I just put away the groceries and am reflecting on what happened today in the grocery. My younger son and I were shopping and there were a few folks in there, the usual patrons; mostly people on food stamps &/or the elderly.
There was a young couple there with two children, the younger, a boy about 4, who was in the cart, and the elder, a girl, who was about 6 who was walking with her family.
The little girl had caught my eye while ’rounding one aisle and I grinned and stuck my tongue out at her, she looked away but then over her shoulder, she grinned in return and I caught the flash of her pink tongue before she turned back around.
I ran into them a few times more and each time I would make a funny face at the little girl or peek thru my fingers at her and also with each time I saw them, I was becoming more ticked @ how the ‘father’ was speaking to her. He was continually berating her and the mom never said a word in defense to the daughter, juts kept her head down and pretended to not hear. Not to hear the underlying angry and nasty tone and inflection of his disdainful words to this child.
But I heard and so did my son and it was making me both angry and sad at how this grown man would not stop acting like a moron.
Finally, in the freezer section I heard him tell this little girl, Get back here to the cart you little bitch’. She wasn’t more than one step away from it and that comment just went thru my head like a knife.
I couldn’t stay silent anymore.
I walked over to him and said, “You will NOT speak to this child like that, that is rude, uncalled for, disrespectful and horrid. She is NOT a bitch, she is a child and you need to be less nasty when you talk to her.”
He sputtered and spewed and called me a few choice names which I pointedly ignored, I’ve been called worse, Hell, I’ve divorced worse than him.
While he was sputtering like a broken radiator hose, I looked at her mother and said, ‘and SHAME on you for allowing him to do so. Do you really want her to grow up thinking it is OK to be referred to as a bitch by her father or any man?”
The father said, ‘Well, she ain’t none of mine, and I will talk to her any way I wish.’
I looked that jerk straight in the face and said…
‘because she isn’t any of YOURS, is even more of a reason that you need to be more kind, and thoughtful. she lives in your home, she is your wife’s child and your sons’ sister.. you ARE the man of the house, you need to act like a generous and loving one instead of being nasty and mean. You are the man, the father here, so ACT like one.”
He told me (quite loudly, other patrons were listening now) that it was none of my business and to fuck off…
I told him OH yes it is my business, it is EVERYONE’S business because you see that little girl right there…
could be ANY little girl and she was ME a lifetime ago and it is my business if you feel the need to treat her like somehting you scraped off the bottom of your shoe. I can’t do anything about it, but I do know people who can and will so stop it right now, do you really want her to grow up to hate you and she will… and her hate of you will colour the attitude she takes with every man who ever enters her life because of YOU.”
(and looking at her mom) I said, “do you really want her to grow up thinking it is ok to BE treated like this or for you son to think it is ok to treat women like this? Do you really? I dont think so.”
She never said a word, but she wouldn’t meet my eyes, the kids didn’t say anything either but the ‘father’ sure had a lot to say.. most of it profanity.
He reminded me of my X … for to whom English was a second language,
profanity the first.
I just shook my head for really, what could I do?
The world is full of assholes and most of them right now are raising children under their roofs and they are teaching them to either be another generation of assholes or that it is all right to be treated like shit by the assholes of the world.
I was just happy that my son was there and I hope he remembers that people shouldn’t treat each other like unwanted trash, be they actually ‘any of theirs’….