Most old people say, “Kids today,” then add something along the lines of how WE never behaved in such and such a way. I always told myself I wouldn’t do that. I lied.
I was in Wally World this afternoon because we were out of milk and a few essentials. As I was walking down the main aisle, two boys between 10 and 12 ran out of a side aisle and nearly knocked my shopping cart over.
After making sure no one was hurt, I told them in my teacher voice, “Guys, this isn’t a playground and not a place to be running like that. Especially since it is so crowded.” They glared at me. No apology, nothing as they kept right on running.
Their mother came up to me, all puffed up like a ticked off hen, she said, “ How dare you discipline MY SONS! They are just being kids! You have no right to correct them, or say anything about their behavior. I am their mother, that is my job.”
Inside I was really pissed off. But I calmly said, “Well then, honey, you ought to act like a mother and teach them how to behave in public and teach them some manners while you are at it.” OK, snarky, but heck, I didn’t even raise my voice to the brats. Geesh!
The woman got right in my face, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” “Oh,” I returned, “Not only are you a miserable failure as a mother, you are also hard of hearing if you have to shout at people. Or, perhaps, I used words that were too large for your limited vocabulary.” Still keeping calm outwardly, I was seething inside. Several people gasped at my comment, several more snickered, and a few laughed right out loud. Sarcasm, in the South, is best served by using a sweet, bless your heart, voice.
About that time, one of her kids came running back, and hid behind the old hen. Right behind him came the security guys. I made eye contact with another mother, and she just rolled her eyes. I didn’t stick around to find out what happened, but for security to chase him down he probably did something bad enough to get into big trouble. If his mother didn’t try to protect him, that is.
Why is it that parents are so afraid to parent their children? What happened to teaching kids basic manners, correct behavior for the situation, place and time? When did it become acceptable to get in an elders face and and scream at them when they simply ask kids to stop running before they get hurt? Maybe it is because I am old, or maybe it is because I was taught by parents who could put the fear of God in me when I acted up, but honestly, if I had ever behaved that way, not only would my mother warm my bottom up, I would get a lecture from my dad that would make me cringe. Those kids will probably have a car accident – heaven help other drivers – and even if they killed someone, she would make excuses for their behavior. Not their fault, after all, they are just kids being kids. Gag a maggot that excuse really ticks me off!
So, after fighting my way to the check out area, I got in a long line just like everyone else. As I stand there, the twenty-five-ish woman in front of me was picking up magazines and flipping through them. Putting them back in the wrong places, and every time the cart in front of her moved, she just stood there flipping through the magazines. Meanwhile, the distance between her and the cart in front of her was getting larger, large enough for someone to ask if she was still in line. She got a bit huffy, but moved up. Then started all over again.
I asked her if she wouldn’t mind moving along, as people were waiting to check out. “Besides,” I told her, “if you want to look at the magazines, perhaps you should buy them and read them at home.” “I ain’t gonna buy this $h*t, I just wanna look at ’em.”
“What are you, ten years old, little kids flip through comic books like that. A grown woman would at least have the common sense to put them back where they found them, or have the decency to actually purchase them. And keep up with what is going on around her, so not to delay everyone with her childish behavior.” I got an eye roll, and she told me to go do something totally impossible. I laughed and did my standard, “Sorry honey, I don’t roll that way, but its nice to know that you fancy me.” So she called me a female dog, and I thanked her for noticing. She was next in line and started throwing her stuff on the moving belt, fuming. She was still holding one of the gossip rags, and when the clerk asked if she wanted to purchase that, she slammed it back into the holder and nearly took the clerk’s head off with the glare she threw at her. Couldn’t help myself, I snickered, and rolled my eyes.
So, finished with Wally World, we headed to Sam’s to get diapers and such. I was wandering about looking at summer clothes and sales for Addie. I came around one rack, and a woman cut me off and got ahead of me. “Eh, so what,” I thought. But the woman just stopped right in the middle of the aisle, and started looking at those trousers all the little girls are wearing with the ruffles on the bottom of the legs. I think they look like clown clothes. But,I digress.
I waited patiently, I couldn’t get around her or her basket unless one of them moved. I finally asked her to let me by. She gave me the most hateful look, and ignored me. I waited another five minutes, by my watch. I couldn’t back up and turn around, there were people behind me. So I asked her to let me by again. She glared again and proceeded to ignore me AND the folks behind me. Eye contact and eye rolls were exchanged between us. I figured that if she could be that rude, I would serve hear a slice of her own hateful pie.
I reached out, took hold of her cart and pushed it out of my way, and moved in front of her. Again, with the swearing and the F word and the female dog word. I stopped, looked her dead in the eye, “If you insist on acting as if your are mentally disable or so ignorant that you don’t recognize a polite request to get your fat ass out of the way so others can get past you, then you should expect to be treated just as rudely in return.” Again, with the female dog word. “Thanks for noticing, I wouldn’t want anyone to think I am a push over or a door mat.” Again, I was told to go, well you know what, myself. “Nice language coming from a woman your age. Didn’t you go to school, read a book, or learn how to speak like a proper grown up person?”
They guy behind me walked past and leaned over to me. “Ma’am, there are just some people who ain’t got the sense God gave a tree, and they are stunted from growing in the wrong place. She can’t help it that she is stupid and rude, she don’t know no better.” Before I could come back with a response, she told him to do the same thing she told me. “Are you offering, sweetheart?” I thought she was going to turn inside out with indignation. She grabbed her cart and stomped off in a huff. “Hey,” the guy called after her, “Don’t go away mad, just go away, far far away to the land of the hateful.” I lost it and started laughing. “Good one.” He winked at me, shook my hand, and we both went our own way.
Must have been my day to deal with stupid people. Gotta love it that the guy got my sarcasm, most don’t. Oh, and the kicker is that he had to be at least 70 plus. Overweight, and not a pretty sight, he was sharp as a tack, and dead on right about people like that woman.