Sunday, March 04, 2012

oh, the snootiness inside me

Yesterday at the thrift store I watched a very young mother scold her very young child (about four) for spilling his crackly bag of red hot cheetohs all over the floor. He apologized and said it was "a accident" and she continued to scold as she swept the glaringly red snack food under the clothing rack with her right foot. I was flabbergasted. I probably shouldn't have been but I was. In my snoot, snoot, snooty head I glared and reprimanded. There were too many things I thought wrong with the whole scene and I thought what good is she teaching this child?

I thought back to my preschool years and I remember knocking over products at the grocery store much to my mother's chagrin and then picking up said products under her watchful yet unscolding eye. I remember accompanying her to the fabric sore (which I abhorred) and running around and hiding in the fabric racks until she'd yank me out by the arm, sit me down at the pattern book table and ask me to pick out a new dress pattern. I know how difficult it can be shopping with children. How taxing, really. Grocery shopping about did me in so I am not so snooty that I judge her for sitting the kiddo down in the back of the cart with a crackly bag of processed snack food (I myself am quite partial to the orange puffs). I do however hold it against her for sweeping those red crunchy bits slightly under the racks so that others can stomp on them. One, it shows no accountability, two, it loses out on a teachable moment and three, it leaves a mess for the staff to pick up...then again...the mister and I once stumbled upon something much more awful sitting on the floor in the middle of an aisle at a thrift store we will never frequent again.

*I want things like this not to be acceptable or shrugged off. In a nutshell it might not seem like a big deal but in the bigger picture it simply leads to more sloppiness.It lends itself to the many things that are wrong with the world (think about not picking up the wrapper you just walked by because YOU didn't drop it there). Bad examples are set, a lack of caring is put forth and I think it goes hand in hand with morals and all that jazz. Where does it go before others think it is a BIG deal. Why not begin with an internal measure of how you want to be perceived or how you want the world to work? Sure, there are exceptions (lots of exceptions) and things don't always work out the way you want them to but to show a lack in caring or an obliviousness that the behavior is not normal is sad and startling. I liken this to the "good job" debate and children expecting gold stars at every turn, to employees expecting the highest rating on their reviews for simply doing their job and for internet sales people expecting 5 stars for sending you their product as they should. It's about treating people with kindness because you are kind. My thoughts are coming out very clear here and I understand that many of you will think me most snooty but these are the things I think about as I observe the discontent of the world around me.

5 comments:

  1. don't you think it has to do with an increasing individualization of society? and it manifests as behavior in public that you wouldn't do in your own home. i see it here in denmark - where there is what i can only characterize as public rudeness or possibly a total lack of awareness that there are other people. it makes them not only throw their trash out the car window as they're driving along (alarming that's on the increase), but it also makes them actually run over your foot with their cart in the grocery store and never even imagine apologizing to you, because they don't know you (and therefore you quite possibly don't exist). people float around in a solipsistic haze. it's worrying, it really is. but i don't think it's snooty of you at all.

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  2. Mountain-out-of-a-mole-hill parents. Got ta love em. If you give your kid a snack while shopping you have to brace yourself for what 'could' happen. I'm sure she is the same type of a woman who should she be the one to step on spilt snackage have a fit in the middle of the store.

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  3. Anonymous7:21 AM

    Yes, it would have been so much nicer if the mama had just went "Oops!" and scooped the child out of the cart saying, "Help me pick these up from the floor."

    Every small thing we do in our lives has a consequence, whether good or bad. It is NOT snooty of you to expect people to be accountable for their actions. It is NOT expecting too much for parents to teach their children right from wrong. Do not think for one minute that you are being unreasonable. You aren't.

    Belated Happy Anniversary wishes to you and your Mister! NEW CAR - YAY! Have a lovely week!

    Kim

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  4. oh. my. goshhhhhhh.
    peee-PULLLLL!
    that woman was NEARLY as annoying as that woman (um, ME) who pulled the big red blob of car-baked Crayola Model-Magic clay out of her cup-holder and went to leave it behind her in the thrift store parking lot but who was so-fortunately silently tsk-tsked by her friend/navigator-moral-compass (um, YOU), and who only yesterday PROPERLY disposed of the afore-mentioned car-baked blob...

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  5. i am right behind you here....and would have done the same thing. funny thing is..my kids were the same way! saw other kids behaving badly and snick-snickered, shaking their head. i hope i used all my teachable opportunities...had them learn respect by my respecting them, and always backing up my words...and not make a big deal out of a spill. xx

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