Monday, September 26, 2005

Bratty Brats and the Mother Who Spoils Them

On Friday night, Paul and I biked down to see Red Moon Theatre’s newest play. The set was on the water of the lagoon in Jackson Park and the ‘seats’ were the steps behind the Museum of Science & Industry. The play started once darkness descended.

There were plenty of kids in the audience, and all of them were well behaved EXCEPT for the family next to me. There was a gaggle of children and two women. The children with one woman were very quiet and polite. However, the other woman’s children, Sara and Sage were obnoxious spoiled brats. The mother was older and had some sort of well-bred, Englishish accent. The girls were almost exactly the same size and my guess is about five years old. They were cute and blond and bratty.

While we waited for the show to start, Sage screeched demandingly about what food she wanted her mother to give her. The volume and pitch of little girl screaming is an amazingly tortuous noise to come out of a child so small. She was a greedy, selfish little bitch, too.
"Raspberries! I want Raspeberries! Gimme Raspberries! gimme, gimme, gimme!"

The mom tried to placate, but not discipline the girl for her obnoxiousness, byletting Sage know that she was trying as hard as she could to bow to her daughter’s every whim.

At first I was sympathetic, but my patience wore thin shortly and I caught myself flashing mom dirty looks. I felt sort of guilty, and tried not to do it, even as the girl’s voice scraped my eardrums. Besides feeling guilty, I didn’t want Paul to see how intolerant I can be, since he is so damn nice. I couldn’t help but joke with him quietly about tossing Sage in the drink, though.

There was another young couple in front of this family with there arms around each other. Sage wrapped her arms around Sara to mock this couple, "I Love you Sara!" she screamed and Sara joined in – together they kept yelling this to the embarrassment of the lovebirds. The mother smiled. In short order these brats were draped over the couples necks, purposefully coughing and slobbering in their faces. Mom kept smiling. I almost wished the brats would have dared that with me to give me an excuse to cuss them and their mother out.

This was obviously a well-to-do, well-educated household. Their presence oozed entitlement. I am sure that the mom spent a lot of ‘hands-on’ ‘quality time’ with these girls. She is probably very concerned about encouraging the girls’ creativity and providing a rich, learning environment. The girls’ vocabulary and observation skills were impressive – obviously smart kids. However, they were completely undisciplined and shrewish. Plus, they drank Pom (the super-yuppie, expensive pomegranate juice).

Once the show began, they didn’t stop being obnoxious, but instead asked tons of questions that mommy tried to answer. Grrrrrrrr........... Late in the show they became super-obnoxious and just yelling unchecked. Then an amazing thing happened......Paul ‘shhh-ed’ them. Their volume only increased and he hissed ‘Shut Up’ to them. Holy Shit!

This was Shocking. Paul is painfully nice and polite and considerate. He isn’t a hothead, doesn’t yell and is ridiculously sweet. The boy calls his cats, ‘kitties’ and composts religiously and will talk for hours about his tomato plants. He is a very, very good person. His reaction was totally unexpected.

Even less expected was the mother’s. Instead of displaying the slightest bit of embarrassment she instead lashed out at Paul!

"How dare you speak so rudely! I am doing the best I am to control them! You can move if you want!"

Holy. Shit.

I wish so much that this would have been a bus or a waiting room instead of the middle of a performance. I would have loved Loved LOVED to give Mommy an unforgettable upbraiding. My hunch is that I could have gotten her to slap me – that would have been awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to further the distraction for the rest of the audience, so instead I didn’t say anything. Plus, I figured that Paul was mortified, and didn’t want to draw any more attention to the situation for his sake.

At the end of the show one of the girls piped up "now can we finish the movie in the car?" The mom of course granted this request. Grrrrr. Grrrrr.

I bit my tongue and learned I was wrong again about Paul. My poor, sensitive Paul isn’t so sensitive after all, but instead was holding his tongue because he thought I might be offended or embarrassed. (WTF?) He said he had no regrets about the incident. We giggled about this and he explained that the family stood at the intersection of two of his pet peeves: people who rudely talk during performances and parents who refuse to discipline their children. Besides, he said that many people in the vicinity were giving the family dirty looks, and that he only said what many were thinking.

I explained to him that much of indignation was probably because of his choice of words. Recently I learned that ‘Shut up’ is considered almost cursing to some people – to me it is the same as ‘be quiet’. This was news to Paul, too and I told him that he basically said ‘Shut the Fuck up you little cuntrag’ according to the mother. Paul now expressed regret that he didn’t actually curse at the pair of pint-sized bitches. How delightful!

It is so easy to imagine this mom and her girls throughout the next 20 years: She will defend them relentlessly in school and deny any insinuation of wrong-doing on their part; she will help them with their homework and send them to great summer camps; she will work to make sure that they get into good schools and better colleges; they will exhibit the upper-class version of delinquency, but be shielded from the consequences by the nature of their class, position and the protection of a mother who will be blind to any of their misdeeds, small or large; they will be sorority girls who scream drunkenly & sluttily at frat parties and then later at swanky bars when they are adults; then they will go to my law school to be able to afford expensive shoes and designer bags until they find a husband to buy these things for them; then they will have spoiled brats of their own to run around unchecked and screaming.


At 6:06 AM, Blogger George said...

You plan on marrying this Paul guy someday?

I sure hope so-he sounds like he has his shit together.

My wife and I have 2 kids, a 12 year old boy and an 18 year old daughter.

We have never laid a hand on either one of them, but I can give them "The Look" from across a crowded room and if they are doing something they ain't supposed to.......they know they have some explaining to do.

Next time something like that happens to you, just state the obvious in plain english to the offending party ie. "Could you please quiet your children down?

I guarantee you that will piss the parents off even more then telling them to "shut up"


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