30 November 2006

When is enough sh-t, enough?


The kid next door is yellin' at his mom again, so it's either time to blog or time to go over there and whup his ass. Since his mom would probably have me locked up for the latter, I'll try the former.

Every few weeks I can hear the 20 year old boy next door yelling at his mother. Yes he's 20 and yes he's a BOY. He's an asshole actually [ I don't want to give 'boys' a bad name] and I think he's got some wires crossed in his head. Outside the house, he's mild mannered and quiet, soft spoken and polite. You'd think he takes his halo home each night and polishes it up before saying his prayers and taking his vitamins. But when he gets angry, he lays into his mother with a profanity laden diatribe that makes my eyebrows raise! I don't think he has a chemical imbalance or anything, I just think that he knows he's a little runt of a punk and if he talked to anybody in the street like that, they'd whip his little ass and stuff him into his own pants pocket. But he knows that his mother baby's him, she coddles him, she allows him to treat her like shit and she is not strong enough or willing to kick his triflin', disrespectful, loser ass out into the street.

The way he treats her always brings me to a question that I always find myself asking:
"When is enough shit, enough?"

To hear this woman talk about her son, you'd think he was a fine young man, but she is clearly in a massive state of denial.

Here's another situation that had me asking myself this question: I found myself in a hospital lobby a few weeks ago. There was a woman in her late 30's there with her mother who was about 60 years old. The younger woman walked over to her mother and said, "Give me $5.00 so I can go get some fries from downstairs." The mother quickly pulled out a handful of bills and gave her daughter a five and then peeled off a second five. The daughter rejected the second five and said [with some attitude] "Why you givin' me $10? All I'm gettin' is some fries!" The mother said, "Well, I need you to bring me something to drink. All I can have is diet Pespi." The daughter seemed very irritated and said, "Shoot, five is enough for fries and a soda. Stuff downstairs ain't that expensive!" She walked away.

Ten minutes later the daughter came back with a chicken fingers platter with fries and a clear colored soda. The mother shot me a quick embarrased look and asked her daughter, "Where's my diet Pespi?" The daughter sat down and started shaking her catsup packet and replied dismissively, "I changed my mind when I got down there and I wanted some chicken and a Sprite, so I didn't have enough to get your soda." The mother shrugged and shook her head sheepishly. She glanced back towards me helpless and embarrased. I swear to God, this is exactly how this went down with NO exaggerations!!!

Now, in my book, any number of things could have caused the daughter not to have any cash on her, but to straight up diss her mother like this! To just shit all over her mother like this! I got the strangest feeling that this assinine treatment was nothing new from her.

Again I ask...
"When is enough shit, enough?"

Then there was the woman I was talking to who had once dated a guy, and they decided to play house and they bought a home together and then they had a kid. Of course, hardly anyone gets married these days, and these two were no different - they'll share a mortgage and bring a life into the world but far be it for them to try and make a commitment to each other. Anyway...

Homeboy turns straight punk after a year or so and he bails out on the woman I was talking to. No child support, no financial support for the house-hold, nothing. So the woman is damned near homeless and penniless for a long time before she gets herself together, but she refuses to take him to court for child support. So, a few years go by and she's doing better, but her Grandmother is now on her death bed. She manages to balance her day between being at her Grandmothers bedside, being at her job and being a mother. Then Homeboy's mother becomes ill at the same time and mind you, he's still dissin' her and their kid, but this woman goes to be with him at his mothers bedside. So she's now spending everyday driving all over creation to run from one hospital to the next and then to work and then to daycare and then home. She's standing beside this guy despite how cold he's treated her. Then when her Grandmother dies, this asshole doesn't even have the decency to show up at the funeral - if not for her grandmother, then at least to show his appreciation for her stading by his sick mother. But she still finds a way to defend this clown to people.

Can someone tell me...
"When is enough shit, enough?"

I mean, when do you say to yourself, "I've allowed this person to treat me so bad that I can't look myself in the mirror. I have thrown away all of my self-respect because I continue to allow this person to treat me like I'm worthless." When do you say, "I have more value than this!"

I understand that some things just aren't for me to understand. I accept that the things that make me tick, don't make everyone else tick the same way, but at some point damn-it, isn't enough, enough?

TTBM

14 comments:

Native Son said...

You hit some good points here. I am 30 y/o and I couldn't even come out of my mouth to my parents like that. Even if it looks like i am about to say something smart, my mom would have and still would knock the hell out of me.

There is a new breed of parent, especially in the black community, the parents of today are not like our parents. They are so caught up in trying to pay for that 500,000 house, or feel guilty that they have to work 2-3 jobs, that they baby their kids and let them get away with just about anything. today I see more black parents who allow their children to disrespect them then ever.

I was at Giant the other day and saw this black child throw a fit because his mother said he couldn't get something. And don't you know this sista just let him cry and didn't say anything. back in the day our parents would have given us something to cry about, I would not even think about throwing a fit because our paretns put us on point before we walked into the store. Momma or daddy use to say: "Look I am going in here ot buy x,y and Z. Don't ask for nothing!!!" And you knew by the look on their face, they were serious and you didn't ask for anything, and if you did ask for something, and mom and dad said no, you didn't cry, or you knew that was ass!!!!

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey Native Son, what's up my brother?

You've got me laughing here about the Giant episode... this past weekend my son decided to try and act up in Marlo's. I forget what caused it, but we were near the payments area and there were a lot of other people around and he tried to flip out. I always think about how my parents kept me in line as a kid and I go back to the old school handbook sometimes in these situations. So, basically I bent down to his height looked him right in the face and calmly and firmly told him to take a deep breath and get himself together. Then I said loud enough for anyone near me to hear, "Don't think I'm worried about any of these people around here because I will pull your pants down, do you understand?" He got himself together P.D.M.F.Q.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't have. His fit wasn't at the spanking level, but the threat of a spanking from my dad ALWAYS kept me in line. The reality behind that threat was my blessing as a child. And, God willing it will stay my blessing as a father.

Anonymous said...

Tasha at "La Bella Noire's Ramblings" also did a blog on disrespectful kids.

This bad behavior starts somewhere...but it needs to STOP just as soon!

Anonymous said...

Either one of my parent would have whipped my ass in public for coming out of my mouth wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thanks GS for the point to my blog!
Anyways, I see this happening way too much. I don't know if parents are trying too hard to be their children's friends that they forget how to be parents or if they're just all spineless. I used to think that it was a phenomenon reserved for the Maury Povich talk show, but I see kids just outright disrespecting their parents now.

When I was a child, if I came out of my face with some crap like that I probably wouldn't have made it to next week or my ass would have been ON FIRE from the whoopin I got. Even now, if I say something my mama's not too fond of, she gives me that look and I shut right up.

I wonder what's going to happen when these kids hit the real world and they find out that things don't operate the way they're accustomed to.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello GOLDEN SILENCE and Tasha I'm going to check out "La Bella Noire's Ramblings" in a little while. Thanks for the comments!

I think part of it, Tasha, is like you said - some parents are just spineless! I think when these kids and young adults get to the real world, they are going to be grossly underprepared for a world that does not revolve around them. I think that is why the boy next door is going to always live at home - to him that is the only place in the world where he is in charge of anything!

GUNFIGHTERMy Brother - that's the way I thought it was supposed to be. These new-school parents are softies! I was a foot taller than my mom from the age of 13 - and she still had no problems keeping me in line! And as far as my dad goes, pleeeease - dude was huge, and I wasn't even tryin' it.

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Anonymous said...

TTBM,

My dad had no compunction against pulling over on 95 and delivering the beatdown right there and then!

tickledpink21 said...

{Note: One of my friends at school and her Grandmother having an argument}

Grandma: Leighee
Leigh: "What"?
Grandma: Leighee...
Leigh: "WHAT"!!!
Grandma: "Have you bought a new perfume?"
Leigh: "Why the F**K do you want to know!"
Grandma: "Aww, I just wanted to say you small lovely...I just wondered if it was something new you brought?"
Leigh: "Aww, why dont you just SHUT THE F**K UP NAN!!!, (to friend) "I cant stand that f**king bitch, she does my f**king head in!"

No word of a lie. I feel its not always the parents fault as many just dont have the type of personality to hit their children but do not replace it with another form of discipline. theres obviously other factors to it but theres a lot of liberal people about now.

Ive seen first hand that if you leave a period of not having consequences it gets to a point where its very hard to get the children to listen after that.

Thats where the problem lies, dont think its right to hit children either but you need to replace with something instead of being liberal. Plenty of children who get spanked end up being trouble makers so I doubt thats the only reason they stay in line.

Anonymous said...

I don't even like being around black parents like this, bedause they're creating a negative statistic of some sort that will also give some of the rest of us grief.

Now this is extreme, but I've gotten to the point where I think that a lot of parents like this should be SUED by their children for not giving them an upbringing that will enable them to be productive adults because it's highly unlikely that any of the children in the examples above are going to be able to deal with life successfully. There's been a couple of cases like this with adult children suing their incompetent parents that I heard about and the kids won and collected. I know some will say that many of the parents are poor, but these "poor" folks are getting money from somewhere. They're not starving. So whatever money they get should be garnished to pay their children. And some of these parents are not financially poor at all. Once you get into folks' pocketbooks, you can usually get their attention.

Maybe if some kids started suing their inept parents, this would force similar parents to ACTIVELY learn how to parent properly. Other than that, they'll know they may end up in the po' house.

CreoleInDC said...

Please tell me you made up the hospital one. PLEASE!

I can't imagine ever being disrespectful to my parents or pretty much any elder when I was growing up. No way. I was tooooooo scurred of them. It was a healthy fear that's brought me far in life in my opinion.

I don't think parents CAN be parents anymore to be honest. When do you have the time if you don't have a decent job that pays the bills and have money for extras? It seems to me that the priorities in life all seem to point to money. If you have it, you have time to have QUALITY time with your kids. They don't grow up resenting you because they don't have all of the material crap X, Y or Z has. It's this day and age. *sigh*

I was on a train once with my husband and there were three beautiful young ladies in private school uniforms. All of them looked as if they had parents home that cared big time if you looked at how well groomed they were. Well...they were about 14 and 15 years old and were popping off at the mouth something awful. I gave them "the eye" and two sheepishly looked away and settled down. The third young lady said loudly..."I don't know who in the hell she looking at like that...she ain't my mama." Before I could even think about it I snapped..."You're absolutely right I'm not your mother because if I was you'd be missing a few teeth right now and I KNOW YOU KNOW BETTER!"

Needless to say my husband was furious with me because he reads the newspaper and watches too much news...but to be honest...I didn't think twice about it as SOMETHING has to be done. I am NOT about to allow that type of behaviour go unchecked if occuring in my presence. AND I MEAN THAT. Now I ain't stoopit so I know how to pick my battles. But hey...I think I coulda took em and waited around with the police until their parents showed up.

SimplEnigma said...

Re: disrespectful kids

It's really the parents of the "hippie" generation that are responsible for the current lack of manners and the apathy of today's youth.

When they broke free of the rules of the '50s they swore they wouldn't raise their kids that way and in trying to raise creative, freethinking children, some of the values that they grew up with were lost. The Hippie Generation focused more on feelings instead of values. Kids were taught to express how they felt, without restriction. So when their kids were grown, they in turn raised their kids the same way.

The FEAR of adults and repercussions are gone. I have a 17 year old nephew who sits home all day playing video games. He decided a year ago he didn't want to go to school, and my sister, determined not to be as rigid to her kids as she was raised, has left him to his own devices as she believes it is a "phase".

Seaniemo said...

TTBM

Long time no holla. Just taking a minute to catch-up and as always you are doin the thing. As a parent of 4 (ages 17, 13, 10, and 9) I am feelin this post. It brings to mind 2 situations and my response to them.

Getting dressed for work the other day and a commercial came on about the next Montell Williams show. The topic: Mothers who are afraid of their children. The first thing I am feeling is where are the fathers? The second thing I am feeling is skip that...if the child wants to play like that then give it to them.

Then you have my youngest son who is always on joke time and in everybodies business. Well last night he almost got pushed into next week messing with me. I feel like this:

I am the adult PERIOD! And if a child feels they want to act like an adult, then they should get their ass beat like one. Depending on the situation. Growing up as a child I got mine beat when I stepped out of line and my grandparents told me the same happen to them as children.

We have become a society that does not condone correcting our children but are quick to go to war with someone else. I don't get that. The laws are catered to children and this is why they get away with it. But I tell you what those laws were also made to be broken too.

So if a child steps to me wrong and verbally correcting them doesn't change the matter...call the police so when I am finished "BEATIN' THAT ASS" they can take me in.

Remember the village!

shai said...

Whew! I have to say at 36, my mama would drop me to the floor if I treated like that in the hospital. Hell, I would have wanted to beat the chick down. LOL.(That's the hood in me.) My compassionate side would have went down to get a pop and gave it to the lady. Making sure I said here I heard you needed it and some nice other words so the chick would hear me.


Entitlement and co-dependency are running rampant with some parents and children. Kids thinking they are entitled to what they want. Folks with their unhealthy dependency/co-dependency on each other is sad. Money is a top problem and emotional deficiency is right behind it.