Thursday, July 4, 2013

Plain talking mamas.

Today, we slept in until 7:30. A rare luxury.

We ambled downtown for our town's big 4th of July Parade. I'm not a fan of parades, but I do have to say that I like people watching. Today was no exception.

We sat down next to a couple. She had long gray hair, and was dressed like an aging hippie. He was heavy and bald.

Their daughter was shapely with crooked teeth. She must have been 18, because she was smoking. She wore blue glittery eye shadow that extended to her temples and the rest of her makeup was not applied with any lighter hand. She wore short shorts with a spangly red, white and blue insert running up each leg. Her black barely-there top exposed her pierced belly button with a star and dangling rhinestones. I guess it was supposed to look like a shooting star.

She sat there next to her parents, but every now and again, she'd get up to walk slowly back and forth, swaying her hips. Men and boys passing by on the sidewalk would look. At least one stopped to talk. "I hope you know how fine you look. Really. You are fine." She looked amazed and her mother and she giggled together, shaking their heads at the nerve of some people.

It was then that I realized that the red haired boy sitting on the other side of her was part of their group. No one had spoken to him. No one had looked at him. When the fellow stopped to talk to the innocent and unsuspecting daughter, the red haired boy-man got up and came to her side. He put his arm on her shoulders and she shrugged away, angrily.

He stood there unsure of what to do next. He finally went off to have a cigarette. When he left, the father wished aloud that he would not come back and the little threesome laughed together.

He did come back and he sat down and was ignored for the rest of the parade. He looked miserable.

The mother in me wanted to head after him the next time he left to have a cigarette. The mother in me wanted to say, "Listen, you're not my boy, but I'm going to say what I would say to any of my boys: She might be sexy, but if she treats you like crap, the sex will not make anything any better." I wanted to say, "Hey, you're not my kid, but I'm going to tell you that you are worthy of respect." I wanted to say, "I'm not your mother, but what the hell are you thinking here?"

But I didn't.

I sat there, and I switched back and forth between watching the parade and watching that little scene play out. When they left, the parents walked with their daughter, the three of them laughing together. The young man trailed behind.

I didn't say one word, and you know, it's bothered me all afternoon. I've been working in the garden, and hoping that boy has a plain talking mama.


Linda Gross said...

Perhaps the boy/man will happen upon your blog. Then you will have your say :-) I believe it would do him a favor to read this post!

jeanie said...

How sadly some play their lives out - communication is a commodity that is overused and yet underdeveloped with so many.

Donna said...

Troubling in deed.

Debby said...

Not sure why I could not enter Kelly's comment: "Makes me wonder what the "whole story" is behind that group of people."

I think that you're absolutely right that there is more to the story than I was able to see from my limited viewing, but just the fact that the parents sat there smiling indulgently as their daughter really (no other word for it) flaunted her sexuality, and enjoyed the discomfort of the young man. Eek. These are all inappropriate responses to situations common to our human existance. You don't agree? You work it out, or you don't work it out. You don't mock and shame someone, tormenting him, and enjoying yourself while doing it. I'm a mom. I don't want my daughters taking crap from a man. However, I'd never advocate them using their sex to 'win'.

Women (and men) that do that? You sure as hell don't want to get tangled up with that.

Hal Johnson said...

It's sad to see stuff like that. As I get older, I find I'm more likely to say something in a situation like that. Usually, I get a "what a weirdo" look, but so far, nobody has punched me. Small blessings.