Deep breath. Inhale. Exhale.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did just spend a few hours amongst the public. How can you tell? I’m just going to say it. I love people, but, well, people are bananas. One thing that I experience every time I go out is this: Irritable, LOUD, agitated parents of small children. If you’re fuse is so short that you go from here to there inside of 10 seconds, don’t have kids!
These parents (or pa-RANTs) need an abbreviated lesson in common sense:
- Kids are kids. Just because you enjoy shopping for an hour, scouring over every single shoe in the store doesn’t mean a 3 year old little boy is going to have a grand old time. Three year old boys weren’t made to sit as still and quiet as lawn furniture for any length of time.
- Take a look at your kid’s little legs. Now tell me how in the name of all that’s reasonable you think THOSE legs can possibly keep step with your’s.
- Yelling in public never has been and never will be attractive, acceptable or applaud-able.
- To the woman who yelled at the grade-school aged kids to “Act your age!” Then followed it with a “SHUT UP!!!!”….. seriously? Out of the same mouth, act your age….. SHUT UP! I’d have paid money for one of the kids to have said, “Okay. You first.”
- If you treat a child with anger and, God forbid, violence – they come to accept that as the preferred reaction. One day, in about 10 years, you’ll find yourself standing in front of a police officer with a dazed expression on your face. I only wish I could be there to slap you with a, “What in the BLEEP did you expect. Now, SHUT UP!”
Of course, it’s not just parents who seem to think that public is the perfect place to argue, fight, and bicker. Some couples act like they’re in divorce court. Frankly, I don’t care about public displays of affection, as long as nothing gets out of hand, of course. If people want to hold hands or walk with their arms around one another, cool beans. I’ll take them over the ones that bite one another’s heads off and argue in public. Again, seriously?
Today a woman flat bit her husband’s head off when she asked what he wanted for supper. He said, “Chicken,” and she tore into him good. I guess it was the wrong answer. As I was hot-footing it out of the aisle (afraid she’d turn her wrath on me since I had chicken in my cart), I heard her saying something about not wanting to spend 16 hours in the kitchen. I don’t know how she cooks chicken, but she’s doing it wrong.
Sometimes I imagine what time travelers from years ago would say. If our grandparents (0r even parents to tell the truth), when they were in their early 20’s, could have traveled to a Wal-Mart in Everyday, USA. Once they got over the shock of piercings, hairstyles, clothes, and so on – I just have a feeling one of the first things out of their mouths would involve manners. I can hear my husband’s grandmother now… “Back in the day, wouldn’t have dreamed of doing that.”
I can imagine my great-great grandmother passing out when she heard people yelling at one another.
I don’t know, maybe I”m just an old soul at heart. But in my dream world, people treat one another (regardless of their age) with respect. They never raise their voice in public and try to remain calm, cool, and collected. Parents act like the adults. Men and women never leave the house unless they’re clean, put together, and wouldn’t die of embarrassment if they came face to face with someone they knew from high school.
I did encounter a couple of different ladies who were cool customers. One was in her 20’s with a baby girl or boy. Couldn’t tell you if I had to – but it was cuter than it had a right to be. I smiled at the baby and told her she certainly had a precious baby. She smiled ear to ear and said, “Thank you! Until 5 months ago, I only thought I knew what happy was!” She then said something about being the luckiest girl in the world and I couldn’t help thinking that within her cart was a terribly lucky baby boy. Or girl.
Another lady was about 50 years older than this happy young mother. She was almost cuter than the baby was, I must say. Little red sweater, bright blue pants, neat little sneakers, curly white hair, and a smile that lit up the entire grocery store. She tried to reach a cereal on a top shelf and I rushed at the opportunity to reach something for someone else. At 5’2″ on a proud day, I’m normally on the other side of the situation. She thanked me and we talked about the weather, birds, and the high price of cereal (we’re both against it). It was obvious that she was just a genuinely upbeat, happy, and cheerful person. I’m drawn to people like that like a hummingbird is to nectar. I wanted to bring her home with me, but if I start bringing people home, it might alarm my husband.
When she of the neat sneakers and I were parting ways, her smiling son came up the aisle toward her. He held up a box of some sort of ice cream bars and asked if those were the ones she liked. She said, “Yep. That’s the good stuff!” Cute, cute lady.
I guess this post has only one thing on its mind – an admonition for all of us (parents, wives, children, husbands, workers, non-workers) to strive to be more civil, have more class, and act like… you guessed it… ladies and gentlemen. At the very least, NOT like savages.
When is it the right time to yell at anyone in public? When they’ve grabbed your purse and are trying to get away.
Now, I have to go find my happy place. It won’t take me long, I know where it is. In the kitchen, on the counter near the refrigerator. Some people call it a coffeemaker but for me it’s just happiness waiting to be poured.