06 Jul


Yesterday afternoon as I was heading home I stepped into the corner grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends. I was in the dairy section reaching way back into the refrigerator to grab the freshest milk. I mean, we all know they put the stuff that is due to expire soon in the front right?

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a young man come down the aisle but I thought nothing of him.  I finally had my hand on a carton of milk that was not due to expire for weeks when WHAM!  The glass door of the refrigerator was shoved harshly into my back and I stumbled further into the refrigerator against the shelving and cut my arm.

Guess I don’t have to tell you who the culprit was.  He strolled past me as if nothing had happened.  But it had.  And I was incensed.  Not a good thing for me to feel, but it forewarned of worse things for the stranger.  Not thinking, I leaped after the stranger and my hand snagged and grasped the back of the collar of his tee-shirt.  Caught by surprise, he gave a strangled gurgle when his tee-shirt dug into his neck as I yanked him toward me.  Why did I do that?  I don’t know.  My brain was on automatic and something inside me said, “Not today buddy!”

He was taller than I and his muscle ton was well-defined by his tee-shirt.  If he had chosen to swing at me, even blindly, since I was behind him, I probably would have slid down the glass doors like the birds in the Windex commercials.

He started to curse and squirm so I let him go and stepped in front of him.  A Finger wagging lecture at the ready, I noticed his eyes go wide as if he was afraid.  Mentally I’m telling myself.  “Yeah I showed him!  He should be afraid!”  That feeling of overcoming the bully lasted a few seconds.  By then, one of the store owners stood beside me; in his hand was a wooden bat.  That was what caused my assailant’s alarm.  The store owner had seen the whole incident from the mirrors placed in the corners of the ceiling in the store and had come to my “rescue”.

Though big in size, it turns out the stranger was only sixteen.  I asked him way he had done that to me.  His explanation?  You’re going to love this…  He thought I was old.  He saw the white hair from behind and thought I was a senior citizen.   There were so many things wrong with the whole situation, but the most glaring to me was not that he had shoved a person or even a woman into a refrigerator.  No the most unsettling issue was that he thought it was okay to shove an elderly woman into a refrigerator.  Even his apology started off with “I thought you were way older….”

What the heck are we teaching our children?  This is tomorrows future?  What a scary thought!

Now I have an errand boy for the next 6 months.  He had a choice, either do my bidding for six months or I call the police and he gets arrested for assault.  He may not know anything about respect but he will by the time I get finished with him!

Any suggestions?

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Life Observation, Literary


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13 responses to “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

  1. Jennifer Ward-Pelar

    November 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Wow. I don’t have words on this one. Glad you are okay. You’re so ballsy. I love it. 6 months of doing your bidding! Ha!


  2. Anonymous

    July 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    white hair … and a size 7 shoe …… (or 7.5) from your last blog.


    • NotWiredThatWay

      July 9, 2011 at 8:26 am

      Maybe I’ll post a pic sans dye job on my blog. It’s summer, I can’t be bothered with hair stuff.

      I’m a woman, due to biology we go up and down. 🙂


  3. Anonymous

    July 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    After reading this piece, the young punks will think twice before disrespecting the senior citizens .. Kudos to you for not being a wall flower on this one. We’re glad to see you made it back home to write about it. Curious … did you actual finish getting all that was on your grocery list after this incident? lol I am sure the aisles of gawking people were clearing out of your way like the red sea as you casually strolled past to grab a fresh loaf of wheat bread …


    • NotWiredThatWay

      July 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

      This is NY. Except for the store owner at the counter, we barely got a glance. Actually no, I didn’t finish my shopping, but sonny-boy took care of that the following day.

      I’m not a wall flower period, no matter the situation. It will probably get me seriously injured one day. At the beginning of this year a drunk driver sideswiped my SUV and three other cars that were parked. I mean he was totally wasted. Some bystanders came along and tried to mug the drunk while we were waiting for the police, whom took close to an hour to arrive. I confronted the muggers and got the guys money, wallet and credit cards back. They had him jacked up against a car demanding his PIN number. I don’t have any sense. Either that or a subconscious death wish.


  4. christadelphians

    July 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

    As soon that there are no limits any more for a human being and he or she does not has recognition for his or her own problems start turning up.
    The word “respect” comes from the Latin word: “Re-spicere” what means ‘look back’. In the antiquity, if a Roman in Athens remained, when he walked around there was always the danger as a foreigner to become attacked and robbed. Therefore these foreigners looked always back over their shoulder to look out for attackers.
    The boy did not look out and you could not see a thing to get respect from the “attacker”. Because their wrong upbringing they are not aware that they ‘attack’ a community. Our lazy attitude with upbringing the next generation is turning us in our face.
    If we are not careful our society is going to derail and end up like the Roman Empire, once so mighty but now defunct into the history books, long past glory.


    • NotWiredThatWay

      July 8, 2011 at 4:53 am

      You’re right Christadephians, though you warn of our society being derailed, I think it already has fallen off the track. The respect and appreciation for human life seem to diminish more and more with each passing day. What are we teaching our children or are we letting the streets, television and so called super-stars do it for us?


  5. marcusampe

    July 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

    So, by being old anything could be done to that older person? “He saw the white hair from behind and thought I was a senior citizen. ” and that would have permitted him to be impolite and not to take care. This shows how turned upside down our world has become.
    Teachers and child-carers are not allowed any more to reprimand children in class or on the playground. Having no ethics and no decent rules shall undermine the community and next generation shall have to endure the consequences.
    R.E.S.P.E.C.T – Disrespectful Children Become Disrespectful Adults


    • NotWiredThatWay

      July 8, 2011 at 5:03 am

      Marcusampe, I think we are feeling the repercussions now. By the next generation it will only be worse. You can’t ignore the problems of today and think tomorrow will turn out sunshine and roses. Crimes against the elderly has risen so quickly in the last couple of years it’s astounding. Where did we go wrong? Why have the most vulnerable of our society become prey? What the heck goes through the mind of a person as they beat, rob or rape an elderly person?

      Somewhere along the line we lost control and the repercussions are what we are experiencing today. Sad.


  6. mentalbender

    July 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Is there anything you can’t write about? I like the way you set up your blog. I was doing research for one of my posts and a link brought me over here. I’m glad it did.


    • NotWiredThatWay

      July 8, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Well, whatever brought you here, I appreciate the visit. Thank you.


  7. Janet Bostrom

    July 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Excellent story, NWTW….

    That was a good lesson you were teaching him,and hopefully it will sink in! Today’s generation doesn’t seem to know the meaning of respect. Its not in their vocabulary…..sad to say, but true.
    Really enjoyed that! Look forward to reading more of your work…

    Thanks for sharing!


    • NotWiredThatWay

      July 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Janet, I hope you had a lovely weekend. It’s nice to see you here.

      It turns out I got more than I bargained for. He showed up this afternoon and did some errands and then I made him sit so we could talk. I felt kind of bad after speaking with his parents yesterday and his father got so angry he drew back his fist and punched the boy.

      His grammar is atrocious, and after arguing with him to read to me, I found that no better. I see a lot of tutoring in the future. Takes a village to raise a child right? I had to ask myself though, who do you blame more for his condition, his parents or NY public education?



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