Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steaming

Yesterday I overheard a conversation between two women with 8-year-old kids, one a boy and one a girl. The boy likes the girl, but she doesn't like him back, not as a boyfriend (!) anyway.

So, it seems another boy in their class decided he likes the girl, too. The first little boy heard the news and went to the new suitor with a warning, "Stay away from my woman or I'll kick your ass. Nobody messes with my woman."

The little girl's mother relates this story accompanied by giggles, obviously delighted that her 2nd grader is so popular with boys. The little boy's mother says, "Isn't that cute. That's something his father would say. It totally is. He's protective of me that way, too."

Cute? It's cute to threaten other kids? Cute to insist a girl belongs to you, even though she's been telling you she's not your girlfriend since kindergarten???

Later, at the salon, I had a conversation with a man whose daughter had her hair done for prom, calling to complain that his credit card had been charged twice. He was totally irate, threatening to have our credit card privileges cancelled and so forth. As he spewed, I gathered the necessary paperwork to investigate and asked several questions. I could hear his keyboard clicking as he checked his transaction list online. Trying to answer a question, he clearly discovered he was wrong. The transaction was confusing, but he had not been charged twice. There's some question whether he was charged at all.

Suddenly, he had pressing business elsewhere. When I asked for his number, he dissembled. Said he's very hard to reach and he'd call me back instead. I gave him my cell number so he could reach me directly.

He did not call back, and I'm pretty sure he never will. This guy raged on and on with his righteous self, then just dropped-it-like-it's-hot when he realized he was wrong. No apology. No acknowledgment, even. Just lots of yelling followed by silence.

I'll bet his mother thought it was cute when he threatened others, too.

6 comments:

Mercurious said...

Here in Minneapolis, people in a southern suburb are outraged because some youngsters have started their own "fight club."

To know how such things start, you only need look at the prime-time lineup on television, where "ultimate fight" events get huge ratings.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as you're noting.

Another way of defining karma, I suppose: our kids modeling themselves after our own behavior.

kario said...

Isn't it sad how misguided we have become because our culture is so incredibly centered around competition?

Hope I'm giving my girls a different viewpoint that is strong enough to counteract the push they get from society each and every day...

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Love you and everything about you.

Totally with you on this!

Stacy said...

When did ignorance become cute? I can't stand this type of behavior. Last year while walking across the college campus an obese woman smoking a cigarette was stating very loudly to a table of young people that nursing a baby was f-ing disgusting, F-that! she said over and over again.Made me nauseas.

Amber said...

Heh. Agreed. *sigh* It is so sad to think how many asshats are raising future citizens.

:(

Deb said...

Isn't is amazing to what lengths we'll go to preserve our image of ourselves and to protect ourselves from painful truths?

I love how you connected these two stories, as I love all of your writing.