Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seriously, what is wrong with people?

For the first time in months, I took the girls to the park this morning. There we were, enjoying the nice weather and the playground, when along come a woman with a couple of young children and a man with two very large dogs.

If you've been a follower of my blog for any length of time, you probably see where this might be going. And I could make this yet another rant about people with dogs who seem to think their dogs have the same rights as people. But really, it's not about that so much as how some people seem to be unable to cop to something, be humble, and be accountable.

So I'm sitting on one of the benches with Finn while the three girls are happily playing on the playground. I see the people approaching with the dogs and I steel myself for Daisy's hysteria to ensue the moment she spies the dogs. The people arrive at the playground, and the man takes the dogs - two German Shepherd mixes - BIG dogs - onto the playground. And sure enough, Daisy sees the dogs from the other side of the playground and starts screaming and crying. The dogs are straining against their leashes (which is beside the point, I'm just trying to set the scene; I would be saying the same thing, however, even if they were two well-behaved small dogs). I say to the man, "My daughter is afraid of dogs. Would you mind taking them away from the playground?" And he does. He didn't say a word, just took the dogs away from the playground.

That should have been the end of it, right? But no. The woman who was with him, who turns out to be the guy's daughter, walks over to me and starts ranting at me. "We're not hurting anyone! Our dogs are on leashes! We have every right to be here!" She's shouting and screeching at me. Blah blah blah. My blood is boiling now. Does it really require explanation that the playground was built for kids and not for dogs, and that while I understand she has a right to be at the park with her dogs, common sense and courtesy would dictate that you keep your dogs off the actual playground? Apparently it does warrant explanation. Which I delivered, shouting right back at her. I was very proud of myself, however, for not using a single swear word.

So this goes back and forth for several minutes. I am completely incredulous that she refuses to concede anything. Finally, she storms off to go attend to her kids.

But even that wasn't the end of it. A few minutes later, she comes back over to where I'm sitting, this time very aggressively getting right into my space, and starts shouting at me some more! Honestly, it was just crazy. It took another mom who was there to step in and convince the woman to walk away. And even then, she gets on her cell phone and I can hear her across the playground ranting to somebody about me. That part was funny. I took a few pictures of her bitching on her phone about me. Can you see her way over there?



Anyway, Michael says it's people's insecurity that's at the bottom of this kind of crap. It's like when someone cuts you off in traffic and you honk at them and they flip you off instead of waving in apology. I'll never forget the time I was walking through the parking lot at Target, carrying a toddler, and this guy starts backing out of his parking space without even looking. He came very close to runnng us down, and I threw my arms up to say "Hey, watch it!" Know what he did? He yelled out his window at me, "FUCK YOU!" Seriously.
I guess it's true what Michael says. I guess a person who was confident about their place in the world would just say, "Oh, sorry about that."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gosh, the lady had a nerve, huh?
In our city there are signs all around parks that dogs are not allowed for "sanitary reasons".
Most people obey....
Glad you stood your ground so well!

Asha.

Sarah said...

Hats off to you for not using swear words, cause I'm sure I would have had several flying out of my mouth!!

Keri said...

A dog straining at his leash is a HAZARD at a playground, regardless of size. If the dog is straining, it either isn't comfortable or is WAY to excited to be trusted around kids. Second, why would you bring a dog onto a playground (only exception I can think of is service dogs or dogs being trained to be service dogs)? People can be so incredibly thoughtless. I'm so glad you gave that woman a piece of your mind- she deserved it! I don't know where she gets off being upset anyways- they weren't even her dogs!

Karly said...

Common courtesy is not so "common"...

Lovin Mama said...

How could she have no compassion for an upset little girl? Messed up. That woman obviously has no "real" problems if things like this get her so worked up. And don't get me started on people who think their pets are children.

Megan said...

How's about the fact that they were, in fact, hurting someone (your kid)? I love my dog, but I hardly think that she has the same rights as a human. Sorry. She's a dog. When we have people over, she's put somewhere we're not. Why should *my* choosing to have a dog impact anyone else? Heck, A is terrified of other dogs. Like full body shaking, hands in mouth, face frozen in fear. And she HAS a dog.

Liz said...

Wow. I'm a dog person... and I wouldn't do that! We have a park near our house and people frequently bring their dogs along with the kids. But the dogs stay on the perimeter of the play area- where the parental benches are. Not in the actual playspace.

But beyond that... the fact that you asked nicely that they give you special consideration because your daughter was obviously freaked out... that should have been the end of it. I feel bad for the guy with the dogs because he just might be living with that wretch of a woman.

Grandpa J said...

Lack of awareness and experience with considering the multiple ways one can respond to a situation. In this case, dog owner's daughter was locked into one upmanship and being stunned that you had the courage and persistence to express your views re her insensitivity and failure to cooperate in alleviating a little girl's fears, or to engage her in discussion at all. Nice going. I admire your lifetime crusade to educate the world on such matters. Interestingly, her dad knew to keep the dogs away , without a flinch.