish and inconsiderate manner.

I don't like to make generalisations for fear of courting prejudice, but I feel I can remain silent no longer. So I'm just going to say it. Parents. There.

Yes, I know the arguments, they have different cultural values (usually those of a toddler), but I'm still a little disappointed. Especially because on both occasions I was there because I am  'one of them' too.

The door being obstructed was at the swimming pool as I tried to get Rosalie through it so that she could attend her class. The obstructors were all jockeying for position so that they could gawp through the windows at their offspring slapping the water to a foam and hitting each other with the floats.

The second incident happened first, but was certainly the most shocking. The event I was attending was Rosalie's school Christmas assembly, complete with massed ranks of recorder players and a sort of nativity theme.

Again, I'm inclined to think that it's their love and enthusiasm that makes them behave so badly when they are focused on their offspring.It's not a great example to be offering to the next generation, for sure. But what makes it all the more strange is that we're all just trying to see our kids too. And obviously, mine are much more important than all the others...


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Though I'm not around many pushy parents, I also find that people, when their heads aren't buried in their smart phones, tend to give me a wide berth. The biggest challenge I have is navigating around bicyclists on the sidewalk. I go out of my way to give them as much maneuvering room as possible but sometimes there are diferences of opinion because they either forget or don't know that technically I'm a pedestrian and they are supposed to be riding in the street.

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