Before I get into this, I just want to begin by saying, “All’s well that ends well”. Because it did. I have a lot of respect for people who take accountability for their actions and strive to work on themselves. Kudos for that. 🙂
Last week I had an experience that raised and important social issue. This one is big. To me at least. I feel it should be to all of us, but that’s just me on my soap box. So pardon my suds, because I’m about to make some. It’s about to get bubbly up in here.
I was parked at the school to pick Nathan up from soccer practice. I don’t know why I parked in this particular spot, but I pulled my Explorer, front end in first, into a spot, right next to a high cement wall. As soon as I did, I thought to myself, “that’s not a smart spot to need to pull out of”. I was only parked there for a few minutes before time to pull out and drive around the lot and circle around to the curb where I usually wait for him after practice. I started to very slowly pull out, being extra cautious, just because of the nature of the spot, when I heard a “zoomy” car come racing into the parking lot. I immediately hit the brakes and decided to wait, while I watched a sporty silver car with a young man and girl zip around the lot. As I continued to back out and circle around – and ultimately end up behind them in line to pick up Nathan – I put my vehicle in park and sat in wait. I had my sunglasses on and was just listening to music. The young man in the car in front of me opened his car door, leaned out and hollered at me, “What the fuck are youlooking at?” I couldn’t believe my ears! I felt both assaulted and wounded. I responded, “I’m not looking at anything honey, I’m just waiting for my son to finish up soccer practice” and took off my sunglasses. I was genuinely shocked at his confrontational tone and language. He told me to “shut the fuck up”. At that point, I got angry, because after he cussed at me the first time and I responded to him with kindness, he cussed me a second time, so now I was angry and wasn’t going to take his abuse, so I said, “You can’t talk to me that way! What’s your name?!” At which he promptly told me to “Shut the fuck up” a second time and sped out of the parking lot after retrieving one of Nathan’s teammates (his younger brother).
I was left with my mouth hanging open, my heart racing, and my mind absolutely blown. There in a car directly across from me was the father of one of the other boys, and 2 or 3 other mothers waiting to pick up their sons. The father sat in his car the entire time and did nothing. One of the mothers approached me as the kid spun off and drove away. She said she thought I knew him, that we were just joking around, and wasn’t sure if we were serious or not. I assured here it was no joke and that I was VERYupset. Two other mothers said they could tell something was going on from their cars but didn’t know what or who was involved until after it was all said and done.
I was so upset, I jumped out of my car with no shoes on and stomped up the hill to where some of the boys were still practicing. Nathan had forgotten I needed to get him a few minutes early that day, so I had to go retrieve him myself. On my way, one of the other teammates was sitting on the hill waiting for his ride and I was able to get the name of the kid who got in the car with the raging guy in the silver car, so I could call the parents to talk to them about what had happened.
I was still so upset by the time I got home, I wasn’t sure if I should wait to calm down to call, or call while I still had the nerve and was upset enough to do it. I didn’t want to make things awkward for Nathan or for us and the other soccer moms and dads for the rest of the high school soccer season, but there was no way I could let this go without saying something. If that was Nathan talking to one of his teammates’ parents that way, I’d be mortified and he’d be one sorry kid! So, I called. Before I did, I told Nathan what had happened. He was upset about it and thought I should talk to the father because he’d be harder on the kid than the mom. Kevin advised me to talk to the mother – mom-to-mom. I ended up taking Kev’s advice. I knew she’d talk to her husband anyway. She was mortified and the end result is, the following day, I got a phone call from the guy, apologizing. He explained he has anger issues. He also explained that when he came around the corner that day and saw me pulling out, he thought I was going to hit his new car. I reminded him, how fast he was driving. So fast, he was “squealing wheels” in the parking lot with way too many kids around… I told him that I could understand how he could have thought I may not have seen him, but I certainly heard him coming and had already stopped backing out to let him go by. I thanked him very much for calling, told him it meant a lot to me that he did and that I realized it probably wasn’t an easy thing to do. It showed a level of maturity I wasn’t sure the guy had, but know now he’s working on. His parents are really nice people and clearly are trying hard with him. I learned a few days later that he’s a pretty hard-working guy, who is working to pay for that car on his own because he wanted a nicer car than the one his family could provide. He’s 19 – just trying to work out some kinks… I’m hoping he gets there.
What really bothered me about this scenario was the lack of support I got while this event took place – especially on the part of the man who watched it all go down. I’m aware people don’t like to get involved in other people’s business anymore for fear of retaliation, law suits, personal harm that may come to them, etc… but quite honestly, I think this airs on the impish side. I’m sorry. Go on and judge me, since I’m judging here – it’s OK. I just do. I’m a damn GIRL and I’ll step up and DO and SAY and take ACTION if I KNOW something isn’t right or someone’s in trouble. I’d rather get in trouble for standing up for something I know is right than let something wrong happen and have done nothing at all to try to stop it. I guess I have my limits, if I’m being honest. I wouldn’t get in the middle of gun fight, that’s for sure – or a hold up in a grocery store. But if I saw a domestic violence thing going down, I’d make a call. If I saw someone getting bullied or messed with, I’d assess the situation and see if it was safe for me to do something about it. If it wasn’t, I’d call the cops, or look for someone else to help.
What are you willing to stand up for? What are your limits? Comment here and let me know!