You Can’t Make Me Hate
I hadn’t even wiped the sleep from my eyes. It was chilly and I lay in bed dreading the beep of the alarm clock that soon would have us all stirring. The sheets were soft and comfortable on my skin. The blanket was lightweight, and thick and fluffy. The glow of my husband’s IPhone was drowning out the streaks of sunrise creeping in through both sides of the curtain.
We would soon be crammed in the truck for four hours on our drive home from Chicago, Illinois back to Small Town, Iowa. I had no desire to leave. Not so much Chicago but the bed of our hotel room at the Red Roof Inn. I was at peace while curled up safe and warm.
Until I wasn’t.
I heard a woman’s voice screaming outside but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. My husband and I looked at each other, jumped out of bed and headed for the door.
Her words were more clear now.
“Stop jumping up and down and move your fucking ass!”
“I’m going to smack you.”
“Hurry the fuck up. Move faster.”
I couldn’t see her yet but I could tell which direction her voice was coming from. I stepped out further in hopes of seeing.
She came around the corner screaming. Trailing behind her were her twin daughters. They couldn’t have been any older than three years old.
I looked at my husband. “She couldn’t possibly be yelling at them, right?”
As they crossed the corridor they walked past to a mini van. The woman slid the side door open. One girl jumped right in. The other stood next to the vehicle, feet planted.
She looked down at the little girl. “Don’t be a bitch.”
My husband knowing me as he does leaped from our doorway and he was immediately at my side.
“I’m not going to do anything,” I said as I walked away and stood next to the little girl.
“What the fuck are you looking at?”
“You,” I said.
“Why you in my business, bitch.”
I’m impressed by my self control. I inhaled through my mouth and exhaled out through my nose.
“I do not appreciate you emotionally abusing my future,” I said calmly (sort of, I was faking it). “They deserve to be treated better and they will be treated better.”
She stepped up into my space. I greatly dislike when people do that. I have a bubble shield of space around me that I refer to as my boundary.
“I’m not moving from this spot until you treat your daughters with respect. I don’t care if I have to stand here for a week.”
“Are you fucking nuts?” she asked.
“Please do not speak to me like that,” I responded.
She took a step closer to me. So close that I could feel the mist of her spit as she yelled at me. “Step off or I will punch you in your fucking face.”
“No, you won’t, actually.” I took a step back. “I strongly recommend you don’t do that. I’ll have you arrested”
“You are fucking nuts.”
“Your daughters are right here witnessing your behavior. They’re watching you and everything you do, always. I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you’re filled with so much anger. I’m sorry for whoever didn’t show you the love you deserve and treated you poorly but none of that is their fault.”
Her body language relaxed. Her scowl now neutral. She took her daughter’s hand, helped her into the van and made sure they were both buckled in safely. She slid the door closed and looked back at me as she got into the driver seat. Her eyes spoke of sadness.
My husband came and stood next to me. We watched them drive off. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m proud of you, babe.”
I looked at him. “I really wanted to punch that bitch in the face, but I didn’t because it would’ve made me no better than her.”
If I truly wish for her to treat her daughters with the respect they deserve then I needed to respect her in hopes of creating an awareness of the damage she’s causing.
According to the American Society Against Child Abuse an estimated 20,000 children are killed in their home and an average of 7 million child abuse cases are investigated each year and those numbers are only what’s reported.
According to the National Institute of Assholes (I don’t have a link for that) 60% of our nation consists of assholes. Each of us have a responsibility to lead by example by not being an asshole, even more so now that our nation is led by an asshole.