So, I've decided to start blogging! Today's topic is people watching. The most awkward situations I have ever witnessed happen to other people, I think that is why people watching is so fun.
It should be widely understood that the most depressing place, and maybe by extension the most interesting place, to people watch is within the walls of the corporate hegemon and secret leader of the free world, Wal-mart. Just a side note that I feel must be understood, I hate Wal-mart. I find their policy of "cutting back" on everything (including common decency) to be antithetical to progressive society. The only reason I am able to people watch at Wal-mart is because their prices are cheap and I am poor (if it were possible to avoid breathing their repressive air while in their stores I would, but I can only hold my breath for 62 seconds.) But besides starving students Wal-mart manages to attract every counterexample to Darwinian theory imaginable (a google image search for people at Wal-mart is all the evidence I need). Trust me, nature would never select these people to carry the human species into a new millennium.
My own experience of watching these ape-ish beings in their natural environment of floor to ceiling shelves of canned meat and bulk savings on generic brand one-ply toilet paper can be summed up in the exchange between a small child and his "mother" (you'll understand the quotes when you read on).
My attention was immediately drawn to this couple by the screams of anger I heard pouring out of a woman's mouth on the other end of the produce section in Wal-mart. I might have just chosen to pick of my bananas on the way back to the front of the store were it not for my curiosity at what could cause such incoherent rage (if it were the bananas I would have to find a new healthy snack for the week.) As I approached the obviously still smoldering situation the woman's voice began to be understandable; I recognized the flurry of obscenities that came flooding out of her mouth with each exasperated breath. Then I saw the recipient of her anger. To my relief the bananas appeared to be fine, but to my dismay she had been yelling at her toddler age son. As I continued to observe the situation it was apparent that the young boy's attention had been less on the healthy snacks in the center of the section and more on the delicious treats always kept in the same corner of the store; donuts, cinnamon rolls, bear claws, the list goes on, it is often too much for me withstand let alone a toddler.
Of course I am not saying that this "mother" should always give in to the demands of her small children, that would only lead to more trouble. But what I am saying is that to tell an innocent, now crying child to "shut the #&$% up" because he is making a scene is not just inappropriate, but it is proof that just cause you can have kids does not mean you should. If only there were books written about raising kids (a google book search for raising kids yields more than a quarter of a million results.) There are lots of styles for parenting, lots of ideas about what proper disciple is, and lots of people who change their minds about what is right and what is wrong. It is troubling to know, however, that, at least in the anarchic world of the Wal-mart produce section, yelling at a defenseless child because he is the one that is making a scene is still acceptable.