Wednesday, July 6, 2011

No One Expects the Feminist Inquisition!

Thumper and I are feeding the ducks at the pond near the playground. He notices a mom sitting on a park bench giving a baby wipe bath to a boy about his own age. He wanders over to chat while I keep throwing bread.

I glance over, and the mom is speaking animatedly. Thumper comes back over to me, wearing his angry face.


RODIUS: What's the matter, buddy?

THUMPER: She said I was "appropriate."

R: What did you say that was inappropriate?

T: I said maybe that boy didn't want to sit down.

R: Maybe you should let her worry about that boy and mind your own business.

T: OK. I think she's mean.

R: If she's mean, just stay away from her.

T: OK. I think she's mean. Maybe she's evil.

R: She's not evil, buddy.

We walk further along to the bridge and throw the rest of bread to the ducks. He's still mopey. When the bread's gone, he lays down and says he wants to go home. I pick him up, put him on my shoulders, and head towards the parking lot. The path takes us past the bench, where the woman is still wiping down her kid. Maybe he fell in the pond or something, I don't know. I decide to ask her what happened.

RODIUS: Excuse me. Did something happen? With my son?

NUTJOB: He just started smart-mouthing me. When I told him that was inappropriate, he said his dad was over there, so I told him maybe he should go back over there before I tell his dad what he said.

R: What did he say?

N: He was smart-mouthing me and exhibiting male chauvinist behavior.

R: Well, what did he say, so I can correct him?

N: He was being a chauvinist.

R: He's three.

T: He's showing off the behavior you've shown him.

R: Lady, I'm a stay-at-home dad. I'm showing him non-traditional gender roles. I don't think I'm a chauvinist.

THUMPER: Hey, Dad! Is she mean? Dad? Dad? Is she evil and mean? Dad? Is she?

N: Well he's calling me names right now, and you're not correcting him.

R: Thinking to myself, "I'm not entirely sure he's wrong..." I say nothing.

N: Asshole!

I decide this is a fruitless endeavor and walk on. We go to the bathroom. When we're walking out, she's walking past.

NUTJOB: Asshole! Have a nice day, asshole!

RODIUS: You're the only one using words like that. You realize that don't you?

N: flips me the bird and walks away.

THUMPER: What did she say, Daddy?

R: She called me a name that's not very nice.

T: I think she's mean. I think if she's going to call you a "werdernerder," she should call herself a "werdernerder."

R: You're right.

T: She's mean.

R: Yes, she is.

I swear that I did not exaggerate, embellish, or omit in order to make myself look blameless. I really have no idea what I could have done differently.

Some days it's not worth leaving the house.

4 comments:

He Said said...

Speechless.

She Said said...

Hey! Maybe it is the nutjob's twin that yelled at me for not "volunteering" as a crossing guard to her liking. I really don't get people sometime. Wow. Just wow.

I, Rodius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I, Rodius said...

I'm trying hard not to hate people and think they are weak and stupid and selfish. I'm trying to remember for every evil and mean lady there are kind and generous strangers, too. Jules put it best when he said, "But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd."

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