Let me start with a story about a disgruntled, middle-aged man wearing a maroon t-shirt and a baseball cap. He's at the grocery store, doing his shopping, and turns onto an aisle with a young mom pushing a cart. In the top part of the cart sits a baby carrier, complete with a content little brown-eyed girl. The mom is looking back and forth between her grocery list and the items on the shelf while pushing her cart. Two little boys are running circles around her, giggling and playing.
This man tries to ignore them until the little boys start touching the price tags, pretending like they are gathering tickets for a train ride. Now they are not merely loud, they are annoying. He clears his throat, but the mom is busy putting something in her cart. He says, "Um..." and she looks over. Heaving a sigh, she says, "Boys! Why are you touching things!" and drags them back to the cart.
Well, he thinks it's pretty obvious why they're touching things, so he says, "Because no one's watching them."
The mom looks at him and says, "I'm grocery shopping with three kids. It's hard to keep an eye on them all at once."
Not my problem, he thinks. I just want to shop in peace. "That's your job," he tells her smartly. She signed up for this, after all. No one forced her to have three kids.
She takes the two boys and plops them on top of the food in the back of the cart. To the older one, she says, "Tell that
"Sorry," the little boy says, and she pushes them to another aisle.
Good, the disgruntled man thinks. At least they won't bother anyone else.
End of story.
Now, here's the other part of that story. I didn't really call the man mean and old, though I sure wanted to. I did see it as a good time to teach my children that there are unhappy people in the world, and their goal is to make other people unhappy.
I've tried to think of other motivations of this man to be so rude. Here's what I've come up with:
1) He thinks I'm contributing to overpopulation because I've surpassed the national average of 2.5 kids, and that makes him angry.
2) He thinks I'm 18 and an irresponsible mother with no right to be out in public with all 3 kids.
3) His wife left him and took their children and now he feels jealous every time he sees kids.
4) He hates kids.
5) He can only see out of one eye and the kids were blocking his view of the groceries with his good eye, which really disturbed him.
6) He thinks children should be seen and not heard.
7) He made his wife do all the grocery shopping with the children because he hates it when they touch things on the shelves.
I'm out of ideas. Thoughts? Why do you think this poor man was so ornery?
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