Monday, February 26, 2007

Me and My Big Mouth...up on a soap box

The kids and I were out to dinner at a burger joint yesterday evening... Red Robin. They had spent the day playing with their dad and we all met up together to organize calendars for the week like we usually do.

Near the end of our meal, an older couple was seated in the booth behind us. The man was maybe 60-65, and was ranting and raving about some kids not holding the door for him somewhere, or blocking it. He went on and on about "kids these days having no respect" and proceeding to pepper his language with $hit, g-ddamn and mother f--ckers, in reference to "kids these days." All this was quite loud and the Absent-Minded Professor and Mayhem could hear it. Their eyes got huge. Excuse me? I'm raising two children, and neither of them can be described with those words!

Finally, I had enough. I moved Mayhem out of the booth (I was inside toward the wall because she's a lefty), went to his table, and apologized in advance to his dining partner. I assume it was his wife.

"Look," I said, "I work with kids too. I know they can be challenging. Right now I'm trying to have a nice dinner with my own children. Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, 'kids these days' have no respect because people like you and your FOUL MOUTH are the ones setting the example? My 10 year old and 7 year old just heard every obscene word that came out of your mouth. I hope you don't kiss your mother with that nasty thing."

And then we left. I didn't stick around for his reaction.

I agree that many kids don't treat adults with respect. However, when they are put down, degraded, belittled, and not taught how to treat others, how can they be expected to? When people like the man at the restaurant act that way in public, in a place that caters to families, they show impressionable young people a way of behavior that is contrary to what parents are trying to teach. Three minutes of foul, rude ranting can undo so much!

I told my children that it is OK for that man to feel the way he feels. It's NOT OK for him to talk that way in public with little ears around.

OK, I'm done now. Stepping off my soap box.

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5 Comments:

Blogger g-girl said...

i can't believe that man was sitting there cussing up a storm in a family restaurant..the least he could've done was look around first before he started swearing like a sailor. good for you for walking over and giving him a piece of your mind! your kids will remember that. :)

Monday, February 26, 2007 at 10:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jennifer said...

you go girl! i wish i could've seen his face when you walked away...hopefully your words at least made him think about how nasty he was being and maybe next time he'll keep it clean.

just stopped by after seeing your comment on the purple scarf/car pick on mark's blog. will add yours to my daily reads : )

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 6:51:00 AM EST  
Blogger Liz said...

You've got WOMB, woman! (anatomical analog to 'balls' on men -- why should guys get to have all the fun?). Good for you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 8:27:00 AM EST  
Blogger the secret knitter said...

Would you call me a pessimist if I said his reaction was probably him being offended?

I've been to more than enough screenings when someone will try to quiet a loud person or group at the movies. More often than not, the offenders accuse the shusher of being rude. How dare you tell ME what to do!

Respect and courtesy is lacking in plenty of interactions, whether it's kids or adults. That guy's not helping matters.

It took guts to do what you did, but I'm afraid he probably just thought you were being a...well, you know the word...

Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 9:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mary Lynn said...

Standing applause . . . congrats on a job well done!

Friday, March 2, 2007 at 8:41:00 AM EST  

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