(Language in this post has been watered down for the purposes of proper decorum.)
Being a parent means being responsible. Not all the time, just when the kids are around. It means eating healthy instead of eating junk or sweets to set a good example for your children. It means Continuing on your way when someone is making a scene in public because it’s not polite to stare at people.
There are some people who don’t watch when something is happening in public, regardless of whether they’re alone or their children are with them. I’m not one of those people. If something is happening, chances are I’m standing off to the side pretending to do something or look at something when the truth is I’m watching the drama unfold out of the corner of my eye. Some people like reality TV. I like reality.
There was one recent episode that took place while I was out shopping one morning. My children were all at school, so it was another trip to the store by myself. A chance to take a little drive, play a little music, and get some things done and out of the way.
As I was making my way through the parking lot, my head turned in the direction of someone who was shouting. I saw a man walking with a cell phone in one hand. The other hand was fending off a woman who was walking with him, visibly (and audibly) upset over something that involved whoever was on the phone.
I went into the store like a mature adult who, “wasn’t interested in other people’s drama.“
The woman was trying to maneuver past the fending hand. She stretched her neck as far as she could to the phone. “What the heck did that lady say about me? Come down here and say that to my face, you bawd!”
“Ignore her,” the man said on the phone. “She’s upset.”
“You’re darn right I’m upset,” the woman screamed. “I’m more than upset. I’m hopping mad! Tell that woman to come down here. I’m right here in the parking lot, you hag! Come on down here and say that to my face!”
The woman continued to shout past the man to the phone. The man still had the phone to his ear, trying to prevent the woman from getting to his phone. A part of me wanted to know the backstory. It was entertaining, to say the least. If I had children with me, I would have hustled them through the parking lot faster than I was moving by myself, but there were no kids with me so I was able to watch the entertainment during my stroll to the store. On my way to the store, there was another woman who was walking with her daughter. The child asked, “What’s that?” The mother said, “Nothing,” and ushered her along so the child wouldn’t be caught gawking. I exchanged glances with the parent, who was trying to answer her daughter’s questions as vague as she possibly could. Meanwhile, I was wondering what parts of the conversation I had missed as I went into the store like a mature adult who, “wasn’t interested in other people’s drama.”
My new book “Down on the Farm” is now available for purchase on Apple Books.