Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Confronting the Ugliness

Last month, I stood in line with my family at a check out, in front of a middle-aged dad. We were in a W*lM*rt in upstate NY, en route to our vacation at the lake. Just the big happy Gang of us, hanging out and stretching our legs while we snagged some groceries for the week. He was accompanied by his young teen son and his elementary-aged daughter. We were all just kind of perusing the tabloid headlines, as we waited for our turn to be checked out.

With a sneer and a grumble, the dad said (and I'm likely paraphrasing here - it was a month ago), "Yeah, that J%n oughtta get his own show and call it J%n's Great New Life, since he finally got smart and got rid of that b**ch, K@t&." He and his teen son laughed at their own wittiness and mumbled something about how horrible it must be to live with a "br0@d like her. . . "

Now, I've been silent thus far here on the blog regarding the whole TLC show debacle. Not because I don't have an opinion. Or a conviction. Come on, you all know me way better than that. You KNOW I've got opinions. I've just chosen to stay silent. To me, it's a much, much bigger issue than I think any blog post or even series of posts could do justice in addressing. And frankly, no matter my opinion, most of it isn't any of my business.

But this guy?! With a mouth like that, in front of his kids AND mine? And a short-sighted, evil, mean-spirited opinion like that?! Yeah, I wasn't silent. I was incensed. I took a deep breath and turned around. I looked both of them directly in the eyes and said, (again, I'm paraphrasing!) "Yeah, except that by chasing his great new life, he's left 8 kids virtually fatherless and that's just pathetic."

My kids and my hubby were surprised at how I addressed it. And frankly, so was I. It just kinda spilled out. Like I said, regardless of how I feel about the whole story, this interchange was just a symptom to me of how ugly we've allowed our culture to become.

Rejoicing over a broken family?
Reveling in another man's freedom
from his "b*#ch" of a wife?
Disregarding the damage inflicted
on the precious little hearts of those 8 kids?

Honestly, I was just so appalled that he would voice those sentiments. And that he would speak like that IN. FRONT. OF. HIS. KIDS. AND. MINE. And I'm so deeply saddened for the two kids, that they are being (intentionally or unintentionally) trained to disrespect the opposite sex, to disregard the institute of marriage, and to mock others' misfortune.

And don't even get me started on his manners, to even be discussing such an issue in his crude way, in front of the whole check out line at the local W*lM*rt.

I spoke up that day. I couldn't take the ugliness for another second. And I hope I'm that brave to confront it again if I come across it. In my own town. At my own store. Closer to home.


TCKK said...

Good for you!!!

heidi @ ggip said...

Ugh! That is so sad that they feel they can choose to talk like that in a public place in front of kids and all that. It used to be when I was a kid, if someone was using off color language, someone would point out that there were women and children present and they would quickly apologize.

Stephanie said...

Bravo Gang's Mama! Bravo!

ComfyDenim said...

You rock.

Livin' Life said...

You go girl!!! Scott always takes a deep breath when I turn around in a grocery store line to address something said. It is disturbing how people react to these types of situations no a days. They don't realize the affect this will have on those little guys. And to quote a famous widely used quote "It takes two to tango buster!" :)

Elissa said...

I'm so impressed that you came up with something so powerful and classy so quickly. My first reaction is usually to stoop to the other person's level-- not so good to do, in front of the kids or not!

The Gang's Momma said...

Yes, Elissa, that's what I meant when I said The Boss and the boys were surprised. I'm not usually quite so articulate or polite when that angry, I'm embarrassed to admit.

Beverly said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!! I am proud of you for saying something!!!

Natalie said...

Way to go!!

Sharon said...

Don't you love it when the Right Words come at the Right Time!! Good for you!


Aus said...

Wow - you scare me sometimes - remind me never to get you mad!! :) What you saw was a perfect example of what's wrong with todays world - Marie and I have been married something over 26 years and never looked back, the marriage, family, life was NEVER considered disposable (and with my job I'm wondering - and saying thank you prayers all the time - why she bothered!) Yeah - teach him to hack off the Gang's Momma!

hugs - and a high 5 - aus and co.

Classic MaMa said...

Thank you for standing up for marriage and for kids and for decency!

MissMeliss said...

good for you! :)