7.02.2008

Return of the Etiquette Bitch

This must just be my week to encounter the asshats of the world.

The location: Target, Brooklyn

The Aisle: Bath Accessories

The asshattery: I narrowly avoid a half a half-eaten hot dog, some tin foil and several mustard-stained napkins on the floor. Just in front of me, two girls maybe 5 and 7 glancing back at the offending detrius and giggling. Their mother, oblivious, pushes a shopping cart ahead of them.

"Excuse me, did you drop this?" I ask. (Nicely. Nicely! I promise.)

The girls freeze.

"Did you drop this?"

"No," the older one says not entirely convincingly. She then points toward her sister. "SHE did."

"Well don't you think maybe you should pick it up?"

They run to catch up with their mom who glares at me with such venom, you'd have thought I was asking them to pick up my own garbage.

"Just leave it there, girls, " she hisses without taking her eyes off of me. Her eyes linger on me for a moment longer before she turns and continues down the aisle.

"EXCUSE ME," I call out, in prime scene-making mode. I scurry to catch up with her. "Your girls DROPPED GARBAGE ALL OVER THE FLOOR. Don't you think maybe you should encourage them to clean up after themselves?"

She ignores me, making a beeline towards the elevator.

I give up.

I'm shaking now, more angry than frustrated. Not at the bad manners of the planet's denizens, because yeah, there's a ton of that. But because here are two little girls who are going to grow up with no conscience, no manners, no respect for themselves or others, and wonder why the world just isn't bestowing upon them all the riches and joy that are, of course, owed to them.

In my mind, I run up to the woman and tell her all this. In my mind, I snatch up that disgusting half-eaten hot dog, fling it into her cart and shout something exceedingly clever and impactful that I just can't think of right here.

In my mind, a crowd of nearby shoppers then breaks into spontaneous applause, mothers sing my praises to their children, a manager shakes my hand and offers me a free $500 gift card towards my next Target purchase. Then George Clooney appears and whisks me away to Lake Como.

(Oh, my mind is a very wonderful place. Come visit sometime, won't you?)

You know, here we are, we parent bloggers, all so painfully introspective. We discuss every nuance of parenting, wondering whether we praise our kids too much or breastfed too little. We debate the media children are exposed to, we bemoan the amount of time we give to our babies when there's work to be done, we feel guilty for wanting a little of ourselves back. Meanwhile, there's an entire subset of parents out there who haven't even bothered to teach their kids page one of Rules We Live By In This World So that We Don't Suck.

I think I'm getting my period.


89 Comments:

Blogger ~ T ~ said...

OH MY.

You were much braver than I would've been. I would have just picked it up and made sure that my children saw someone, ANYONE, doing the right thing.

7/2/08, 10:05 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh t, I'm embarrassed to say I wasn't with my children. Just me being crazy all by myself.

7/2/08, 10:09 PM  
Blogger VerWaynia said...

I think you totally should have said all of that! And, I'm still stuck on the part about your target having an elevator!

7/2/08, 10:11 PM  
OpenID madgetastic said...

You are my hero.

7/2/08, 10:20 PM  
Anonymous MrsWaltz said...

Okay, ditto the first two (external) comments and...would it be okay if I asked you not to perpetuate that "assertive woman = PMS" myth? I hate that almost as much as people who don't understand the not sucking rule.

7/2/08, 10:23 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh Mrs Waltz, I can assure you that I can be assertive regardless of where I am in my menstrual cycle. I have dozens of coworkers who will attest to that.

The fact that I am shaking mad about litter? PMS.

7/2/08, 10:28 PM  
Blogger Wendy Caffrey said...

I think you're getting your period, too, and there's not a thing wrong with that. I would have done exactly the same thing. Here's to a better week. =)


www.notesfromthesleepdeprived.blogspot.com

7/2/08, 10:31 PM  
Blogger Feener said...

it is understandable that kids will act that way, but it is NOT when the mother acts that way !!!

7/2/08, 10:48 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

It's more than litter. It's about taking responsibility.

My mouth literally hung open when I read the part about how the mother told her daughters to leave it there. FOR SHAME.

7/2/08, 10:58 PM  
Blogger Karen Sugarpants said...

That is horrible! I'm with Julie - my mouth was open...gah!

7/2/08, 11:01 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

Wow, I think I shop two aisles over in your head. My visions of handing out the well deserved comeuppances is very similar.

Anyhow, I find the lack of manners these days - and the balls on some kids these days - appalling.

And with that, I have officially become a mom - specifically my own. Oh gawd, I finally get her. This was like, some kind of therapeutic breakthrough - thank you.

7/2/08, 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

Okay, I admit that I've left toys in the wrong spot when I'm running after my kids, but hot dogs?

Shit, I clean off the tables for the waiters let alone leave my be-ketchuped pig lips and testicles on the ground.

7/2/08, 11:05 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

It's incredible to think that a mother, a MOTHER could tell her children to leave the garbage on the floor. What kind of person thinks that this is a good idea? Does she want them to throw garbage on her floor? Excuse me as I channel my mother.

7/2/08, 11:08 PM  
Anonymous crunchycarpets said...

Sadly I didn't even blink when I read that because it happens all the time..

7/2/08, 11:31 PM  
Blogger GHD said...

I applaud you (and that's not just in your head). You are awesome.

7/2/08, 11:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Like others have said, the real kicker is the mother told them to leave it. There is a huge percentage of children being raised to think they are owed everything and the world is theirs to use as they see fit. It makes me so angry.

Childless friends have asked me why we chose to have kids, considering the current lack of respect and decency that seems to be predominating the upcoming generation. They don't see why we would want to bring children into such a world. I keep reminding them that someone has to off-set the asshats out there, and my hope is that my girls might be two of those people who want to do the right thing.

Oh, I hope someone puts a big scratch down that woman's car. Or that her daughters start throwing their trash on the floor at home for their mom to clean up.

7/2/08, 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

Good for you for saying something. I would have done the same thing. People are raising little beasts.

You should have been applauded. I am clapping now.

7/3/08, 12:09 AM  
Blogger VDog said...

Littering gets my goat as it is...but this? Disgusting.

7/3/08, 12:12 AM  
Blogger Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

In your mind you flung it into the cart? You were nice.

In my mind I was cramming it down her throat.

Eh.

7/3/08, 12:18 AM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

You're right to be angry. That just stinks.

7/3/08, 12:28 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I would have to say - you may be getting your period, I don't know from your cycle, but I think anger at asshattery is fully merited.

And this? Okay, so two little girls drop a hot dog and their mom doesn't notice, fine, that could happen and I wouldn't be totally appalled, because kids are still learning. But the mother? WTF is wrong with her? She is old enough to know that's not okay, and should be telling them that, not suggesting that they are fine and you are wrong to expect someone to pick up their own damn garbage. And not just garbage like a gum wrapper or something, which would be rude but not completely disgusting, but actual messy, nasty food, too, which somehow makes it way worse because it's going to require real cleanup. Gah. Now I'm pissed, and I wasn't even there! And I'm not getting my period. Though I am pregnant, so there is that.

7/3/08, 12:38 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Ugh... I would have picked it up and said "you dropped this" and put it in her purse or forced it into her kids hand.
I am so distraught at the lack of respect and pure orneryness of children, it galls me when kids tell me "get out of my way". My girlfriend scolded a child at the park the other day after 2 other people told him to stop his behavior, and he tried to glare her down.
Could there be a name for us? You know, like the 'religious right' only 'mommyhood right' or something?
What really scares me is that my son starts kindergarten in the fall, and these kids are going to be his peers. He's going to be invited over to these households, eek!
Love your blog!

7/3/08, 12:46 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

That's how kids learn it's ok to litter and be irresponsible. And even more sadly, it's the same way they learn to be racist and sexist - by seeing how their parents behave.

7/3/08, 2:36 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

hey, if you're craving an opportunity to lay down a little asshat smackdown, come over to my place and help me with the troll i have who called me "psycho" and said only "desperate guys" would ever want to be with me. asshat much? why yes, yes indeed.

and yeah, that mom? i would have shoved the hot dog down her throat. or up her... well, i don't want to taint your comments too much.

7/3/08, 2:37 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

"I'm sorry, ma'am. I didn't realize I had asked a stumper. Let me try again: 'Would you like to eat this hot dog?' Not answering counts as a 'yes'."

7/3/08, 4:17 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

I believe I head the Massachusetts chapter of the "What the Fuck are You Teaching Your Children, Asshat" club. I do the same thing all the time. I'm the mom that tells kids to pick up the stuff they knock over at the grocery store. Or to pick up the garbage they tossed on the ground at the park. I can't stand this kind of behavior and calling out the parent and pointing out that they're teaching their child bad citizenship is, in my opinion, part of that Global Village Hillary Clinton talks about. IOW, if you're such a moron you can't teach your own kids manners, then hey, someone else will. And make you look like a chump at the same time.

Just a warning. When your kids turn to teenagers, they will abhor you when you do this. They will BEG you not to. And you will ignore them.

7/3/08, 6:12 AM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

You spoke up - as well you should have. Not enough people are bold enough to speak out in support of basic civility.

Of course, you could have just pitched the half-eaten hot dog at the mom.

7/3/08, 7:45 AM  
Blogger Reff said...

Funny...in my mind the argument turns into a girl on girl cat fight.

meeeoooww!

7/3/08, 7:53 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I think it's suitable to be shaking mad.

How about violent? Once, as I was taking my eldest to get a haircut, I saw a teenage girl throw an empty Icee cup on the ground. The kicker was that she was right in front of a DQ, resplendent with multiple trash cans. In the instant that I registered what she had done, I had the briefest desire to exit my car and punch her in the face. Sometimes I think I need to get back on some medication.

I read the greatest scene in the Carl Hiassen book Sick Puppy. A man gets revenge on a highway litterer (he tossed fast food trash) in a convertible by getting a dump truck buddy to unload a steaming pile of refuse into the offender's open roof. It was, for haters of litterers everywhere, a karmic wet dream.

7/3/08, 8:56 AM  
Blogger Woman on the Verge said...

It makes me so sad that a generation of future leaders and parents are being raised in this way. What ever happened to teaching your child to be a good person. Overall. To be respectful of themselves and others? Of others belongings? This really just pisses me off....hopefully the few of us trying to raise good, well rounded kids will offset the asshats out there who are raising more asshats.

7/3/08, 9:06 AM  
OpenID lifeandtimesofawickedstepmom said...

Wow.. just wow.. I can't believe that she told the kids to just leave it... I am starting to worry that the asshats are outbreeding us.

7/3/08, 9:11 AM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

Yippee for you. You already did more than most of America. She's wrong and she knows it. Now her kids know it, too. There's nothing that makes me more crazy than parents being idiots in front of their kids. It's like the time I almost got run over in a crosswalk by a guy speeding in his pickup truck; I yelled "HEY!" He flipped my off while his 4 year-old son sat in the front seat. Of course, he was not in a car seat. Feelin' the love...

7/3/08, 9:17 AM  
Blogger Kat E said...

You are my hero!

And I thought it was bad that kids weren't being taught to say "excuse me" anymore.

7/3/08, 9:53 AM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

You should have hit her with your cart. No, not a very nice thing to do but it would have felt good.

7/3/08, 9:55 AM  
Blogger Black Hockey Jesus said...

I hate Target.

7/3/08, 9:56 AM  
Blogger RuthWells said...

Am I the only one who thinks the Etiquette Bitch deserves a kick-ass super hero costume?

7/3/08, 10:09 AM  
Anonymous birdgal said...

The gall of that mom absolutely stuns me and in a sad way, I guess it shouldn't really. I can just picture those two girls as grown-ups, driving with a cell phone plastered to their ear and throwing their Starbucks cup out the window as they drive.....

7/3/08, 10:23 AM  
Blogger My Kids' Mom said...

I have a fantasy of getting out of my car at a red light, picking up a smoldering cigarette butt dropped by the passengers of the car in front of me, walking up to their window and saying "I think you dropped something" and returning it to them.

We have to also teach our children that not everyone has good manners, good respect for others or for the Earth. They'll need to know how to compensate for those people as they grow up. Sad but true.

7/3/08, 10:27 AM  
Anonymous SoMo said...

I think I would have been more rude by just saying loudly, "OH MY GOODNESS, kids. Look at that disgusting trash on the floor. DON'T GO NEAR IT. It may be diseased." Then again, my daughter might have just done it for me and scream, "LITTER, LITTER, LITTER" until someone, me, picks it up and throws it away. I can't take too much credit for that, because from my understand her teachers have been teaching them how to trash the Earth.

I simply thank God, everyday, that THOSE are not my children. And know that the lady probably lives in a pigsty.

7/3/08, 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Alexa said...

Amen, sister friend. Enjoy Lake Como.

7/3/08, 10:41 AM  
Blogger ~Kat~ said...

Please. Don't. Ever. Let. Me. Hear. You. Blaming. Your. Common. SENSE. On. Your. Period. PERIOD!
You are too smart for that nonsense. You are brave and you are doing your part to wake people the HELL up Liz! Bravo Bravo Bravo!
I'm getting so damn sick of the lack of emotion and empathy that is sweeping our country. I'm ready to take my kids and hide out in a lovely little cave in the woods so that they never know the pain and heartbreak of people just not giving a shit about each other and their communities. You can join me if you want... but you better not call me a Masshole ;)

7/3/08, 11:55 AM  
Blogger ChefSara said...

The sense of entitlement I see among SO many people really upsets me. This situation is just one manifestation of it. It's the same sort of entitlement that causes traffic accidents because people feel they don't need to follow the rules, that have led to our planet turning into a giant dump, and to communities disintegrating. It saddens me, and I HOPE that I can raise my children to understand community and responsibility, and not selfishness and entitlement.

7/3/08, 12:13 PM  
Blogger Vermont Mommy said...

Now I don't feel so bad for making a 10 yr old (girl!) pick up ALL of the garbage that went spewing all over the park when she karate chopped it to fall over. Great satisfaction to see a 10 yr old "badass" kid pick up SOMEONE ELSE'S garbage with her own two hands. Thank goodness her mother wasn't around...See you at Lake Como. I'll be with Matt Damon drinking chianti.

7/3/08, 12:19 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Justice will be when the girls drop crap all over their house and their mom tells them to pick it up. They'll turn to her sweetly and say, "but you told us to leave it there". Or even better, they'll drop a hot dog in their apartment and a giant rat will come in and eat the entire lot of them while they sleep.

Ooops, was I typing out loud again?

7/3/08, 2:08 PM  
Anonymous yannayoga said...

I just bought two books I think you'd enjoy by Munro Leaf. How To Behave and Why and Manners Can be Fun. They were recommended in a recent John Rosemond column. I hope you get a chance to read them. My kids loved them more than I expected.

7/3/08, 2:09 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

Yeah, Liz! You are my hero again!

Ditto what mothergoosemouse and others have said.

I just can. not. be. lieve. people!!! What is wrong with that woman? When confronted with what is the right thing to do, she STILL didn't do it!

7/3/08, 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Lindsee - The Mom Diaries said...

What a great example that mother is setting!

I wonder about people like that - who exactly did she think SHOULD pick it up off the floor?

That mother is the one who'll be fighting with her daughters later over having to clean up after them. Or better yet - maybe she has a live in maid who'll "take care of it".

7/3/08, 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Antonette said...

I agree with you totally. I would have picked the dog up and followed them to the elevator and tossed it in the cart with, "WELL MANNERED people clean up their own messes." Seriously, some elderly person could have stepped on it, slipped and broken a hip.

The woman probably leaves her dirty unmentionables all over her floor.

7/3/08, 6:07 PM  
Blogger Dutch said...

okay, I'm going to go against the general grain here and admit that if I had been the parent whose kid had stupidly dropped something on the floor and someone came up to me and said what you said to this woman's children, I would have reacted the exact way she did. probably with a few more fuck yous.

nothing personal liz, but I have my issues with weird judgmental suburban moms where I live and I fucking hate it when people get confrontational about parenting stuff, even though I'm sure it's always completely justified in their minds. if this was just about a hot dog on the floor, I'm sure she wouldn't care. but underlying the confrontation is judgment about her children or her overall parenting ability (which you even allude to later).

I don't know. I'd like to give this mom the benefit of the doubt and assume she knows it's wrong and if she'd known about the hot dog drop without third-party interference she would have taken care of it, but because of the confrontation she resorted to the same kind of defensiveness I often fall into when confronted in this manner.

she probably felt really stupid and really bad later. and here she is getting trashed in cyberspace. I just know I've been that person in enough situations that I want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

7/3/08, 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Aprylsantics said...

Gee. I was all ready to jump on this bandwagon until I read the last comment by dutch and have had a run in or two with some judgmental types myself. You just never know what kind of day she might have been having...Kinda no excuse, though. Anyway, it might have been fun to do a prat fall and slip on the hot dog (provided stunt training is part of your resume) and point accusingly in the direction of the girls and the mom. That might even have scored you that $500 gift card and a good dose of humiliation for the offending kids. Maybe you can use that one next time.

7/3/08, 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Caroline said...

Cripes there are 50 "shards" that even I can't wade thru so feel a little silly posting EXCEPT to say your post does allow me to forgive myself - ad nauseum - for whatever it is I have guilted myself out about as a mom. Even today, when I was on the computer waaaay too long. (So, he watched Sesame Street on-demand a LOT today... its PBS, right? At least I kick his ass if he dared litter ever ever ever) And then just think about how YOU are off setting your own carbon footprint by picking that crap up. You made mommies everywhere realize they actually DON'T suck. And took care of the environment. It's a two-fer, really. Right? Hope can plow thru the PMS, it'll be over before ya know it. Great post, as always.

7/3/08, 10:18 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Dutch (hi Dutch!) I love you for questioning this.

I'll concede on one of your points - that her embarrassment led to her reaction.

Trust me when I assure you there were other indicators that this was not some mom with otherwise polite kids having a lapse, but more likely a pattern of disrespect cultivated by disrespectful parents.

The fact that I asked them ever so sweetly to pick up garbage and they showed not an ounce of remorse or embarrassment (while certainly old enough) is a pretty good indicator. I know my own daughter knows when she's done something wrong and shows it. These kids were defiant.

I suppose I assume a certain amount of trust from my readers which kept me from sharing all details. I can only say I'm no sanctimommy. If I were I'd have called her out on feeding her kids hot dogs too.

Kidding!

7/3/08, 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Is it only me that thinks that eating while walking round the shop is not on? I'm not American though.

7/3/08, 11:54 PM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

Funny... as I read the beginning of the post, I thought you were going to call her out on the hotdogs! (And actually, that would have been funny given your proclivities for Walters.)

I say, go girl. You totally did the right thing. Just don't go get yourself hurt some day by the mom or driver (refering to the first ediquette post) who fights back. People are frigin crazy these days.

7/4/08, 7:42 AM  
Blogger Dutch said...

I never meant to insinuate you were in the wrong, liz, just want to emphasize that.

but some people just don't handle confrontation well. I'm one of them. when I have been scolded in public for something related to my kids, I have gone apeshit. the reality is no one knows exactly what's going on with a stranger and maybe it's just a really terrible day, and really: when is having to go to target with two kids a good day?

I know people are always judging me. I just prefer when they keep it to themselves.

7/4/08, 9:57 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Dutch, I'm of the mindset that we all have a collective responsibility as members of the community, and sometimes that entails telling children kids not to litter, not to hit, not to throw rocks at a squirrel in a park. I didn't scold them; I simply asked them to pick up their garbage.

It blew me away that the mother didn't agree with me.

7/4/08, 12:22 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Here's me giving you a standing ovation!!!

I have been in that situation several times. Sadly, it seems to be a global thing...I live in Manila, married to an American, but I grew up all over Asia and in the US, and I've had similar experiences everywhere.

I know exactly what you mean, that same mental vision has gone through my head and on occasion, without my 2 yr old, I have even caused a scene out of frustration. Thanks for putting that out there.

BTW I love your blog!

7/4/08, 12:39 PM  
Blogger TONYA said...

OMG I can't believe the nerve of that woman, if somebody came up to me and told me my child had done something wrong, not only would the child have been given a lecture then and there about what is appropriate and what is not, but they would have been made to go and fix whatever the problem is. Some parents just have no idea how to raise responsible human beings. Ugh, I feel so mad for you.

I would have found a store worker told them of the offending mess and happily pointed out who left it there.

7/4/08, 1:13 PM  
Anonymous tinkerbell said...

This is not related to your post at all but I don't know where else to write a comment. I started reading your blog about 2 months ago and read the entire blog in 4 days! (I hardly slept). You need to write books lady!

I read your blog because I related to your pre-mommmy days and really wanted to know how you transitioned. About 4 days after I read the entire blog I found out I was pregnant. So now I will continue reading because as you know I need all the tips I can get.

All in all I just wanted to thank you so much for writing and please don't ever stop at this point I don't know what I would do with out you ! :)

7/4/08, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Patamomma said...

Wow, loved the post and I agreed with almost all the comments. I am pretty hard on my girls. I expect them to act right. But, there are the times that I've had the reaction to confrontation like Dutch said. So, I see both points. Great discussion though. Patty

7/5/08, 1:21 AM  
Blogger Sus said...

YOU'RE SO RIGHT ABOUT THE SUBSET. Sorry, my kid put me on caps lock and I would have taken it off but it actually suited my feelings.

7/5/08, 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

Oh c'mon Dutch. Your whole argument is moot because we all know Juniper would never be eating a hot dog in the first place. :)

And if she did toss it on the floor (which, again, I highly doubt that would happen, unless she was experimenting with some scientific cause and effect lesson that you had just taught her in Latin), you'd come up with some way better response than telling her to just leave it.

You'd at least have told her to toss it at Liz or something smart like that.

7/5/08, 10:23 AM  
Blogger b said...

Wow, are you sure you aren't pregnant? That kind of anger wells up in me all the time when I am pregnant. I recently screamed at a teenager in her car that I was calling 911 because she was driving so recklessly. She of course heard me b/c she had her window down to throw her cigarette butt out of the car.

7/5/08, 12:14 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Your penultimate paragraph said it all to me. So many of us are so hard on ourselves, wondering about every little thing that we do and the repercussions. We need to relax a bit, and be glad that our children would never throw garbage on the floor of the store, and if they did, there would be consequences greater than an angry stranger with visions of George Clooney in her head confronting us. Go us.

7/5/08, 1:50 PM  
Blogger Nicole Feliciano said...

Keep fighting the good fight. That's all we can do. Lead by example. Love the blog.

7/5/08, 4:53 PM  
Anonymous veep veep said...

sadly, i'm not shocked.

i faced a similar attitude at a target in brooklyn. may have been the same one. i can't believe the nerve some parents have.

7/5/08, 6:55 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

I'm kind of with Dutch here, and trying to give this mom the benefit of the doubt. Is it possible one of these girls picked up the hot dog off the floor (dropped earlier by someone else) and tried to shove it at her sister? And was told by the mom to drop it? Or is it possible that the situation was somehow different than you perceived it?

While I totally agree with the concept of picking up your own mess, I would have big huge issues with someone (a stranger, no less) correcting or verbally disciplining my kids, even in a nice way. Talk to ME, tell me my kid is an a-hole or that he threw food on the floor, but do NOT talk to my kid. If so, I might have done just what this woman did.

7/6/08, 12:22 AM  
Blogger GRAY MATTER MATTERS said...

THE SCENE: Yonkers.

From the window of McDonalds--seriously don't judge--this guy and his trampy girlfriend walked to their car which was parked in the spot they STOLE FROM ME. I should mention that his pants were worn below his underwear, I mean below his butt. He then proceeded to throw three cans of grape soda out of his car into the parking lot.

I turned to my husband and relayed your bravery when dealing with the many a-holes you've encountered lately and wished that I could've done the same.

What stopped me, the concern that maybe his pants were hanging so low because he had a gun in his pocket. I mean anyone who drinks grape soda, can they really be trusted.

I salute you.

7/6/08, 8:51 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Mrs Davis, I'm sure you're not alone here. If a stranger kindly (kindly) asked my daughter not to throw garbage/ tease the ducks/ trash the display in the store, my first reaction is generally to thank them and back them up; indeed my daughter shouldn't do those things. But then, there are those times that I feel defensive, even if I know the stranger is right and her tone is not judgmental.

When I feel defensive, I have to stop and ask myself why.

7/6/08, 9:03 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

You are freaking hilarious! That is so funny. What a biiiiiatch.

7/6/08, 10:08 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Yay! I'm so happy you took a stand. It is ridiculous that people cannot pick up after themselves.
I just stumbled your blog and I love it!

7/6/08, 8:55 PM  
Blogger Lane Boyz Mom said...

HOOOORRRAYYY FOR YOU, GIRL! Even tho she didn't get her children to pick it up, I would like to think that she was so embarrassed at that moment, she chose to ignore you, buuut...hopefully, just hopefully she will learn from this and teach her children better!!!!!!

And btw...it's nice to know other people have that "in my mind" thing going on;) Soo...George visits you in your mind too? LOL

7/7/08, 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

I LOVE the Etiquette Bitch!

7/7/08, 10:59 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

please have etiquette bitch t-shirts made so i can wear one in your honor.

7/7/08, 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Suzy said...

I would have picked up the hot dog and tossed it into her basket and said "I'll be writing about you and your lack of MANNERS in my BLOG FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE. Nice to meet you. I'm the Manners BITCH."

7/7/08, 3:06 PM  
Anonymous dorothy said...

I am so proud of you! I am realizing more and more that it's my and my husband's responsibility to teach my daughter manners and morals, because the world certainly is not going to step up.

If we can't treat each other with respect, we're one step from losing civilization.

7/7/08, 5:18 PM  
Blogger Marni Tiani Self said...

Wow, I would have been livid.

7/8/08, 12:46 AM  
Blogger Amelia Sprout said...

Based on comments, and my own experience I have two questions/thoughts.

1. How in the hell is this happening? What the fuck went wrong with the world that people think that they themselves are most awesome, and that everyone else can suck their shit (litterally it appears).

2. If they are out breeding us, maybe I should get on that having another kid sooner than later.

PMS may make me brave, but I'm always a bitch.

7/8/08, 12:29 PM  
Blogger Mama Luxe said...

Good for you for saying something. And personally, I like the world in your head.

I always say to my husband that I'm amazed so many kids survive. Here I am researching like a fiend to give my kid the best I can and I see toddlers eating raw meat in a grocery cart! In a way it puts it into perspective (calm down, most likely things will work out) but in another way it is just plain scary.

Oh, and your advice on my CyberShower cracked me up, too.

I gotta make more time to read you.

7/8/08, 10:32 PM  
Blogger Jozet at Halushki said...

Cripes almighty.

As someone in retail who deals with cleaning up ridiculous garbage constantly, nothing but a standing O from me.

If I were that oblivious mom, I would have apologized both to you and the store, I don't care how many hangnails I was suffering that day.

Call me old fashioned, but there were two answers those girls should have given in that situation: "yes m'am" or "no m'am". I'm thinking that very rarely do child predators groom their victims by admonishing them to clean up their crap. I'm also thinking that by 5 and 7 years old, this is a fairly straightforward distinction that can be taught: Bad people try to give you puppies and candy and try to lure you into the restroom to shave your head; good people remind you to pick up your trash.

7/9/08, 2:46 AM  
Blogger Jozet at Halushki said...

Sorry...I made a leap there since my main concern with stranger approaching my children is in potential "grooming" situations. However, as I think that these situations are potentially so far and few between (knock wood) and that I'd much rather the help of "the village" in raising my children (me being supremely comfortable in my imperfect parenting, gosh, what a load off) and in being a good parent to them when they may be trying to pull a fast one on me when my back is turned. The little dears.

I'd really rather my kids know that there are many adults - and other kids - out there that they can trust to also not allow them to get away with being Those Kind Of Kids. I think it's comforting knowing that the world won't allow you to backslide into heathendom, even if mom and dad aren't around. Consistency. It's what's for dinner.

7/9/08, 3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

I agree that kids should pick up after themselves and treat adults respectfully. If that was my kid, that hot dog would be picked up! And if he was rude to another adult, I'd make him eat the damn thing.

But.

Can't say I disagree with dutch on this one. If you caught me and my son on a bad day, it's possible that I'd be that woman. It's unfair to assume you know how that woman parents and how her kids are gonna turn out after one short encounter.

7/9/08, 5:59 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Anne, I totally understand the idea of a bad day. I have plenty - sometimes more often than good ones.

I suppose the one aspect of my situation that's missing from that argument though is that when an adult asks a young child nicely and is met with disdain, that's not a bad day. That's a lack of respect.

And when the mom backs them up on their shitty attitudes, well I've got to believe there's a causal relationship there.

Let's be honest, some parents are good parents having a bad day. Some parents are just not good parents.

7/9/08, 7:28 PM  
Anonymous motomama (Kristin) said...

Oh, yes. Brooklyn Target.I know that hell-hole-on-earth quite well, why do I end up back there again? Can't I just do mail order? I am known for my public remarks at other people's rudeness and Brooklyn Target may be the axis of all things rude and fluorecently lit. A few months ago I was in the towel isle and my (exhausted and hungry) child was screaming because the one and only cookie had fallen on the floor. I picked it up, brushed it off and handed it to him because nothing else in the universe would have worked. I didn't realize that the 80+ year old Target Cookie Nazi was behind me and reprimanded me for giving my kid a (not really) dirty cookie. You are different. Rudeness and dumping garbage affects other people, my cookie did not affect this woman. I gave her an earful but felt a little bad about it later. That'll learn me not to travel to Target without more than one cookie. Best maybe to avoid that place entirely.

7/10/08, 2:26 PM  
Blogger shawnna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/18/08, 3:12 PM  
Blogger shawnna said...

all the while i am reading this the voice inside of me is YELLING

YES
YES
finally
now i feel like i am not the only parent who thinks WTHeck are some of these people doing

kudos
and the part about your period ....made me laugh out loud

7/18/08, 3:13 PM  
Blogger Cuz_I'm_The_Mom said...

Yeah, yeah, the shitty etiquette started with the Mom...you should never blame your common sense on your period...wish I could have been that bold in similar situations. WHATEVS...what I can't get over is this:

You have an elevator at your Target?

8/30/08, 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

I love grape soda! Thanks for the post - good discussion.

9/4/08, 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Gina said...

Reminds me of the time when I had to use a bathroom at a Long Island train station. There were two stalls, both taken. I waited outside and a girl came out. I went in, and the seat was covered in pee. So I went out again and waited for the other stall. A woman came out who was the girl's mother and I went in. That seat was also covered in pee. I didn't say anything but I probably made some sounds of disgust.

What is it with people peeing all over seats and leaving it for the next person to deal with?

9/16/08, 12:37 AM  

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