I hope you all are having a great last day of January.
Oh my goodness! It’s the last day of January! Whoofta! How did that happen already?
Before anything else, I wanted to be sure to wish one of my very bestest of friends miss Jenna a very happy birthday today! I hope she is living it up, having the most fantabulous of all days full of fun, friends, family and of course, lots of cake and ice cream! I love ya girly!
Earlier today I partook in a little therapy of the retail variety. I am not the biggest fan of shopping; this is blatantly obvious when looking at the insides of my closet and dressers–I think I still have, much to my mom and sister’s dismay, sweatshirts and jeans, t-shirts and tanks dating all the way back to my middle and high school days. Yikes! I tend to spend more time shopping in the Store of Lindsay than I do at Target or the Gap. Just one of the perks of having a sister who LOVES to shop and is about my size; I get all of lasts seasons trends. I guess it’s safe to say that Mr. Tim Gunn would have a heart attack if he ever knew the lengths to which my fashion sense goes. I would much rather spend my money on DVD’s and books than clothes. And that goes for shoes too.
Are any of you out there a big fan of shoes? Most girls, including my sis Lindsay, have a closet full of shoes, including everything from gladiator sandals and high heels to flip-flops and leather boots. Of every color. Whenever she travels anywhere, she literally has to pack a separate piece of luggage just to house her collection of footwear. Supposedly she has to have many options of shoes to coordinate with her many outfits. That is definitely NOT this girl. I think I probably have a total of six pairs of shoes; three of which fall into the tennis category, a pair of Uggs (a Wisconsin girl has to have her boots after all), Nike flip-flops and of course the ever comfy (but oh so hated) Croq’s. Yes, I wear Croq’s. And they are amazing.
I could give a monkey’s uncle about what is on my feet and for the most part, don’t really give it serious thought. That is of course with the exception of my running shoes. I will admit I have a slight obsession with my pumped-up kicks. Because they are all I wear, and I am an avid runner, and I end up wearing them until they literally start to fall apart, and they can get on the expensive side, much research, thought and hours of trying on and testing out goes into the purchase of said shoes. Today was a little bittersweet for me. Not only did I have to say a fond farewell to my Asics, retiring them after a good 3 years together (ah, the memories), but I got to say a big hello to these puppies…
I was just a little excited!
And the best part? I paid only $20 on a price tag of $85 (thank you, gift cards and Kohl’s cash). I LOVE deals like this! I can’t wait to see where these guys will take me in the future (hopefully far, far away from any fresh dog doo–I’ve been there and done that and trust me, nothing spoils a new-found relationship with you and your brand new shoes than stepping in a chocolate swirly).
Before I walked out with my gnarly new shoes however, I came across somewhat of an uncomfortable situation. While I was perusing the aisles of Kohl’s, checking out the candles and home goods section–speaking of which, they have this new Mint Chocolate-Chip ice cream scented candle that is to die for! It made me almost want to dig my spoon out of my purse (because naturally I had an actual spoon in my purse) and dig right in–when I stumbled upon a mom and her son doing some shopping of their own. The son looked to be around 3 or 4 and was the cutest thing you ever did see. He started to walk ahead of his mom, making a bee-line to the toys section. All of a sudden, his mom flipper her lid and ran over to her son, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him towards her. The small boy was caught off guard and fell to the ground, hitting his elbow against the hard floor beneath. He began to cry which made the mom even angrier. She proceeded to yank the boy back up off of the ground and yell,”You stop that crying bullsh*t right now, you hear me? I told you to stay by me! I knew I should have left you in the car. Come on, let’s go!” The mom grabbed a hold of her son’s arm and dragged him through the rest of the store, not even stopping to see if her son was alright.
I was standing a mere few feet away, watching this all play out before my eyes and was stunned. I felt terrible for that poor boy, an innocent little guy who just wanted to innocently check out the games. He may have gone against his mother’s wishes by walking away from her for a brief second, but he in no way deserved to be treated like that, to be talked to in such a harsh way and to be physically harmed. I sneakily followed the mother and son around the rest of the store, making sure that a replay of what I had just seen would not happen again. I wanted to make sure that the little boy was okay. The boy was still crying as they left the store, the mom still yelling at him to “Shut up!” and “Pick up the pace!”.
As I watched them drive away, I just stood there for a second. Could I have done something? Should I have said something?
One of the things that ED took away from me was my ability to speak up for myself, to be assertive and face confrontation head on. A lot of times I silenced myself in fear of being criticized or rejected, of stirring the pot and making unnecessary waves. ED constantly told me that what I had to say wasn’t valuable, that I wasn’t good enough to be heard or respected. The funny thing is, I never had a problem of standing up for someone else, making sure that others were heard and treated fairly with the respect and acknowledgement that they deserved. But when it came to me, I just couldn’t do it. To everyone out there who may be going through the same thing, who feels as though what they say will not matter or make a difference, that they are not worth it, I want to say YOU ARE. You deserve to have a voice, to speak up and stand up for what is right. You deserve to have opinions and ideas. You deserve to give yourself the same respect and honor that you do others. I have slowly but surely started to gain back my voice, learning how to be assertive but, after years and years of being silent, it is definitely going to take some practice to feel comfortable in doing so once again.
As I watched this mother and son pull away from the store, I felt torn. I so badly wanted to put into practice what I have working on. I wanted to speak up, to say something. Besides wanting to really lay into the mom and give her a piece of my mind (which probably wouldn’t have been the best option), I wanted to take the her aside and let her know, in a very respectful manner, how she could have handled the situation a bit better. I wanted to tell the mother how her son was hurt and that she should comfort him instead of the yelling and further physical assertion she was placing on him. I wanted to do or say something to fix the situation and prevent it from happening again. I wanted to protect that little boy.
The thing about this situation is that there is a line; a line that a stranger like me, looking from the outside in, has a hard time distinguishing. I could have said something, did something about the actions from the mother tha I saw, but did I have the right? I didn’t know anything about them outside of what I saw. I didn’t know the specifics of the relationship and I really had no right to comment on how she chose to parent her child. I also could have caught this mother on a bad moment; she maybe had a rough day at work or was feeling under the weather, which was reason for her slightly negative attitude. As much as I wanted to say something, to use my voice, was this an appropriate situation to do so? Where does one draw the line?
As I made my way to the register to check out, shoes in hand, I decided to mention the mother and son to the cashier. I didn’t say anything to the mother, but I could say something to someone. The very kind lady thanked me for sharing and told me that she has witnessed similar incidents of this particular mother acting ill towards her children in the past. That broke my heart. How could a mother treat her children like that?
I left Kohl’s with a new pair of shoes, and a slightly heavy heart. I am a fixer. I like to fix problems. I like to fix people. Leaving the store earlier today, I felt horrible and helpless that this was something that maybe I could not fix. But was it even my place to try to do so?
What do you guys think? Should I have crossed that line? How do you know where that line is?