Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Her Shirt Made Me Blush

At 9:00 the other night, I was at the grocery store. My only goal was to get 50 percent of the items I needed. Remember, I never shop with a list, so 50% would be fantabulous.

I got into line and got back out only twice because I remembered some other essential item from my non-list.

Finally, I got back in line and paid and was leaving when I saw another mother. I started to walk around her when I paused to read her shirt. This shirt was the first time I've seen such a sentiment expressed in women's apparel. It wasn't an image. It wasn't just an explicit word or two. What was on her shirt was an absolute vulgarity. Really, really vulgar. The expression was one I probably didn't even know until I read some trashy novels in my 20's.

So, freedom of speech and all that, right?

Except for one thing: her son who was maybe 8 or 9 was walking behind her. He is old enough to read. Does he understand what his mom's shirt means? I really hope not and hope he won't know for a while yet.

I was sickened by the shirt and came home to complain to my husband. His response? He wanted to know why I didn't tell the woman that her shirt offended me. That is how he handles things. He feels that every time we don't challenge something like that, society slips a bit farther into the abyss.

That is NOT how I handle things. I am too scared that someone will shoot me for confronting them. SO, I just cringe and seethe and vent at my husband.

How would you have reacted? Are you a confrontationalist or an inward seether?

16 comments:

Living on the Spit said...

I would have to say I am passive agressive...I would have made some (non-confrontational) smart a** remark and started laughing...and then just walked off. I think it is really rude when people assume that just because THEY are the one's wearing the t-shirt, that WE, as readers, do not have the right to be upset. I totally agree with you on this, but I would have let her know she was ignorant.

Jan said...

Guess I am more of a passive agressive reactor too but I SO want to be more like your husband. Wonder if that is a male/female "thing"? Wonder what her son thinks about his Mother wearing that shirt.

Mental P Mama said...

I am afraid I wouldn't say anything either, but I have been known to put on quite a face of disgust when needed....

Philly said...

Now I really need to know what the shirt said?

#1

Laura ~Peach~ said...

it depends on how offended I am... i had one of the best giggles of all time at an older woman in Hardees a while back... a fella had a really crappy T shirt on I was rather offended but not horridly so and basically grumbled to martha who agreed it was trashy... when this older woman got up and walked close to this man (proabbly close to my age man) leaned over and SPANKED him then whispered in his ear that if she had duct tape she would make him cover the bad words on that shirt... He turned appropriately red looked to see who was watching and got his food and left!
I was struggleing with diet coke and fries coming out my nose so could do little more than nod at the woman in total agreement!

Julie said...

I am not sure I would have said something. It is sad and it happends all the time here in Hungary. So much stuff is imported and in Hungarian and they don't know what it means and wear it proudly. It is so sad.

Big Hair Envy said...

Inward seether here. I would have reacted the same way you did...and gone home and vented to the hubby.

I will admit that there are people who do things that just leave me speechless. Even if I were the confrontational sort, I would be rendered mute by some of the behavior I witness!!!

pam said...

Her clothes, her shirt, her kid... BUT... I don't think I would have lingered too long talking as long as she had it on. Now, does that make me a hypocrite in that Jesus would have spoken to those who needed him the most etc., I don't think so. If something is downright vulgar, I just don't want to look at it. And I don't think I would want my son around someone who would think something like that is ok.
On the flip side, I could totally see me making a joke and saying something like, "Whoa, your shirt sort of threw me there, wouldn't expect to see something like that on a mom in public!" It would depend on my mood. My guess is I would say nothing and turn red though. I am rather shy about stuff like that.
If it was in front of my kid though, I would not be thrilled at all. But in the end, while I may not like everything others wear and say, I do believe it's their right to wear it and say it. I wouldn't want them telling me not to wear a religious shirt cause it offends them.

Elena said...

Thank you for visiting Idaho today. I hope you get your chance to come visit some day. And I'm the same as you with the vulgar shirt, WAY to scared to confront, so I'll just vent later. By the way, your puppy is adorable.

Sue said...

Confronting people like that scare me. You just don't know how weird people are these days.

I do tell my kids I don't like something though. One mom drops off her kid at school and on the back of her suburban in big letters it says "Lose Weight Now". Now I understand that this is probably a slogan for whatever company she works at, but it is offensive to me. So I said to my kids, if it said Gain Weight Now would you? Or how about Do Drugs Now? They rolled their eyes, but got my point.

Mrs4444 said...

There is no way I would have confronted her; anyone crazy enough to where an idiotic shirt like that is probably dangerous to confront.

Jeannelle said...

For safety's sake, I would not confront a stranger in this day and age. If it was someone I knew, that might be a different story. Her son will grow up not being shocked by anything.

LadiesoftheHouse said...

I know how you feel. Yesterday a girl about 14 years old was standing in line ahead of me talking on her cell phone using the F word every other word. I had my younger daughter with me and the first time my daughter heard it she looked at me in surprise. The girl turned around, saw my daughter and I staring wide eyed at her, then turned her back on us with her head bent over the phone so she could cuss in private.

I have explained to my daughter before that people talk that way because they are so ignorant they don't know how to use civilized language.

Confront them? Unarmed? No way. I've done that twice in my life and learned valuable lessons about the mind set of people like that. I think teetering on the edge describes it adequately.

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

Very curious, what did the shirt say?

addhumorandfaith said...

I think I might have just stopped and said to her quietly, "Would you want the words on your shirt to come out of your son's mouth? Think about it." Then, I'd smile sympathetically and walk away.

The Nice One said...

I'd have done what you did.
Be offended. Complain to the husband. ANd blog about it!!
Seriously, what did the shirt say?!