Psychology 101.

How has your day been?

Okay, I guess. I couldn’t sleep last night.

Any reason why?

Yeah, I woke up at 2:40 in the morning and couldn’t stop thinking.

What were you thinking about?

Stupid things. Stupid people.

Why don’t you tell me about it.

Well, back several weeks/months ago, I was out at a restaurant eating. Nothing unusual. I’d been there tons of times in the past couple of years and I’d never had any problem with it.

You see, in came this big guy and his two kids. They sat them in the booth right beside ours (my and my boyfriend’s) and the first thing the kids, who are about eight and ten, start doing is jumping around in the seats, peering over at us, and talking loudly. Just a lot of things that parents are supposed to teach their children not to do because it’s generally rude.

Well, they were rather annoying, but I do like kids, so I was just letting it pass as a “boys will be boys” kind of thing. Next thing I know, they’re hanging over the seat, both of them, staring at us and opening up the curtain between our table and theirs. Then they start trying to talk to us about a car with it’s lights on in the parking lot.

By this point, it’s beyond rude, especially since their father is just sitting there and acting like they’re two little angels. The boys proceed to ask me if it’s my car, trying to describe it in great detail and saying the colors and type all wrong. By this point, I do realize that it’s my car with the parking lights on, but we were about done and I wasn’t going to worry about it.

So, I tell the boys that it’s not my car, in order to get them to leave us alone, and politely asked them to turn around so we could finish eating. Honestly, I was very nice in my tone and then proceeded to ignore them because they turned to their father. I told my boyfriend that they were just saying that the car’s lights are on and not to worry about it.

Next thing I know, I’ve got the father yelling at me over the top of his kids. He’s going on about how I told them to “sit down and shut up” and no one tells his kids what to do.

I’m sitting here, thinking, “Great, I’ve found a bright one here.”

Now, I’m not generally so, how do you say.. Willing to put people into “groups,” but this guy was the poster child for big, angry, stupid rednecks. I knew by just listening to him go on, with no remorse for his children or the people around him, that whatever he thought he heard, he heard, and he was going to defend it to the very end.

He didn’t stop and no one that worked there tried to make him quiet down. They were just leaving him alone: Maybe so he wouldn’t go after them too?

Well, by this point, my boyfriend is trying to back me up but the guy won’t have any of it and I got fed up with his mouth. Being the obviously bigger person here, I got up and went to the counter to leave.

This whole time, the guy hasn’t talked to his kids but you could tell they were enjoying the show. It’s sad, really, because if they thought it was “cool” that their father was doing this, they would be even less likely to admit that he was wrong and even more likely to do something like this in the future.

Anyway, as I’m trying to pay for our meal that was so rudely interrupted, the guy decides to come after me! This man is twice my size and twice my age, and it’s seriously showing how bad his temper is at this point. He’s yelling at me as one of the little waitresses holds him back about six feet from me, screaming and drawing all attention to himself for taking this way too far.

I stuck with what I had been saying and was still rather nice to him. I explained that I was sorry if he misunderstood me, but I had not told his children to “shut up” or anything like that. I kept telling him that from the beginning, but it hadn’t and didn’t matter to him.

With him going off behind me, me keeping my boyfriend out of it by keeping my arm in front of him, I proceeded to pay for our meal and explain that I was leaving because this man has an obvious anger problem. The lady said that that was fine and she just “didn’t want a fight” in her establishment. What the hell? They weren’t even going to throw out the man starting it! (I haven’t and don’t plan on going back there again!)

So, how did that ordeal make you feel?

Angry, of course. I couldn’t believe someone would go to such extremes just because he thought something. It amazes me to this day that he came off as so aggressive without any provocation.

Is that all?

No, I feel even worse, to think about his kids. They seemed to think of the whole thing as a joke and that means that when they’re thrust into a situation like that, they’re just as likely to fly off the handle. It really makes me upset to think that, by one man’s actions, his offspring may do the same thing and so forth. I just feel so bad that those kids are in that sort of situation. I mean, if he’s like that in public, what’s he do at home to punish them?

Why does this still bother you so much?

Mostly because of the kids. And that rage. I actually wondered if the guy was going to come after me when we left, because I thought he might since he was coming after me in the restaurant. Why does someone have that much anger for something so trivial? Still, the thought of him hurting those children makes me cringe.

What would you have done if he came after you?

Called the police, of course.

What would you have done in his situation? What if you thought someone was being mean to your children?

I would have told my children to ignore it. People are always going to try to boss others around, but it takes a big person to ignore it and not care about what they say. If people can’t say something nice, they probably aren’t nice people. I know it’s hard sometimes, but there will always be bullies and people like that, so they should learn to respect themselves and others, and try to be nice in order to get that response back. I don’t really know how to explain it better.. Really.

Is that all that was on your mind?

Mostly. It just sticks with me and it probably always will. But I’ve learned a lot from that situation and know that I was the better person for walking away and not making a scene like he did. That helps me deal with it better.

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