Selfish people oblivious to feelings of anyone else seem to be everywhere
- Credit: PA
The other evening, I was enjoying a meal with old friends and catching up on life's events over a bottle of wine after the funeral of our old boss.
We've been friends for more than 30 years but, living far and wide, we meet rarely so there was a lot of chat and hours of evening ahead.
A large table next to us filled up with what looked like a work outing – about 15 people, ranging from their early 20s to women in their 40s, a mixture of men and women but mainly young women.
From then on, 3.30pm during a home match in the Snakepit at Carrow Road would have been a more peaceful place.
A crescendo-ing cacophony of shrieking, and yelling across the table drowned out our conversation, dominated by the foghorn voice of the loudest of the party, a woman, clearly tanked up, who bawled everything at top decibel.
At one stage, she got up and thrust her bottom across the table, hoisting up her top to show a tattoo on her lower back. Charming.
We literally couldn't hear each other speak and some of the group, totally oblivious to anyone around, continued to make their unbearable unnecessary din, as if they were the only people in the busy restaurant.
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No one else mattered. They were the only important people. It was all about them, their enjoyment and their shrieking. Crass selfishness.
Not only is it incredibly bad manners, it's thoughtless. Only they are in their little world and they will do what they want, when they want.
A young waitress tried to tell them to keep it down. They took no notice, responding with that ignorant open-eyed surprise: 'What? What's your problem?'
Then on an early Mother's Day lunch with my mother, the three people at the next table, this time in their 60s and should know better, were watching videos of their grandchildren on their phone, loudly, and over and over again. Then, every time one of them received a text message – which was frequently – it burst out with a piercing jingle and cartoon voice chiming: 'You have a text message.'
It's like people who never let other drivers out into a crawling line of traffic, eyes ahead and jaw fixed, as if no one else's journey, destination, getting to work on time matters.
They are the only people who matter. While I can't pass a junction without letting a driver out, the favour is rarely returned.
These two polar views have been aired all week since mother Lindsay Robinson was asked to leave a John Lewis store when her 16-month-old daughter, Heidi, had a fit of the screaming ab-dabs.
Rather than picking her up and removing her from the store, she tried to calm her down amid a packed shop at midday on a Saturday. Trying to reason with a toddler is like trying to talk down a rampaging stag: it's pointless and guaranteed to get worse.
It was excessive to ask the mother to leave but, of course, she should have left under her own steam as soon as Heidi kicked off, thinking of the people around her and Heidi too.
It's a long time since I had to wrestle with toddlers in a shop – a place I rarely ventured with them because of the risk of an embarrassing explosion because, let's face it, shops and kids don't mix.
And I know how I hated to hear screaming children being dragged around when I was eyeing up curtain fabric or trying on a frock. Selfish people oblivious to the feelings of anyone else seem to increasingly be getting everywhere.
• LET'S HOPE THE NEWLY-WEDS WILL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Rupert Murdoch married Jerry Hall amid their blended family of 10 children the week before his 85th birthday.
When he walked down the aisle of Christopher Wren's St Bride's Church, it was Murdoch's fourth wedding. I do love an optimist.
I can't decide if I should be cynical about the wedding to 59-year-old Hall being yukky smulchy pappy love or full of admiration at their true romantic belief in the institution of marriage entered into with hope that it will last happily ever after.
It was also quite touching that it was technically Hall's first wedding because her first to Mick Jagger, the father of her three children, in Bali didn't count so, in the end, she got the proper wedding she might have longed for.
They looked wonderfully radiant and elated as they gazed at each other and no one boycotted the wedding or threw a hissy fit about their father, in the twilight of his years, acting like a love-struck teenager and falling for a beautiful woman, again.
From the photos, it looked like a union that everyone involved truly celebrated and approved.
In a strange way, seeing two people make commitment with hope and the blessing of all their families can only make your heart sing and wipe away the cynic in us.
Time will tell.
Murdoch's tweet on the night before the wedding said it all: 'No more tweets for ten days or ever! Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in world.'
I hope Jerry is the luckiest and happiest woman too.