Who's in the right here? Is this girl a spoiled brat or am I an ignorant hick?

The other day at lunch, I met a prospie (prospective student, for those not down wit’ da 411) from a Chicago private school, who was very excited about coming to Beloit. From the ten-minute conversation I had with her, I can say I’m very glad that I’ll be in Madison next year. :wink:

I don’t know if this is a Chicago thing or a Chicago school thing or a rich white brat from a Chicago private school thing, but this kid’s obnoxious attitude spilled over into everything. From the way she interrupted everyone, to the way she talked louder when someone else tried to have a side conversation, even to the way she stabbed her fries into her ketchup, everything screamed of assumed superiority.

I mentioned that I was leaving Beloit, and she asked why. I told her how I’d lived in small towns my entire life, and how I was ready for a change, and how I was disappointed in many of the departments (coughcoughARTcoughcough) here. She said something like “I want to go to a bigger city too.” I said “Wait… aren’t you from CHICAGO?”

So she goes off on this rant about how she’s bisexual and her grandma’s friend overheard her talking about “hot chicks” to her friend who’s bisexual too, then told her grandma who told her mom and she got in trouble for it. My friend Lauren, who’s sitting next to me (and who’s from Des Moines) says “Well, that’s why you don’t talk about that stuff in public!” I say “Yeah!” or some such.

The girl blows up at Lauren and me. Tells us there’s no reason why Grandma and Mom shouldn’t be accepting. Says she should be able to say whatever the hell she wants and not get in trouble for it. But by now, most of the table has agreed with Lauren, so the girl changes the subject.

But this little exchange bothered me for the rest of the day. Lauren and I are from places where there’s a set of things you do not talk about in public, period - and if sexuality isn’t number one, it’s up there. We obey these rules, preferring to have our “hot chicks” and (I’m assuming) “hot dudes” discussions in a friend’s living room or basement, instead of on a crowded sidewalk or a bus. “Getting in trouble” would consist of disowning or boot camp.

I’ll admit I wouldn’t be at all upset with this girl if the people gossiping about her had been 16 or 17 - but Grandma and company are from a different time with a stricter set of rules, and it’s not easy to change once you’re in your sixties or seventies. What pissed me off the most was this girl’s superior attitude: that every single one of those rules we took for granted should bend for her, and her “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” philosophy should be instantly accepted with no friction or complaint.

But maybe the prospie was on to something. Maybe those old rules need to be broken, by whatever means. Maybe Lauren and I have this concept of “good” and “permissible” that helps to keep an order that needs to change.

Aaaargh, I’m so confused…

I don’t know how typical that is, but being bisexual does not mean that you can forget about tact.

There should be no problem with someone being attracted to someone of the same sex, if that’s what they want. But it was stupid to rub her grandmother’s nose in that. And it’s nonsense to think you can say whatever you want and not have to answer for the consequences (there are libel laws, for instance).

You’re right that grandma is probably less accepting of things than people of the girl’s generation, and that’s why anyone with a brain would be a bit circumspect around her.

The girl sounds like a spoiled brat, and there of those of every sexual preference, alas.

The girl needs to be pimp-slapped by Mister Real World, followed by being cut down by Mister Good Manners.

RealityChuck, I think I should clarify what went on between her and Grandma.

Girl and best friend are sitting on a bus, talking about “hot chicks.”

Grandma’s best friend is sitting near them. I assume they didn’t know this, but I could be wrong.

Grandma’s friend tells Grandma, who tells Mom, who gets mad.

But see, it’s not like that anymore. Some time ago it was announced by somebody (Oprah? Phil?) that you’re supposed to “express your feelings”. This, of course, was never done in polite company, only with the people who loved you the most.

It wasn’t long after that when all the taboos fell and it became acceptable to discuss anything in public, whether it be female cycles, sex lives, medical symptoms and procedures, as well as sexual orientation.

I, myself, prefer it the old way. But then, maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

I trust your judgement that she may be a soilet brat who acts with a superiority complex, and that her manner may have been wrong, but I agree with her that she shouldn’t have gotten in trouble for her sexual preference.

In an ideal world, very true. In our society, she’s lucky that all that happened was that her mom and grandma disapproved. She could have had someone follow her off the bus and harm her, for instance.

We don’t know exactly what the mother said to her, do we? She might have expressed her disapproval of the girl talking about sex in a public place. We seem to be assuming that the mother condemed the girl’s sexual preference. That said, had I been the mother and knew that other people were talking (gossiping) about my daughter, I would have been angry too and I would have gone straight to the source of the gossip–the daughter. But, remember, I am a crotchety old guy.

What I see, then, is a need for change, not a need for the girl to shut up and and stick with “traditional ways”.

Or C. None of the above?

I’ve actually seen this …

A kid is forced by parents to apply to a school they don’t really want to go to. Best way to not get in, assuming they normally would, is to blow the interview. Mommy and Daddy aren’t around to find out what went wrong. Kid gets away with “just one of those things” excuse.

Although it is true that all-girl private high school kids get taught the fine art of self-centered bad manners. Got one in our family.

Basically, I don’t care what you do so long as you don’t frighten the horses.

That said, there’s a time and a place for everything. It’s called college, but there’s also a thing called tact (fathead), and it’s a beautiful thing. She’s technically in the wrong for assuming that everyone has the tolerance to accept an alternative lifestyle, and for getting steamed at you knowing that there’s times you let it all hang out and there’s times you’re on your best behaviour.

I’m het, but there’s a time you talk about that in gross terms, and there’s a time you let it hang back. Just use your best judgement acording to the situation and let it be.

I don’t know Dao, it seems like people should be allowed to say what they want on the bus. But it sounds like she was speaking in her I’m-the-center-of-the-universe-so-everyone-within-a-50-foot-radius-must-hear voice, she should have expected that someone she didn’t want to hear that would overhear her.

Were her mom and grandma wrong for being angry at her being bi? I’d say so. Is her righteous indignation justified? Partially. Is she a spoiled brat? Definitely.

She sounds pretty self-centered to me, and for reasons having nothing to do with her sexuality.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty like her in Madison–I speak from experience.

Interesting, I have a different take on this. I think what you experienced was a dash of urban/small town cultural clash.

I grew up in NYC. I don’t find it rude to be interrupted or, in most casual conversations, to interrupt people. In high school “conversations” were more like a collage of overlapping statements rather than one person waiting while the other spoke. This all was perfectly normal as far as our peer group was concerned.

When I went to college, in Williamsburg, VA, lets just say there was an ajdustment period. People found me VERY abrasive, almost frightening. The way that strangers spoke to me and had opinions on my business (for example, what I was saying to a friend on the bus) creeped me out! Jeez, mind your own business! Keep your morals to yourself!

The fact that you found her method for eating fries “superior” speaks more to your own feelings than her actions. I’d like to know how a method of eating can be considered superior or self-centered?

I think its time for you to relax your “rules” about what is and isn’t “done” – what purpose do they serve? You’re certainly in for a rude awakening in Madison otherwise!

The sexuality is not the issue. The girl just wants attention. Just treat people like that like they’re the most normal people in the world.

There are two separate issues here:
a) being annoying
b) being bisexual

It sounds like this girl’s annoying for reasons that have to do with her being condescending, a loudmouth, etc. Instead of going off on her for these traits, you went off on her for discussing her sexuality on a bus, which to me seems like a totally acceptable thing to do (the discussion, not the part about getting mad).

Daowajan, even though you come from a small town, you can’t tell me you’ve never heard a straight guy publicly say that he thinks a girl is cute. This is an example of the double standard people apply to those who are bi or gay: If we discuss our attraction at all, we’re “flaunting it”, “shoving it down people’s throats”, “being obscene”, etc.

That said, the “annoyingness” being a big city/small town thing might be accurate—I’m a DC native and went to a small town in Georgia for school, where I found that many people considered my conversational habits rude (while up North, I was considered somewhat quiet). It took about a year for me to grasp how to “tone down” enough for those around me.

There’s some middle ground, really.

She should be able to say what she wants in public, but be ready to accept the consequences of people overhearing. Especially in terms of sexuality, prudence is often better on account of that whole “some things can get you killed” clause.

And expecting instant acceptance is bloody stupid, really. Just a wee bit unrealistic. At the same time, getting in trouble for her sexuality rankles a bit.

I just remember this past Easter when quietgirl met my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin for the first time. They all know that she’s my girlfriend. They accept that. But damned if we even brushed against each other in their presence- that would have been going to far, and I have to respect that.

andy, I don’t even hold my boyfriend’s hand around my family. I know that they just don’t wanna know, no matter what my SO’s gender is. Yay for universality :slight_smile:

Ugh, she sounds like another person who belives that freedom of speech means fredom from responsibility for anything you might say.

Well, to put another spin on it, isn’t the real asshole the girl’s grandma’s friend? She did, after all, overhear a conversation, go behind the girl’s back, and employ gossip which ultimately created an awkward situation for the girl.

Underhanded gossip annoys me much more than people not using discretion in their ostensibly private conversations.