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I Yelled At A Teenager

As I blogged yesterday, my brother Brian and I took JD for a successful haircut on Saturday. Afterwards we went to the diner for lunch and that’s where the real drama ensued. If you’re bracing yourselves for a blog about a lady yelling at JD for acting like a kid or one where JD drops a car and a waiter slips on it while carrying a tray of food—relax. This had nothing to do with sweet JD.

After a pleasant lunch where JD ate most of his food sans negotiation, we headed out to my Jeep. Brian was carrying JD and strapped him into the car seat while I started the car. As I sat there, staring out the windshield, I noticed an older man who I saw when we entered the diner. He was standing on the curb of a main highway and there was a sign strapped to him that said 75% off carpeting with a local store's info. I’ve seen people working like this before and I always get two instant feelings: I feel bad for that person and that person is making an honest living and trying to feed his family. I sat there gazing at this man, wondering where he lived or if he had kids and then I was snapped back into reality because some wise-a*s teenage boy was yelling: “Get a real job, man! Hey, what are you selling? How much, huh, huh?” I looked over to find this kid, who was likely seventeen with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and two other kids in a new Jetta.

Something snapped. It was like I was alone in my car.

“Shut your mouth,” I yelled at the kid. He stared at me.

“You’re a kid. In a new Jetta. That man is working to take care of his family—you don’t get it. You won’t for a very long time.”

The kid told me to shut up. I didn't bother to talk back to him.

My brother, Brian, who resembles a linebacker popped his head out from the backseat where he was helping JD and said in true Jersey style: “What’s up bro? You telling my sister to shut up?”

At the sight of my brother, the kid literally cowered in his seat and the Jetta backed out.

I looked back at the man who was still standing there as cars rushed past him.

“Mommy,” JD said. “Why are you yelling?” (Great, now my kid saw me lose my cool. Great. GUILT!)

“Because that kid wasn’t being nice to that man, bud. And you know how you share your toys with your friends and you never yell or hit your friends?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. "And I'm gentle with babies." (OMG-I LOVE MY KID!)

“Well, that’s how you always treat people, OK,” I said. “You always be kind and open-minded.”

As we drove away I flashed to JD at seventeen. My kid will never behave like that. Ever. Not a chance.

Have any of you ever experienced something like this? Please share?

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