Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Family Values

Hey Y'all. Thanks so much for all the wonderful wishes for me and our new daughter. And, yes, we think she's gorgeous too!

So, last week I took my older kids to McDonalds because, let's face it: the Thanksgiving holiday was wearing on me. God bless those women who homeschool their children because I just simply would never have it in me.

We got our food and ate it in the regular dining area. For some reason, I just can't stomach my Chicken Selects strips when the aroma of 7-year-old-wet-sneaker-feet is wafting through my nostrils. Plus, when we eat in an area AWAY from the brightly-colored bacteria magnet, it helps us cut down on the whole cycle of eat/touch germs/eat again/touch more germs/put hands in mouth/touch germs/etc.

Thankfully, I saw the mom dressed in her best Wal-Mart couture coming. She wore fleece pajama pants, a stretched-out t-shirt, a nylon windbreaker, dirty sneakers, and disheveled hair pulled into a scrunchy. To our delight, she sat in the booth right by us, so we didn't even have to try to eavesdrop to hear all of the f-bombs flowing freely from her mouth. I am (sincerely) glad, though, that my kids had already finished their food and had gone to play in the Playplace by the time she and her male companion (husband? Boyfriend? Second cousin?) sat down with a 7-year-old little girl and a baby boy in a pumpkin seat.

This is a sample of the conversation we (an about half of the dining area) heard:

"What the f*** did you get me this disgusting sh** for? I ain't gonna eat this sh**! If you like it so f***ing much, you eat it."

"I don't give a sh** what you want. That sh** is disgusting."

(By the way, she was talking about a Big Mac. Which she then promptly tossed on the table. The burger split apart and its contents teetered on the edge of the table. For the duration of their meal time, the special sauce, pickles, and lettuce oozed and dripped off the edge of the table onto the floor. And yep, you guessed it: they left it there as someone else's problem when they left the restaurant.)

I so wanted to go up to that lady and say something along the lines of, "Hi. I totally respect your right to free speech and all. But, could you maybe tone down all the cursing, at least until my family leaves? I mean, we've got a bunch of kids and I don't really want them hearing those words." But I was too afraid to say anything because I thought she might scratch my eyes out or spit on me or something like that. Truthfully, I felt kind-of ashamed. I felt like, WHERE ARE MY PRINCIPLES??? It's one thing to talk about your principles, but until you actually have to put them into action it's all just lip service.

So, whew. problem averted, thanks to the saving grace of McDonalds germ factory Playland.

What would YOU have done???


Michele Renee said...

I would have asked if I could take their photo and put it on people of (even tho it wasn't Walmart).
Just kidding. Gosh--don't know what I would have done.
I have been at a pool we belonged to and these 4 male teens dropped the F-bomb everywhere and I told them that it's not like I never say those words but we have kids here and they were nice and stopped.
First time commenter--your post cracked me up!

Jen said...

Done just what you did. Been totally appalled, not said a word and written a blog post. :)

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I know the rudest thing you can do is point out someone else's faux pas so you did the right thing---get away from her and then log about it ;)

Em said...

The whole story just made me feel so sorry for her children. Nothing chaps my hide than watching the circle of dispair create a loop. If she displays that type of behavior in public, Lord only knows what goes on at home.

Stupid, selfish, sad soul of a woman.

I would have gotten up and left.

But in my heart I would have wanted to shove that Big Mac in her enormous pie hole.

I never said I was a saint :-)

Em said...

P.S. yes, "Violet" is absolutely GORGEOUS!

Anna See said...

First of all, your baby is GORGEOUS.

Secondly, ick on the f bomb being dropped at Mickey D's!

Emily said...

Wow...this is SUCH a great post!
Ok, first of all...thanks for admitting you would not be into homeschooling. I totally feel that way and almost feel like a bad mom for thinking it's something I could totally not do well. Nor would I want too.
OK, I'm w/ you on the violence thing...I would have been scared of that too. I probably would have t old a manager. Best case senario, they make the rude people leave, worst case, they probably would have refunded your money or given you coupons for a free meal next time. After all, a McD's with a playplace is a family friendly place and language like that shouldn't be tolerated.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

By the way, I haven't checked in for too long - congratulations!! Wooo!

And we would have quietly moved. Standing up when it will make a difference is one thing... making a scene for no good reason is something else. Getting into a verbal altercation with White Trash Mama wasn't going to accomplish anything but to put yourself at her level. Being classy often means taking the high road, and just walking away. Any time someone else is misbehaving, it's an opportunity to quietly reinforce to your kids, "wow, that is bad behavior, isn't it."

Jennifer said...

Sweet baby Violet. Love her!!!!

What I would have done would have depended entirely on my mood as I have been known to drop the f bomb myself, not in the vicinity of people that would potentially be offended or children, but then we all have our standards.

Foursons said...

Like Jen I would have taken notes and blogged about it later.

Amy O'Connor said...

Oh, Violet is beautiful! Congratulations!

I probably would have done the same as you. Most likely shoot their table a few dirty looks... you know. Maybe move to another table on the other side of the restaurant. You handled it well in my opinion.

I also feel for the kids. No telling what they see at home.

Cookie Crums said...

Baby girl is adorable!

As for the "f" bombing, I probably would have moved. If she has that much class (or NOT), I would not put it passed her to decide to fight in the middle of the place. Sometimes you just have to walk away even though it goes against everything you believe.

JHS. said...

First of all, congratulations! Your baby is beautiful.

Second, I'm with you on the homeschooling. I could never have done it and, frankly, don't believe in it unless there is a compelling, e.g., disability, reason.

Third, I would have done exactly what you did. I would have sent my boys into the germ factory & quietly moved to another available booth. Sadly, there is no point in confronting folks like that because they don't see anything wrong with their behavior & it would just end up frustrating you more. As well as be potentially dangerous. All you can do is take a deep breath and offer a prayer for the entire family, but especially the kids that they grow up with some kind of positive role model/influence, get out of that situation, and make a life for themselves.

Excellent, thought-provoking post.

The Rising Blogger

Bridgett said...

TOTALLY taken notes and blogged about it later with embellishment. And I agree with one of the earlier posters--if it were a group of teenagers, I might just cautiously ask them if they could keep down the language while my kids were there. But teenagers and white trash hoosiers are not the same thing. Sometimes teens don't realize they're not in a cone of silence. She had to have known folks could hear her. If it had taken a turn for the worse, I might have pointed it out to the manager, but I could just see my intervening to protect my precious babies' ears making those people even angrier, and they had two kids with them and....

Stephanie said...

Honestly, what can you do? People like that tend to be that way because they are attention seeking. So if you were to have said something, it probably would have just given her cause to make a big ol scene.

The best thing for myself? I usually just remove myself from the situation. Except one time in church when a little hispanic boy was using swear words because (i assume) his Momma didn't understand. And then I leaned over and threatened his life if I heard words coming out of his mouth like that again. Okay so I didn't threaten his life, but I told him he'd better stop and I gave my best "eye"...and I'm sure it was a nasty one, because he did't peep the rest of the service!

Karen said...

I would have just been disgusted and walked away praying for her children.

Violet is adorable!

Sturgmom said...

What, you didn't like my outfit? I can't believe you saw me at McD's and didn't even say hi.