Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I had a very upsetting confrontation today. Bebe and I were strolling around the neighborhood when I overheard a man telling his son that if the kid didn't go home right now this fellow would find the kid and "beat the s*$#" out of him. When I hear things like this I lose all self-control. I stopped, waited until the man noticed me, and told him he shouldn't threaten a child like that. I know: not smart.

Anyway, this guy was livid with me. He marched up to me and started screaming at me, telling me he's a single parent and can talk to his kid however he wants, that I should stay out of it. I started to feel rather nervous for my own safety (I know, I know - really dumb of me to have done this!) and promptly went to the security booth in our complex to talk to them about it.

Well, it turns out that the guy is a good father and the security officers know him. He followed me into the booth to yell at me a little more about it, by which point I was crying because I was afraid for his kid and for my own safety. He explained (not very nicely) that he needs to make his kid afraid of him to keep the kid under control and that he does not actually beat his child. And I can understand this tough love approach when the circumstances require it. But what continues to bother me is that he didn't seem to understand why I confronted him, why I was upset. He was angry that I got involved.

I understand his perspective, but I don't think I would be able to do it differently even if it happened again. Perhaps I could have waited until he was done and approached him when the kid wasn't present. I was just so upset at the possibility that he might actually beat his child. I don't know what I should or should not have done. But I know I'm still quite shaken up about the entire exchange.

So that's the bad and the ugly - 'cause it really was both. But now that I've gotten it off my chest maybe I can move on to some good things.

Good thing #1: Bebe and I saw five swans in the East River this afternoon! We're talking Manhattan here, folks: nothing but pigeons and an occasional seagull to be found around here. I wish I had remembered to put the camera back in the diaper bag before we left the apartment!

Good thing #2: I have "discovered" at least two good fabric stores with which I was not familiar and which aren't in the garment district! One is on the lower east side - a bit of a walk from our place but certainly do-able - and the other is in Chinatown. I haven't bothered to shop these areas in years because I was decidedly unimpressed with the shops in these locations in the past. And while they certainly aren't my beloved B&J, they are easier for me to get to with the baby, and I love not being forced uptown for my fabric needs. Oh, and an added bonus: they carry trims, patterns, and notions - things the uptown fabric stores most certainly do not carry.

So now that Christmas is approaching I'm thinking that some of my projects will need to go into hiding. I can't blog about them or there won't be any surprises when gifts are opened. Perhaps I'll wait until after the holidays to post about them. Anyway, hard at work over here and thinking about Christmas cards, too. I'm running out of time and still trying to remain calm about it all!


  1. i probably would have been at least very tempted to do the same thing. children should be defended because they are inherently defenseless - even if it is from their own parent. good work, too bad it was so ugly.

  2. geez, he was yelling at you like that in front of his kid. he sounds like a real scary creep. it was totally out of line for him to be so livid with you. especially if the threatening and yelling is just supposed to be a "tough love act". good for you for saying something!

  3. Gosh, I'm way too chicken to speak oup in a situation like that. How awful!

    I'm so jealous of all the fabric options you have in the big city. There's nothing even remotely close to that down here. Thank goodness for the internet ;)

  4. He sounds like a big bully to me.
    You did the right thing, GOOD for you !

  5. Gosh, how awful! But good for you. I'm always tempted to say something to people like that but always hold my tongue.

  6. Way to go girl! You were in no way out of line, nor should you have waited for his son to leave before you spoke to him. The fact that he was yelling and abusing you in front of his son is a real concern. What is his kid learning???