Thursday, March 18, 2010

The General Public Despises Us

A little while ago our family decided to go to a nearby (within walking distance) Family Practice rather than driving 25 minutes to the pediatrician for every visit. The practice has a lovely young Doc specializing in ages 2-14 and then Jeremiah and I can see the regular not so fun adult Docs if need be.

Yesterday Rose and Olivia had their first appointment with the new Doc. This first visit works as a well-check up and a introduction to the staff and facility. I've mentioned before the office was friendly and very kind to Maxine, Elijah and myself during their first visit a couple weeks before.

The general public, however, is not so very friendly and/or kind.

On the walk to the office our supertroop spied a lady walking two large dogs down the sidewalk towards us. I instructed the kids to stop and step off of the sidewalk to let them pass. They did, eagerly anticipating seeing the passing dogs close up. The lady walked by us completely ignoring all the adorable questions the children were posing to her and the pups:

"Hi Puppies! Are they babies or big dogs that do tricks?"

"What kind of dogs are those? Are they some kind of great dane or dalmation? Those are the ones I like best....I think."

"Dahhhhhhg! Oh Oh Oh Oh Dahhhhhhhhhhhg! Hi."

"Mom. I think that's actually some kind of pointer. Olivia thinks that all dogs are dalmations. Or some kind of mixed dalmation hybrid."

The passing dog walker didn't pause, smile or politely laugh. She stuck her nose up in the air and breezed past us.

"She didn't hear me, I guess, Momma. I wouldn't have touched her dogs."
Max hung her head a little bit as we continued on our walk.

The office's parking lot has two exits, one onto the main road and one smaller side street that comes out into our neighborhood. I cautioned the children to walk in a single file line down this side street and picked up Elijah for the remaining distance. When a car came up the street I would say, "Kids! Car. Over as far as you can!" and then we would stop until the car passed. This happened twice and as the last car came towards us we were all still and far off the road.

The old man driving that car didn't see us until he was almost directly beside us. As he finally noticed us there he slammed on his brakes and beeped the horn, as if we were in front of him in the middle of the street. His face was bloated and red, his mouth gaping and angry as he rolled down his window and yelled at me,

"Use your head Lady! Keep your kids off of the street!"

In shock I mumbled to myself, "We were off of the street."

We finally entered the office and the children took their seats, much to the chagrin of a young couple who were already sitting when we arrived. Young Yuppy Couple (with enough money to look at least a little bit hipster, instead wearing matching polo shirts and khakis, what a waste) looked shocked when Elijah sat in the seat to the right of them and beamed up at them with his oh so adorable smile. He didn't touch them, spit at them or yell at them. He was clean, well dressed, polite and TWO YEARS OLD.

Young Yuppy Couple looked at each other, rolled their eyes, got up, crossed the room and sat down on the other side of the rather large space. It pained me to look at Elijah's face as he realized these people didn't want to sit by him. He sat back in the seat and was very quiet.

Rose came up to the receptionists window where I was dealing with insurance crap. I had planned on saying something to the couple when I finished at the window, like "Children are people too." or something along those lines when Rosey said, quite loud:

"Maybe they have something contagious."

Oh Rose, wise beyond your years.

Prompted by Rose's forced optimism I made up scenarios to make the day's offenders less offensive seeming.

The Dog Walker's dogs are highly jealous of any interaction she might have with other people. If she were to speak with us or even acknowledge us her dogs would have attacked us and showed no mercy.

The Angry Man in the Car just came from having a prostate exam.

The Young Yuppy Couple just found out they have six different venereal diseases between the two of them (fun trip to Cabo) and were waiting for their prescriptions.

The rest of the visit was fairly uneventful (Rose has to see a dermatologist AND an eye doctor, oh boy). We walked home in the beautiful sunshine and the assholes we encountered that day were forgotten and their thoughtless actions erased by a gentle breeze and a fresh outlook.

Later that night Olivia mentioned The Dog Walker, "When I have dogs someday I'll teach them to be really nice to everyone so they can stop on the street and play with people and make them happy and glad to be alive."

"That's wonderful Olivia...sounds like an awesome idea!"

Maxine Jane chimes in at this point, positively beaming from ear to ear, "YEAH! And when I have a car I'll let kids run in front of me all the time and never yell at them or their mommas!"

Seems we all learned important lessons today, eh?


otherworldlyone said...

What a bunch of assholes. Poor little Elijah...oh, that made me sad.

I'm not a fan of kids, it's true. They often annoy me and I don't always know what to say to them when they bombard me with questions. But I'd never be that cruel. I always acknowledge them.

My kid is usually too shy to engage in conversation with a passerby or office personnel. It takes her awhile to warm up to people, so I haven't really had to deal with this sort of thing. I'm thankful, really, because I don't know that I'd handle it with the class you did.

lizzie lou said...

yeah, i was also going to say something to the effect of "what was it, ASSHOLE DAY?" i am not a huge gusher over other people's kids, etc, etc, but i ALWAYS take a minute to stop with my dog when there's an interested kid and say, "he's a nice doggie - do you want to pet him?" or whatever... i could go on and on, but the stupid dog lady made me the maddest in this story for some reason.

Amanda said...

Your children are precious!! I loved the fact that your little one assumed the Yuppies were contagious as a way of dealing with the insult to her sibling. Priceless!!! While I was in a flustered state of grump one day, my middle child patted me on the back and told me to "Go to God with it." Children have a way of making everything okay.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

She wasn't wearing headphones? When I walk my dogs I wear headphones, but I always take them off when I walk by kids just in case the kids ask me about them. What a jerky day. Good job turning it around, that would be hard to shake.

Tony said...

Maybe the dog walker REALLY had to go to the bathroom? Maybe the old guy in the car has dementia? And maybe the young couple really did have some sort of virus. You never know....

But since we don't know, let's just assume that those people were assholes. Especially the dog walker.

Sam said...

I know your children are adorable--I've seen them, and after all they are related to YOU, do offer those alternative scenarios. Maybe all those people were having a bad day for some reason. Sometimes when people are mean to me it makes me feel better to think they didn't intend it.

Logical Libby said...

I always talk to kids when I am walking my dog. they are usually the best conversations of the day...

Mwa said...

I hate rude people. Especially when they are nasty to my children. I did tell off one woman the other day.

Angela Christensen said...

I hate rudeness with a terrible passion. I am so passionate about rudeness that I'm too polite to tell off rude people, usually. I will say that when I write the part of my blog about Alzheimer's that deals with Taking Pop Out to Eat, I'll have to tell how frightfully rude he was to people. It was because he was sick, of course, but no one knows that; they just know you were mean and hurt their feelings. I will also say there is positively NO EXCUSE for a dog person to NOT encourage children's interest in dogs; who do you think is going to take care of dogs when we're all dead and gone? In honor of your children, I'll do a post tonight with our dogs, so they can at least see pictures and know a little about ours, especially since you made that wonderful Boxer hat for Rodney.
Lovel love, especially to your dog-loving, beautiful kids.
Angie at Eat Here

Living Shallow, Living Well said...

People are rude. Kids are just kids, why yell at them like that?

Green-Eyed Momster said...

The general public despises me too. You're not alone. Nope, you're not alone.

I'd stop and talk to you if I was walking my dog. I'd let your kids pet him and I'd even answer their questions. I'd sit next to y'all too!


Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

That is the one thing I don't get about people. I wish they took more time to just talk to kids these days. I am a big, wrestler/biker lookin' guy and I taught the worst kids in high school for many years. The best principal I had asked me once if I could do him a favor. He wondered if twice a week I would give up one of my two fourty mintute spares I got a day to take over another class. I said sure. He always got me everything I wanted in the past. You can just imagine what happened when I walked into a class of Kindergarteners who I was to teach physical education too. I wet myself, they wet thereselves and one kid asked if I was there to eat them. Not the best start. However I came to rely on those classes like medicine. I always left feeling great, had the best conversations about the stupidest of things and they learned that not all big trolls are gonna eat you.

mylittlebecky said...

that sucks when you get hit with a solid stream of mean. sometimes i don't know what's wrong with people. bleh. at least you guys have a superb outlook to overcome this world on one of those days.

Amanda said...

I want to punch those terrible hipsters in the face for making your baby sad. And that nasty dog woman. And every other mean person in the universe (I have a lot of punching to do).