June 20, 2024
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June 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I don’t think it is my age that caused the reaction that I had to the following situation.

I was in a store, allowing myself the luxury of a manicure, when a group of women who were in the store carried on as though they were in their own kitchen. Screaming and yelling with each other as if there was no other person present is an understatement of what was going on. There must have been about five women who, I guess by chance, ran into each other on that day. Actually I think one or two were walking by and then spotted their friends and decided to join the party as if, as I said, this was their own private party. The women working in the store kept looking at each other and at me and mumbling under their breath how unpleasant this was. It was totally out of control (no exaggeration). At one point someone said a loud “Shh!,” which quieted everyone for about two seconds. No one could speak to each other because the screaming that was going on back and forth was totally intolerable.

Consideration for others in the store was nonexistent. This became their private encounter. I can repeat conversations that were screamed back and forth with one lady telling everyone present how embarrassed she was that she was flying to Israel during the Nine Days. I repeat this only because there was nothing that was said that was not public for everyone present to hear. Had she realized, she never would have bought the tickets for that day, she said. We all heard the story several times each time a new person joined the crowd. OMG it was so rude and distasteful and I was thoroughly embarrassed by their behavior and upset for the others who were sitting there quietly trying to mind their own business.

When the posse walked out onto the street all of the women working in the store giggled and let out a huge sigh of relief. It was extremely distasteful and was completely rude and unacceptable.

One of the reasons that I decided to write about it is because there are times when similar behavior has taken place in other venues when people go for a quiet night out. How many times have we been seated near a table in a restaurant and the group sitting near us decided that the room belonged only to them. Screaming and yelling across the table, getting up from their seats and walking to visit with others perhaps sitting at the other side of where they are, and their noise permeates the room to the displeasure of others who are only trying to have their own private night out. Where has this behavior come from? Isn’t there a form of decorum that should be appropriate in a public setting?

This was not a simcha, a bar/bat mitzvah or wedding celebration where you are either on the side of the noise haters or the young people enjoying every drop of it. This was an average everyday occurrence.

Just a reminder to everyone that there are times when we need to be reminded of the need to respect the space of others. Standing on top of them and screaming is inappropriate. Just as much can be said in a quiet tone as a loud one, and by speaking softly one might command that much more respect and attention than the opposite behavior.


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community.

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