Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can't We All Just Play Nice...??

While we were in California last week, I had an interesting experience. We were waiting for our shuttle from Disneyland back to our hotel. This is a big area and there are lots of people waiting at an assigned's brilliance, to say the least. Anyway, as we were waiting for our shuttle to arrive, I could hear someone screaming profanities behind me. I turned to see a woman with 4 small children (probably ages 5 on down) and one teenager probably about 14 or 15.

The language she was using was pretty raunchy, lots of F-bombs and just about every other curse word you can imagine. It was obvious that she was incredibly angry with whomever she was speaking with on the phone. I was uncomfortable but thought that surely she would end her call soon...not so. She went on and on and even stopped to yell at her children to "Shut Up". After about 5 minutes, I walked closer to her (now remember, there are lots of people around with lots of children...after all, it is the Happiest Place on Earth, right?!?) and I said in a loud, frustrated but as kind-as-I-could voice, "Hey, please keep it down. There are children here." WELL...she put her phone in her lap, waved her finger at me and started to yell at me, whipping attitude and telling me to stay out of her "business" and that she was not in my "business" and to "go back and take care of my family".

This set me off! I stood my ground and again said, "Just keep it down, I don't care who you're talking to or what you're saying, just please stop screaming and talk quietly" reminding her again that there are children all around. She yelled at me some more and I reiterated again. We had about a 60 second exchange and finally she dropped her tone and spoke more quietly to finish her call.

Of course, our shuttle took FOREVER to arrive. Since she was at another stop marker, I figured she was heading somewhere else...Oh no, not so! When our shuttle arrived, she and her children made a bee-line for our bus. Aja was appalled and told me we would wait for the next shuttle. I told her "We are SO getting on this bus". This angry woman did NOT intimidate me in the least. We let them board first and then we boarded.

Now we are the only people on the bus. It seemed to take forever to arrive at our hotel but after several stops, we were there and OF COURSE, she was staying at our hotel! Again, we allowed them to get off first and I was the last person off the bus. I thanked the driver, I stepped off the last step of the bus and this woman walked right up to me! She touched my arm and said, "Ma'am, I apologize for getting in your face, you were right." She then proceeded to tell me that her life was falling apart and she shouldn't have been so loud and used such language. She didn't want me to think that she abused her children and she kept apologizing to me.

I told her that I was sorry her life was falling apart and that I wasn't there to judge her. I assured her that I didn't even care what she said in her personal phone conversation, it wasn't my business, but as a mother I was sure she could understand my protective nature of children including hers! (that really hit her). I also told her that I wished her well, that I wasn't a hater, that I wanted the best for her and her family. She kept apologizing to me and looked like she was about to cry. I gently touched her arm and told her that I respected her for having the courage to come up and tell me that she was sorry. We spoke for about 2 minutes and finally said good-bye. Then she said, "Thank you and God Bless You!" It was actually very touching.

I feel that we, as a society, have come to accept unacceptable behavior and often we stand back and say nothing. I have been guilty of this many many times. But I knew in my heart that her behavior was out-of-line and that I had a responsibility to my sweet grandchildren and the other innocent children around me. My heart ached for her beautiful children.

I am FAR from perfect. I share this not to boast, but to say that I came to realize that most people have a conscience. And if they have any sort of conscience, it eventually begins to work on them. To her credit, this woman had the courage to apologize and admit her errors in judgment.

Personally, I think we need to take a stand for what we know to be right. I am tired of excusing behavior that DOES affect me and my family and does "get into my business". We live in a day and age where profanities are dropped into everyday conversations. It's all around us and we tend to become complacent and just accept it as the norm. Well, it's not O.K and we don't have to take it! I don't profess to be even close to perfect and I don't expect that from anyone else. I'm not here to police others. I'm trying to "clean up my own backyard" so to speak, but I don't regret for a second confronting her. It's a beautiful world and we all need to "play nicely in the sandbox"...


Love Being A Nonny said...

Wow Mary! Just Wow! Good for you. We never know the impact we have on others. lesson learned.

Lynn said...

Awesome Mary!!!! Thanks for sharing that experience. Good for you!!! What an inspiring story to ALL of us. We truly HAVE to take a stand. If we don't....we will fall like everyone else.

Lynn said...

P.S. Well...not EVERYone....but you know what I mean. ; D