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Monday, August 07, 2006
I'm a horrible person
So Saturday Megan and I had just finished wandering through the Central Park Zoo and were sitting on a park bench elsewhere in Central Park, gathering some energy for further adventures. We had bought something to drink from a vendor and had pulled out our books, prepared to enjoy the sunshine and the day. (see post below for pictures)

I had just purchased this book at The Strand and was just digging into it when a family sat down on the bench next to us. The mother was what I, rightly or wrongly, think of as a typical New York mother: fast-talking, fashionably dressed, with fashionably dressed children orbiting at various distances around her while she tries to figure out a way to talk with both hands while holding a cell phone to her ear. Her little girl of about 4 was ping-ponging from one park bench to another, her curly hair and Kitson shirt no doubt charming the entire park. . .except for me. Me, I was wary.

She paraded too closely by once or twice, and on about her fourth orbit she looked me straight in the eye for a full second and then smacked her grimy little palm down on the book I was reading and walked away.

Megan immediately started laughing. I suppose it was funny in a sense, but I certainly wasn't finding it so at the moment. In my heart of hearts, I wanted to dump my blue Gatorade on her curly blonde head. I wanted to see her little butt hit concrete. (Hence the title of my post.) I did not ask her to come into my world, I did not even smile and make much of her, which I can imagine for some kids can get to be too much. I was simply reading a book on a bench that happened to be attached to where her family decided to sit.

Her mother was, of course, on the phone. Her father said something like "Britainnia, that's not nice." And in between trying to make or cancel a reservation for some hot-spot her mother said "Britainnia darling, that's obnoxious and rude...NO I SAID WE COULD NOT MAKE IT THERE BY FIVE, I DON'T CARE WHO YOU HAVE TO BUMP...how would you like it if someone hit you...YES, WELL THEY'LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT A LITTLE LONGER. We're leaving."

I received no apology, not even a half-hearted, I'm-sorry-I-really-have-no-idea
-how-to-parent-my-child smile.

I just sat and stared at my book until they were gone.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
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8 Comments:
  • At 9:06 AM, Blogger Dallas DYSfunction said…

    Had this happened in the South; My mamma would have already busted my tale, apologized and then bitched me out all the way back to the car. You just don't do things like that in front of your mamma down here :)

     
  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Sally said…

    I'm afraid that is pretty much how things are. There's more permissiveness and indulgence from parents over the past decade and I'm not sure what to attribute it to. (Many factors)

    As for how you felt, you are perfectly justified. It's the same thing as if you were a non-smoker and a smoker sat next to you and puffed second-hand smoke in your general direction. You didn't ask to smoke, you didn't want the smoke, you certainly didn't want to breath the smoke.

    Parents forget that not everyone sees children as adorable. Not everyone has the extended patience levels to endure children's behavior. Of course this mom was distracted (which is one of the many factors in creating the indulgence parenting problems) which makes her even less in-tuned to how others are reacting to her child's behavior. You were perfectly within your rights to glare, huff, get up and move to another bench to make your point perfectly clear, especially after you received no apology.

     
  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger Sally said…

    Btw, where is that picture of in your header? It looks like the Flint Hills of Kansas, my home state.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger LoRi~fLoWer said…

    Dallas, I'm Yankee born and bred and my mom not only would have smacked my butt, but she would also have made ME apologize to the person.

    Sally, I was at a complete loss, and basically occupied warring with my instinctive reaction to push her down. Oh, and I took the picture in Wales on a trip toward Aberystwyth(on the coast).

     
  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Wes said…

    This is why Daleks are necessary -- to EXTERMINATE little buggers like that. ;)

    And is there a picture in the header? I can't see it -- or the header! That's just weird.

     
  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger LoRi~fLoWer said…

    that's why WHAT is necessary?

     
  • At 12:56 PM, Blogger Becky said…

    I, too, get so incensed when kids run into me or do something that's completely rude and the parents don't do or say anything about it. It happens all the time, and even yesterday at the grocery store where this kid was running in the aisles, rounded the corner and smacked into me. The mom had the gall to smile at me.

     
  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger LoRi~fLoWer said…

    Becky, I just don't get it, I really don't. I know I sound old when I say "when I was a kid," but what is with the rudeness?

     
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