So apparently I’ve become a cranky old woman

As a college freshman, I thought I’d become a teacher. During the summer before my sophomore year at UA, I volunteered at Vine Hill Elementary School, where I attended fourth and fifth grade. For weeks, I helped a summer school teacher with her second grade class and had a ball laughing with the kids all day. I eventually chose journalism over teaching, but might look into the profession for my retirement job.

People often say they could envision me as a teacher, and I figured out why this evening at Starbucks. A half hour ago, a dad brought his two rambunctious little boys to the coffee shop. The three of them sat right behind me and the kids made tons of noise. They couldn’t have been more than 7 years old, yet both of them shouted profanities while playing a computer game. As they chewed loudly, screamed four-letter words, and punched each other, their dead-beat dad did absolutely nothing. Because I wanted some peace and quiet, I was annoyed. Most of all, I was horrified. If I’d sworn like that as a child, I would have gotten a time-out and perhaps a spanking. I was far from the most polite little girl in the world, but I never would have used foul language in a public place, much less in front of my father.

Anyway, the cursing only got to me when both of the boys repeatedly yelled, “Knock that fucking bitch out,” referring to the female on their laptop screen.

Finally, I approached them and said, “Are you actually using that word right now to describe a girl?”

That shut them up, but the slothful father simply stayed in his chair and dicked around on his cell phone. I was disgusted that he let his sons talk like that at all, let alone as a way to describe women. If you say things like that as a kid, you’re bound to have unhealthy ideals into adulthood.

Anyway, I felt like an old teacher afterward, but hope the boys withhold from using such language in the future. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to meet with some friends at the bar. Only then will I stop feeling like a bitter spinster!


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