Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Small minds, small change

 (This is a re-post in light of 50 Cent's recent ignorance.)

Persons of a certain genetic combination are destined for a lifetime of outspokenness, humor and potential trips to the pokey. For instance, an Irish temper and English frankness often result in a controlled, stinging wit. Not only do I fall from just such a fruitful and fabulous family tree; I think it’s safe to say I’m the plumpest peach on the branch. And today, my innately volatile genetics took a turn toward the dark side in a favorite Mommy haunt; Target.

Stupidity, my friends, is a wide spread epidemic. An ugly virus overtaking what appears at first glance to be rational adults, but upon closer examination reveals nothing more than a dim-witted juvenile wrapped in a 40 plus jiggly spray tanned body. (OK – that was mean, but you’ll see….)

I wish this conversation were fictional. I wish Jiggly Target Woman (JTW) was a figment of my over active and often frightening imagination, but no – she exists, and she needed a good smack of common sense - Babble style!

The Scene: NERF toy isle. (Another of Dante’s rings.)
Characters: JTW, JTW Child (no more than 3 yrs old) and little ole’ Me.

JTW: “Would you stop you’re crying! I am not getting you a toy! We’re here for your cousin!”

JTW Child: Escalated screaming and floor fist pummeling. Un-natural oozing amounts of mucus and saliva.

Me: Hidden smile – soooo past this age group, and loving it!

JTW: “Stop that right now! Do you want someone to come by and think you are one of those retards with Autism or something?”

Me: Jaw hits floor. Anger hits ceiling.

JTW Child: Louder, longer more in need of Super Nanny.

Me: (And here’s where it gets ugly.) “Excuse me JTW, I know you’ve got your hands full, (proof in the screaming Satan spawn), and God knows I remember that age, but as a mother of a child with a special needs I find that remark not only offensive but very hurtful.” (Yes, those exact words; go me! Truth? I wanted to grab the nearest Wiffle Bat and go Piñata on her.)

JTW: Eye roll and smirk; no response, no remorse, no apology.

Me: “I’ll leave you alone, but I thought you should know how uneducated those remarks make you sound.”

JTW: “Go mind your own business; stupid (female dog - potty mouth version).”

Me: (Must keep Irish side on leash.) “Have you heard the expression an apple never falls far from the tree? (Blank, hateful stare.) Well, you may want to scoop up your spoiled little McIntosh before he smashes his skull into the tile enough to become as small minded as his mother.”

 And…I left, quickly. Kind of ran, actually. Yes, I know that was risky. JTW could have a hit the appliance isle for a sharp cheese grater and jumped me in the parking lot, but it felt good.

A personal plea, and one I’m sure those with an intelligent and compassionate soul already fully comprehend. Not all disabilities present with visual cues, not all struggles come with simple to follow definitions. Tolerance, education and a kind heart – that’s all it takes to rid the world of JTW’s. (And the occasional Wiffle bat.)

*Disclosure: JTW was not a Target employee or in any way linked to the store. Please do not sue me!


Emily O'Neil said...

GOOD FOR YOU MISS KATHY! I am not sure I would have had the guts to do what you did, but I am very proud of you. Your family should be too. xo

Kathryn Elliott said...

Thanks Emily! Next time, God I hope there is no next time, I'm taking back-up. My knees are still knocking! :-)

Carolyn Mirek said...

Thank you for standing up to that ignoramus! The worst of it is what JTW is teaching her poor child. We can only pray that she doesn't have older children bullying kids at their schools.

Karyn said...

Mothers of the world unite!! I really hope she lives in Manchester, I do not think I would like to see her in my classroom!!

Claudia Wood Rahm said...

Once I commented on Babble that I had giggles and goosebumps at the same time.In addition to those, may I add admiration and angst? Good for you, Kathleen Kourageous!

janesadek said...

You should have used the whiffle bat...or maybe have gone a few aisles over and gotten a real one.

I'm not one for political correctness, but I do believe in courtesy and tact. I'm married to a beautiful Arab male. He and his family happen to be Christians, but the hair stands up on end whenever I hear people roll all the Arabs or Middle Easterners into one great big bomb-throwing ball.

Kathryn Elliott said...

Carolyn, don't get me started on bullies; many a Babble to come on that topic. Karyn, you could take her! Claudia, admiration is a two way street. And Jane, want to borrow the bat? LOL

Anita Grace Howard said...

Oh, my, gosh. I'm with Jane. Where's the whiffle bat when you need one??? I have an Asperger kiddo and I would've been hard pressed not to belt miss Jiggles in her pudgebrain. Eek. Sorry, just brought out the beast in me.

As of this moment, you are my hero. Thank you from the bottom of my mommy's heart.

Boy Wonder's Mom said...

Thank you. I feel less alone in the world now. haha and you are funny.

TenaciousCee said...

Good for you! I wouldn't have been as composed if I were in the same situation with such an ignorant ______!!! I would have wanted the bat. You did an excellent job. I hope you never find yourself in that situation again.

Doris said...

Way to go Kathy! If more people were as outspoken as you maybe the world could be a better less ignorant place to live. I would hope I would have had enough guts to say something. I'm glad you did.

denise said...

that poor, poor child. hopefully he will have enough other positive, wise, empathic and strong people to guide him, since his mother clearly does not/cannot.

it feels good to use you voice, peaches, eventhough it catches you off guard by its force sometimes. my heart raced like crazy the first time i spoke out like that...now, it's second nature....

but, one idea, because i love you and don't want the stupid people to have the baseball bats:

sometimes when the offender is just so awful that i can't even believe it, before i walk away, i say something like "wow. i'm sorry you're having such a bad day. i truly hope tomorrow is better for you." that way i can leave (because remember, you can't reason with crazy), save my own face, but by throwing a soft zinger that only the smart will get, also save my own ass...well, so far, anyway. xox

Bethany C. said...


You've covered my life in this post. Not only am I a Target junkie (A good trip is getting out for under $200) but I also have a special needs kiddo. It's bad enough when people yell at their kids (and, God forbid smack them) in public, but when they start pulling the stupid/rude/insensitive card--I lose it too. BONUS points for you! The Target folks need to give you a free pretzel and a bag of stale, salty popcorn for that one.


Kathryn Elliott said...

Thanks for all the love, ladies! And Bethany...ooooo...love Target popcorn!

Jeff Elliott said...

You did better than me. I would have probably brought up some statistics on the average IQ of an autistic chhild as compared to the average IQ in America (which is surprising very low, and she was probably below that as evidence of her ignorance). I would have probably then lead into how families with special needs children usually don't live of goverment assistance because they're not lazy slobs unlike her. I'm sorry I just can't bite my tongue with morons like that.