I was out and about yesterday with my two children, ages 2 1/2 years and 8 months.
At the grocery store, we came upon an older gentleman engaged in an argument with an older woman. The woman had parked her truck several feet over the center dividing line of her parking space, and the gentleman had parked HIS truck across from hers. She'd made a snarky remark, something along the lines of 'I hope you didn't hit my car, you're too close' and the gentleman replied that he wouldn't have parked so close, but that since she was way over her line, he'd had no choice (these were disabled parking spots, by the way). The snipery continued (with the man pointing to precisely where the front of the woman's truck SHOULD have been stopped behind her line, and the woman continually calling the man rude for calling her out) as I whisked my kids into the store, hoping they didn't notice the bad will. I sighed, and moved on with my day.
A few hours later, we stopped for lunch at a local fast food establishment. After we'd taken our seats and had started to eat, the booming voice of an angry father echoed through the restaurant. The man was yelling at someone (I couldn't see whom at the time), calling him useless and lazy and a bunch of other things that I pray my little girl didn't hear. After the man left, I wandered to the front under the guise of needing napkins to see if the butt of the yelling was still there, and found a boy, probably about 14 years old, looking shellshocked. He honestly looked as if he didn't know what to do or where to go. As a parent, I know that it's impossible to be patient at all times, but I felt badly for the boy. I don't know what he did to get the tongue-lashing, but I DO know that public humiliation like that to which he was subjected rarely fixes anything.
So, was yesterday national 'be nasty to your neighbor' day and no one told me?