"treasures" we all would love to bury
- Jun 2003
Dec 2003 Archive
This incident happened a couple of years ago, but it has
to be the most horrendous example of rudeness (and downright cruelty) that
I have ever encountered!
My best friend Becky and I are both overweight, and we have
both struggled with this issue since elementary school. We are now in our
early 20's. One day we went to see a movie at a local movie theater and
Becky went to the bathroom while I went to find us a place to sit in the
theater. When Becky returned from the bathroom, her face was all red and
blotchy and it was obvious that she had been crying. When I asked her what
was wrong, she said that a little girl in the bathroom had looked at her and
said to her mother (this all directly in front of Becky), "Look, mommy,
that woman is really fat!" And her mother looked Becky up and down
and said, "Yeah, you're right honey, that woman IS really fat!"
Can you believe that?? What disgusting behavior from a
parent, and what a disservice that woman has done for her daughter who, I'm
sure, will grow up to be just as lovely a person as her ruder-than-rude mother!
One previous poster stated that behind every bad kid is an
idiot parent. Well, even good kids can have idiot parents. I am a police officer
in Texas. One Saturday afternoon about a year ago, a call goes out over the
radio for a lost child at a local grocery store. As I was only half a block
away, I was the first one at the store. When I entered the store, a clerk
directed me to the deli area, where I found a store employee trying to comfort a
frightened 4 year-old boy, while another employee was trying to page the
parents. The employees told me that they had been trying to locate the parents
for almost thirty minutes with pages every minute.
After about another five minutes, the boy's older brother, was
about eight or nine, showed up to claim him. I thought this kind of odd, so I
told the brother that I would only release his brother to his parents. Well, the
older brother goes to get his parents and, when they arrive, we (two other
officers had arrived) know that there is something very wrong; the parents are
very unsure on their feet and when they get close enough, the smell of marijuana
was almost overpowering. Right there and then, we knew that we could not let the
two boys go home with their parents.
One of the officers goes to another aisle so that the parents
can't hear him calling the dispatcher to call Child Protective Services. The
remaining officer and I take the parents to the back room and arrest them for
public intoxication. When we frisked them, we found more marijuana and some
methamphetamine, another charge. There were more drugs in their car.
At the station, we ran their records and found out that
officers and CPS caseworkers had been called to their home numerous times
for domestic disturbances and child abandonment. To cut to the chase, the
parents pled out to the charges, leaving the boys in the custody of their
grandparents, a much better situation for them. The grandparents are trying to
terminate the parents' rights to the boys. A lot of cops, myself included, and
CPS workers have been subpoenaed to a hearing. We all can't wait to testify.
My sister-in-law recently received an invitation to a
Christmas party to be held on Christmas day from her "friend" Laura.
The invitation said "no children please".
Now, I don't have children and am very sympathetic to those
who would rather not have kids at their parties. My SIL does have 2 children,
but has always been very respectful of the adults vs. family events issue. She
has happily attended many weddings, birthday parties, showers etc... without her
kids when they were not invited, so I know she had no problem with the party
itself. However, because the party was on Xmas day, she felt that she
should be with her family on that day, and so politely declined the
Laura then calls her and starts screaming at her, saying she
is "obsessed" with her kids, that she "hates" people who
don't have kids, and that she is ruining Laura's Christmas by not attending the
party. My SIL, who is the sweetest person ever, called me crying and
convinced that she was acting horribly. I pointed out to her that 1)
Wanting to be with family on Xmas does not count as obsession! 2) I don't
have kids and she has never acted as though she hates me, and 3) Regardless of
whether or not the invitees had children, Laura should have expected a high
number of declines from people when she chose to have her party on Xmas Day!
I sure hope SIL crosses Laura off her "friends" list.
I have two stories involving historic homes that I have
I have been a huge fan of the author Laura Ingalls Wilder
since I was a young child, and have always wanted to visit her various former
homes. Finally, after 20 years of treasuring her books, I was able to visit her
final home in Mansfield, Missouri. It was a very big event for me, and I
actually cried tears of joy when I stepped into her home. Laura died in 1957,
and her home has been preserved almost exactly as she left it, including
calendars, etc. Everything in the home is antique and treasured, many things are
fragile, and a lot of the items have significance within Laura's writings.
In our tour group was a woman with two young daughters, under
10 I would guess. These kids were clearly uninterested in Laura Ingalls Wilder,
and spent the whole tour physically fighting and playing, pushing each other,
rolling around on the floor, grabbing things, yelling, crying, screaming,
hitting other people, running into things. Some of the spaces were a little
cramped and it is a miracle that nothing was broken. These children were
horrifying. Their mother did absolutely nothing and even smiled at them as the
other guests and guide stared in horror. I was completely flabbergasted at the
lack of respect for a beloved author and history, as well as other people. When
the tour was over, my fiancé talked to the tour guide and explained how
important it was to me to finally be there. Fortunately, she let us go through
again and we actually got to hear the narration!
I had a similar experience at a famous home designed by the
architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The tour started in front of the house, and the
guide made it quite clear that the house was filled with valuable, one-of-a-kind
furnishings. As two young boys wrestled and screamed over the tour guide's
voice, I knew that things could get ugly. The guide again emphasized the
importance of not touching anything with significant glances at the boys, but
their parents seemed not to get the hint. Fortunately, the instant one of the
boys picked up an item in the first room we entered, the guide asked the family
to leave. The parents actually had the nerve to get angry and start an argument!
I guess they felt like their kids were entitled to destroy a historic home that
people travel from all over the United States and world to visit...
Back when I was in high school, I had a sinus infection, so my
mom and I headed to the doctor's office. We were sitting in the waiting
room, and because I love kids (I'm now a children's minister), I immediately
noticed a cute little blond girl who looked like she was about 4 or 5 years old.
Mom and I smiled at each other, and started watching this little girl play with
her mom. "What a cutie!" We thought. Boy were we
A little bit later, the little girl starting whining to her
mom for some gum (literally whining...I have a lot of patience with children,
but this was whining). Her mom explained in a very sugary sweet voice that
she didn't have any gum. "Addie, Mommy doesn't have any gum right
now." Well "Addie" decided that this wasn't good enough, so
she continued to ask her mom for gum. Her mom even helped Addie empty out
her purse to show her that she didn't have any gum. A
t this point, Addie fell to the floor, kicking and crying and
fussing, "BUT I WANT GUM!" At this point, my mom leaned over and
said, "That girl needs a spanking." Instead of taking her
girl to the restroom or outside to talk to her, her mom attempted to reason with
her. Another lady took pity on the situation, and walked over with a
lollipop in her hand. (My mom leaned over to me and said, "You would
NOT have gotten that lollipop if you pulled a stunt like that!) Addie's
mom sees the lady and smiles and says, "Addie, look what this nice lady
brought you." Addie looks up and snatches the lollipop out of the
lady's hand. When her mom said, "What do you say Addie?"
(Apparently she expected the manners fairy to miraculously strike her child at
that moment). Addie looked that nice lady right in the eye and said,
"I wanted gum!" I thought I was going to have to sit
on my mom to keep her from getting up and taking care of that little
It's so obvious to the rest of us what that
mother was teaching her daughter. Why couldn't she "get
My friend, *Kate*, has a 4 year old son, *Ben*, and is
marrying a man this year who also has a 4 year old son, *Aaron*. She often takes
the boys to the matinee movies on weekends, or days she has off of work. I can't
tell you how many times I've asked her how a certain movie was, and she has
responded, "I don't know. We only saw half of it, *Ben/Aaron* started
talking and horsing around so we left." This is called responsible
parenting. It is also called being responsible and considerate to people around
Unfortunately, there is a shortage of people like *Kate* in
this world, and instead there is a proliferation of people with some grand sense
of [misplaced] entitlement. Here is a prime example. My fiancé and I went to
see Batman Begins one Saturday night. We went to a late show at 11:15 pm.
We took our seats in the fourth row where we always like
to sit, and in the row behind us and to our left, was a group of people...people
who had with them a 3 YEAR OLD BOY!!!
The kid bounced around, talked, and squealed throughout the
movie with nary a word from either parent, or their friend. The three adults
stared at the screen, blank looks on their faces and mouths agape. Several times
during the movie, both Morgan and I considered getting up and fetching an usher
or manager to come and talk to them, and with any luck remove the kid from the
theater...but neither of us wanted to miss anything on the screen, and I
thought, wrongly it turns out, that I would rather say something to them myself
after the movie than be a "tattler."
So after the movie (it is now 2 am!), out in the lobby, I
approached the woman holding the child who was now asleep.
Putting aside my predisposition to spout vitriol at this woman, I gently tapped
her arm and said, in my most respectful tone; "I'm really sorry to bother
you, but the reason we come to movies at night is so that we don't have to hear
kids during the movie, and, well, we could hear this one throughout the whole
movie, up until he fell asleep at the end." I thought this was a very
polite and considerate approach. I don't know what I expected, but I didn't
expect her response. Her face twisted into a hateful look and she said, "I
don't really care WHAT you think..." I believe she
was about to say more, but I was so surprised I just said, "Well then,
thanks for ruining the movie!" and walked away.
I am now KICKING myself for not staying and saying more. What
I would have liked to have said to that horrible woman is this: "I wasn't
telling you what I think, but I certainly will now! I think you are an
irresponsible parent for bringing a 3 year old child to a PG-13 movie at 11 at
night! By the SAME token, I think you are a selfish and inconsiderate bitch for
making the rest of the audience at a late show put up with your
little genetic responsibility. NEXT time, wait until the DVD release, or hire a
baby sitter and leave your kid at home!"
Your first reaction was better.
I related the story to M's sister, *Helen*, the next night.
*Helen* is a social worker, and a very outspoken woman.
Anyway, one of the many things she said in response to the story was this.
"I would have gone up to the woman during the movie and asked what the hell
she was doing there at 11 at night with a 3 year old, asked for her name and
number, and told her that I have Child Protective Services on my speed dial, and
I'm sure they'd be very interested in having a chat with her. A child that age
should not be out that late at night, and especially not at a movie like
that." Batman Begins is a fairly dark movie with some pretty
disturbing imagery at times. I can only hope now, that the kid had nightmares
and kept his parents up all night.
In mid-October here in Houston, the weather is typically none
too kind. This year however, we have been blessed with an unseasonably temperate
fall. One particular weekend, following a long day working at an art fair, my
parents and I decided to go to a local restaurant for dinner. Because of the
nice weather and the relative quietness, we opted to sit out on the small patio.
This patio only had room for about five tables, and for our tastes, was
preferable to the rather noisy atmosphere inside.
Sure enough, it was quiet for the first 10 minutes of our
meal. Shortly after that, I noticed four children attempting to climb over a 4'
wood fence that was separating the patio from the grass and woods next to the
restaurant. This went on for several minutes until the mother (or whatever the
relation this woman was) decided that it was not ok to actually climb
"over" and told them to stop. The behavior ceased as the children then
ran inside to the self-serve ice cream machine.
I could see them through the glass windows, pulling the cone
dispenser down while attempting to put their hands into the wrong end. The
mother was still sitting at the table, completely unaware that this was
happening. Following this rather chaotic display, I suddenly noticed an ice
cream cone being "launched" over the previously mentioned fence, into
the grass. After walking all over the patio, not even attempting to sit at their
own table while eating the ice cream, the children again began hanging onto the
fence, shaking it like monkeys.
At one point, a young boy began to play with the tray stand
(you know the foldable ones). I think he was trying to climb onto that as well.
During all this, the mother was chatting away on her cell phone, completely oblivious
to the ruckus these children were causing. Much to my surprise, the woman didn't
stay on the phone very long.
However, she did proceed to sit at her table and simply watch
these children run back through the restaurant, through the handicapped parking
lot spaces that were next to the patio and around to the grassy are to which
they had thrown the ice cream cone. The young boy went to pick up the cone, but
the three girls found something much more interesting. A bottle of OFF insect
repellant which had been left in the ground. This grassy area, as already
mentioned, is right next to the woods AND directly under powerlines. While the
children played with this bottle of insect poison, referring to it as
"treasure", the woman continued to say nothing.
Oh how I wish it had ended there. Sadly, my family and I were
still eating our meal, although I was quickly losing my appetite having been
reduced to watching playground dinner theater. I should mention that this was a
sit-down restaurant, not a fast food joint with a play center.
Once bored with the poisonous treasure, the children returned
to the parking lot and proceeded to run around like maniacs, doing cartwheels
and jutting out into the actual driveways. One girl even managed to climb onto a
handicapped sign pole, with her feet up on the separating fence (not the wooden
one) to the patio and hung upside-down while loudly saying, "look mommy!
look mommy!" Oh the sheer irony if she had fallen onto the concrete parking
lot and received a busted head after hanging onto a handicapped sign.
The sheer danger of these four children running recklessly
around the parking lot, and just waiting for a car to scream around the corner
and unknowingly run into a child was almost too much for me. This scene
literally went on for minutes while my mother and I couldn't help but speculate
about the dangers of this situation.
About five minutes after all this, we were just about to leave
and only one other table was left on the patio. It wasn't until this moment that
the mother, who had been watching all this with the same interest as one might
give to some rerun on TV, finally said to one of the children, "You need to
be more quiet. These people are trying to eat."
Oh! Why thank you madam! The children continued to play in the
parking lot as we left. Apparently, this woman really doesn't recognize the fact
that sit-down restaurants are not playgrounds. Perhaps the deeper problem is
that she does not know what a "sit-down" restaurant actually is.
Last year, I was a senior in high school, and was in a
choir class. Since it was an audition choir, we were quite skilled (if a bit
rowdy...but that's another story for another time). One of the songs we were
singing was a hymn that was very difficult but breathtakingly beautiful, and I
was looking forward to my parents getting to hear it performed. At the concert,
several other groups performed besides us, and everything went off without a
hitch. Until, naturally, we got on stage. As we were singing, a baby started
crying, which was all right at first because the other songs we were singing
were sufficiently loud enough to drown it out. However, at
the final song (the hymn I mentioned before), the baby was STILL crying, and was
the only thing that could clearly be heard. Its wailing lasted through the
entire song, and the mother just sat there and let it happen.
Needless to say, my parents were pretty disappointed that they
couldn't hear what we were singing. My mother suggested that my teacher should
have waited until the child stopped crying before starting to conduct, and I
think I agree with her. This story might not have been as bad as
some of these other stories I've been reading. But it really irritated me when
all you could hear of our performance was that baby (it featured prominently on
the videotape), and the mother of the child was extremely rude for not
doing anything about it. When your kid starts crying during a
concert, PLEASE TAKE HIM/HER OUT OF THE ROOM!!
I was visiting my family's lake cottage in a small town with
my best friend. We decided to go to Big Boy for lunch one day
and were absolutely starving. No more than 2 minutes after we got our meals,
the little boy in the booth next to us vomited all over his table.
The kicker? His mom and dad just sat there! They didn't take him to
the bathroom to clean him up, as I assume most people would do. Mom just
asked for some napkins and made the waitress clean up the mess. But the
little boy wasn't done yet - he threw up AGAIN. Dad kept on eating, Mom
flagged the waitress down. My friend and I promptly got up, paid and
left. We didn't eat out meals, but we weren't hungry anymore at that
point. As we were walking out the door, I saw the lovely
family still eating their food on the vomit covered table as the little boy
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007