Killing Kindness

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 20, 2018

(I’m bored waiting for the rest of my family to go to the bathroom and buy snacks, so I decide to try a toy dispenser, like a gumball machine, that gives you a tiny toy inside a clear plastic ball. After I get a toy, a woman comes up with two small children, about five years old. The mother gives each child a coin to get a toy, but the machine the daughter uses doesn’t work and she starts crying.)

Woman: “Well, I don’t have any more loose change! You’ll just have to share with your brother.”

Boy: “No! It’s mine!”

Me: *to the woman* “Excuse me. I just got this from the machine and I don’t really want it. Your daughter can have it, if you want.”

Woman: “What did you just say?”

Me: “I got this from the machine. I think it’s a toy tiger. I haven’t opened it, so I thought you might want it for your daughter, because…”

Woman: *suddenly shouting* “Mind your own f****** business. Why the f*** are you watching my kids, you pervert?”

(I was a baby-faced 13-year-old girl, not your typical “pervert.” I just wanted to help an upset kid and stressed-out mum)

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Bad Parenting, No Ifs, No Butts

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 19, 2018

(My manager is a very no-nonsense kind of person, and always speaks her mind. She’s out with her four-year-old daughter, and there’s a young boy acting up in front of them. The mother is doing nothing about it.)

Daughter: *to boy’s mother* “You know, this wouldn’t happen if you’d beat his a**.”

Manager: “[Daughter]! You don’t say things like that!”

Daughter: “I’m sorry, Mommy!” *to boy’s mother* “This wouldn’t happen if you’d beat his butt.”

Manager: “That’s better.”

(They walked away with the mother glaring daggers at them, my manager beaming with pride the entire time.)

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When You’re Actively Thinking About Running Someone Over

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 18, 2018

(I’m leaving to pick my partner up from work. Unfortunately, my phone is broken, but I send an email to my partner’s phone saying I’ll meet them outside. I go down the street, and there’s a man standing in the middle of the road. Cars are parked on either side, so I can’t get past. He comes up to me and stands in front of my car.)

Man: “Hey! Cold weather we’re having.”

Me: “Yeah…”

Man: “You know, it’s never been this cold before.” *he starts rambling about the cold* “So, have you always lived in Florida?”

Me: “No, I lived in Colorado before, but I really have to go–”

Man: “Colorado! They’ve got good skiers up there! Everyone’s a skier!”

(He starts talking about some ski accident he once had. Every time I try to talk, he interrupts me and talks faster. Eventually, his ski story is over and I think I’ll finally be released.)

Me: “Wow. Anyway, I should get–”

Man: “Do you follow sports?”

Me: “No, sorry.”

Man: “Well, I love football. The teams I follow used to be…“

(He keeps talking about how his team loyalty changes every time he moves. I cannot get a word in. He moves his arms a lot when he talks, and I’m starting to hope that he pokes himself with the tool he’s holding, just enough to make him leave. Finally, his monologue runs out of steam. He steps to the side and I speed out of there and end up being 20 minutes late.)

Partner: “Oh, my God! I thought you were in an accident! I was ready to call my mom and have her backtrack through the route.”

Me: *explains*

Partner: “Well, I know someone who’s not getting a Christmas card this year.”

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Enabling Good Dialogue

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 17, 2018

(I am at the hospital to see my dying grandfather when I take an elevator alongside a disabled veteran who is walking on two prosthetic legs. I am impulsive by nature, and find that humor cheers me up greatly, so I ask the question that immediately comes to my mind.)

Me: “I have an uncle who has one leg missing and no eyesight. Would you rather two missing legs or one missing leg and no eyesight?”

Veteran: *awkward chuckle* “Uh… neither!”

(We both laugh.)

Veteran: “But in all seriousness, I prefer having my eyes over having a foot back.”

(My aunt and sister thought I was crazy and rude, but I assured them that every person I have met with a long-term disability has felt best about it when people don’t tiptoe around it or pretend it doesn’t make a difference in their life. My blunt manner, combined with the amused bewilderment people get from my openness to interactions with strangers, seems to me to be a good way to cheer people up, especially when they may have felt the grimness of visiting the ICU, which is where they headed.)

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Parenting Doesn’t Have To Be Reserved For Children

, , , , , | Friendly | January 15, 2018

(I’m standing in line with my toddler. There are a couple of young men behind me, who look to be in their late teens or early twenties, talking and joking with each other.)

Guy #1: *very loudly, leaning slightly toward me* “Y’know, some people don’t even look old enough to be parents, [Guy #2].”

Me: *turns around* “Well, I’m twenty-eight, so…”

(I turn back around, and the first guy stammers a bit while the other one laughs.)

Guy #2: “Haha! Serves you right!” *pause* “Oh, my God, dude, you’re turning so red right now!”

(Hopefully that will teach him to mind his own business.)

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