Skip the Fun Fact Friday - a dilemma has occurred in the obscure windshield of my mind. Full of bugs and streaks, I’m replaying a scene from yesterday that made me piping hot mad, disturbed or to coin a lovely phrase from a friend, Wicked Pissed.
It was a hot one, a 90 degree day in humid, windy, Northwest Indiana, and the traffic of cars that had stopped at Aldi (discount food store-for those out of the area) was jammed into available spaces, the occupants dusty and moist from the air surrounding them.
Not one of my favorite hot spots (no pun intended) to shop, I was a tidge bit annoyed at the crowd. I just needed a few items, stopping by after work, I grabbed a cart and started to pick out said needed items, walking slowly down the boxes stacked on the floor in the overcrowded aisles.
Behind me entered a family of four. Mom and dad wore biker’s leathers (YEP, it’s 90, did I mention 90 degrees), their arms dangling out of the fringed vests and that which wasn’t sunburned was tattoo’d to the Nth. The two children in tow were kinda scruffy looking but relatively happy to be there, shoppin with the folks. They were behind me in the line to browse the staples. I didn’t have to view them to be aware of them, they were LOUD. Dad is the one that bothered me, as the kids would point out the “goodies” that they preferred, he would call out, “No!, idiot”. Or “You can’t have that Amber, moron”.
He talked (shouted) out his words loudly, frequently, and I winced at them every time. Trying to mind my own business was hard, the words slicing through my adult sense of calm, I strained at all times to check out the kids. They were seemingly not phased in the least by their father’s increasing blows to their wellbeing. I winced every time, and wondered how mom fared. She walked behind, sometimes repeating slowly, murmuring, what the man had so rudely called out for all to hear.
I look around. No one else acknowledged this behavior either by a stare or a obvious eye roll, or even an embarrassed “look away”. I felt I must SAY SOMETHING to rescue these kids from a life of low esteem, even if it were just today, just to point out that not all moms/dads yelled out insults, in a disgusting, putrid, tone to small children and toddlers. (Not to mention the food items that were purchased were downright UNHEALTHY-yeah, I peeked) but alas, I didn’t. I didn’t do anything.
I didn’t know what to say. I was only there a total of 15 minutes. He had bellowed "idiot" to his seemingly 7 year old little girl, and maybe 3 or 4 year old toddler so many times I had lost count. Idiot? Moron? It was disgusting. Mom looked as though she may have her own issues, and didn’t even pick out a food item of her own choice for their cart, they were being chosen by the (hater) Man. She seemed somewhat beaten down, as if she had no choice or opinion.
I shudder, I HATE myself for not saying, "Hey! Knock it off, mister, those kids will remember that you called them MORON and IDIOT at Aldi’s" …and I’ll bet a years salary that they get called worse and treated worse in private. I am embarrassed to say, it’s ingrained in me not to butt in and stop incredibly bad behavior in public. It’s none of my business, who am I to judge, and unless I see you breaking the law, or hitting someone or stealing someone, I should MMOB!!...but I can’t stop thinking about the years down the line with those kids. We who witness the “damaged” by life’s bad luck, or bad choices or poor behaviors, we who chat about it on blogs or at neighborhood block parties, yet look the other way when some grubby toddler asks for a pack of .25gum, and the refrain is “I told you NO, you idiot!”. EICH! My skin crawled. My heart hurts. I felt my throat tighten by his tone alone. I, too am scum for being unable to make it stop!
Dismay. Dismal feelings at my own doing or lack of.