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Trying to avoid a mauling at the mall

Submitted by on Tuesday, 21 July 2009 No Comment

Dear mall shoppers,

I know you’re busy as you rush from cool thing to cool thing. There’s the food court and clothing stores and general junk merchandise. But can I ask you to take the cell phone out of your ear or your head out of your chit-chat for a few seconds to consider one thing: My little boys.

They’re not so tiny now that you can’t see them unless you’re so self-absorbed that you’re oblivious to the rest of the world. One of them, a 6-year-old I call Big Guy, is just shy of 4-feet-tall now and highly visible if you’re paying attention.

But you weren’t. You kept walking on the left side of the aisles all afternoon Saturday – did you all emigrate from Britain or some other country where they drive on the wrong side of the road? – and plowing into him.

And then you kept walking. No mumbled apology, no “excuse me,” no acknowledgment at all that you’d nearly knocked a fellow human being on his can.

Is that the way you want to be treated? Is that the manners your parents taught you?

It was particularly frustrating because Big Guy has had a problem lately at home with doing that exact same thing: Banging into his brother in his frantic rush without paying any never mind to the person he was treating so rudely.

I make Big Guy stop, go back, say “excuse me” and then wait for Boots to yield the right of way. Do I need to do that to you, too? And how am I supposed to get Big Guy to believe that such behavior isn’t right when bigger people do it to him?

You might think he’s not important but Seuss said it best when he wrote, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Remember, when you’re old and gray like me, kids his age will be running things. Do you really want to live in a world where the next generation has picked up your self-centered habits?

And this particular person looks up to teens and young adults – they’re not boring old fuddy-duddies like Mom, but they’re big enough to get to do what they want. He’s watching you and learning from you. This weekend, he learned the wrong thing.

We’re headed to the mall later today. If it’s not too much trouble, could you at least say “excuse me” before you knock a kid on his butt?


Thanks for listening,


Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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