Et Tu, Jagoff?

Is Pittsburgh really a city full of do-gooders, or are we just as rude as (gulp) Philadelphia?




Illustration by Wayno
 

Call it a screed — because that’s the perfect word. It sounds like an angry, guttural scream. Back in November, I penned a screed — a thousand-word blog post entitled “Fed Up,” in which I shared two experiences I had in downtown Pittsburgh that illustrated, much to my dismay, that some Pittsburghers were losing their sense of neighborliness.

The post included the story that culminated with me getting out of my car, walking up to a man in a BMW and shouting, “You didn’t have to flip me off! Have some [expletive] manners. This is Pittsburgh!” I screamed that with so much righteous indignation that my high horse almost reared up and took off running in fright.

But I was fed up. I’m the girl who believes Pittsburghers are nicer than the residents of other cities. In the past, I have offered proof of that — and I believed it with my whole sunshiny, blue-sky heart. But these two run-ins with rude Pittsburghers had me reeling. So I screeched my screed and yelled at everyone, telling them to go back to being nice. I overused exclamatory punctuation and the caps-lock button. I invoked the name of his holiness, Mister Rogers.

There were a few commenters who wrote that I needed to get my head out of the clouds: Take the rose-colored glasses off, PittGirl. Pittsburgh is no different than any other city full of rude people looking out for No. 1 — surly men and women stuck in the giant hamster wheel of life, who don’t have time for kindness.

I told myself those negative remarks probably came from Ravens fans. Pittsburghers were nicer, damn it. But deep down, I was questioning that.

One month later, I was driving through Homewood toward Westinghouse High School to attend a meeting, for which I’d be five minutes late. I was heading down a residential street lined with parked cars when, a few blocks from the school, the driver in front of me came to a stop to chat with the driver coming the opposite direction. They were clearly acquaintances. There was no room for me to maneuver around them.

So I waited. And sighed.

The conversation continued as the woman facing me, who was in her 20s, dug through her purse in search of something.

She glanced up at me. I gave her a look that said, “I am a nice person. I am trying not to be angry. I am late.”

My Jedi skills clearly need some work: She returned to rifling through her purse.

I itched to give my horn a quick tap. Not an angry blast; just a tiny toot that said, “I have important Jedi matters to attend to presently.”

But I didn’t touch the horn. So I waited another 30 seconds. She glanced at me. I gave one long sigh under the weight of my enormous halo, and finally, she gave up on whatever it was she was hunting for in her purse and drove on.

I was now six-and-one-half minutes late.

That’s an additional 90 seconds. Gone — forever!

I adjusted my halo, gave my high horse a good smack in the rear and high-tailed it to the school. I was marching up the sidewalk, full of bluster, nursing my indignation, muttering about the rudeness of people these days when …

I heard a voice call out. “Excuse me, miss!”

I turned toward the road, and there was the young lady. In her car. Leaning out her window. I resisted the urge to hit the pavement in case I was about to experience a drive-by from a woman who yells “Excuse me, miss!” before shooting her victims.

She fired 10 words.

“I made you wait back there. I’m sorry about that.”

The wind blew out of my sails. The fire went out under my boiling anger. My halo fell off, and my high horse bucked me back down to the ground where I belonged. I dumbly nodded and thanked her. But I wanted to run to her and hug her for proving those Debbie Downers/Ravens fans wrong.

Thank you, whoever you were, for restoring to fullness what took a little hit in November: my belief in the goodness of Pittsburgh’s people.

You’ll never know how much it meant.

Now, has anyone seen my horse? It’s about yay high … 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

The movie is the first non-documentary to focus solely on the pop artist’s life.
How to Build a Playground in Pittsburgh in Less Than a Day

How to Build a Playground in Pittsburgh in Less Than a Day

The state-of-the-art playspace is expected to keep more than 100 children entertained.
Funny: Sofia Vergara Describes Life with Steelers-Fanatic Hubby

Funny: Sofia Vergara Describes Life with Steelers-Fanatic Hubby

Joe Manganiello's wife told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” that she's learned to accept his Steelers' obsession but also admits “in the beginning it was kinda weird.”
Why Steelers Chose Christmas for New Uniform Reveal

Why Steelers Chose Christmas for New Uniform Reveal

It will be the first time the Steelers have worn all black uniforms.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

The things that are best about us? They’re not things. They’re ways.
Chris Kunitz: The Penguins' Unassuming Hitmaker

Chris Kunitz: The Penguins' Unassuming Hitmaker

Chris Kunitz wants to dish out a couple hundred more hits, play a couple hundred more games and win a couple more Cups.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

The movie is the first non-documentary to focus solely on the pop artist’s life.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Dinette's Sonja Finn to Helm New Restaurant at Carnegie Museums in Oakland

Dinette's Sonja Finn to Helm New Restaurant at Carnegie Museums in Oakland

Finn and chef de cuisine Becca Hegarty to bring salads, sandwiches, house-baked bread, wine and more to the refurbished Café Carnegie.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

The historic (and purportedly haunted) Harmony Inn is a fine stop for drinks and food.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pens Look Back and Ahead to Cap ‘Summer of Stan’

Pens Look Back and Ahead to Cap ‘Summer of Stan’

The puck drops for the opening of training camp on Friday, and once that happens the Penguins must transition from “champions” into “defending champions.”

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Work It

Work It

A new handbag from Sandra Cadavid’s is perfect for work — or play.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

Reviews of the "Magnificent Seven" remake and "Storks," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

This Pittsburgh couple wanted their guests to be just as content as they were at their wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
This Weekend: Annual Wilkinsburg House & Garden Tour

This Weekend: Annual Wilkinsburg House & Garden Tour

Also: If you’re looking to redo a room to invite relaxation, PPG Paints promises a wide variety of soothing colors for 2017.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Ken Gormley began his new tenure by delivering good news to University employees.

Comments