Monday, August 25, 2014

Nice People Make Great Victims

I was seated in the Poultry/Rabbit enjoying the company of my friend, Gwen and her grand-daughter, when I man approached us and started yakking.  He was somewhat elderly and I do try to be friendly to the elderly.  I think it's what Jesus would do.  They're usually lonely people.  I was sitting on a bench, fully covered, nursing Blossom4.  Only her shoes could be seen.  He stopped his friendly chatter about the delicious French fries he was eating and began to make off-color remarks about me nursing.  Now, the man did mumble a lot, so it was kinda easy to brush it off, even though I was appalled at what I was pretty sure the tenor of his remarks were.  The conversation stretched on and on, ranging from a very distant mutual acquaintance we had, to now flirtatious, crude, off-color comments toward Gwen and me.  We just kept thinking this man would go away.  We were trying to be nice.  It just kept getting weirder and weirder.  Then, he began talking to our children, especially trying to find out their names.  Gwen and I were telegraphing our alarm to each other with our eyes and verbally calling the children to stay close to us.  Abruptly, Gwen blurted out, "Isn't it time for us to be over there?" while motioning to the other side of the fairground.  The whole, long, creepy, awful conversation came to a complete halt.  The man left. 

My friend, Red, was running a garage sale with her beautiful baby daughter and preschool-age niece.  An older fellow came to browse and doggedly proclaimed how beautiful the little girl and the baby were.  He just kept saying it over and over and over... AND, he wanted to take pictures of them to take home with him.  He wanted to buy a camera and batteries and the garage sale to do so.  Red had no place to go.  She was manning the sale herself.  Eventually he just left.

These two seemingly harmless, yet decidedly creepy, occurrences have caused me to think a little about situations I'd rather not dwell on. 

Nice people make great victims. 

Yes, Gwen, Red and I, in our individual situations, all were concerned about our children and kept them in eye sight, but why didn't we take it a step further?

We were too busy being nice.

There is a place for wisdom, a time that trumps kindness to strangers. 

If you feel uncomfortable, remove yourself and your children from the situation.  It can be done as gracefully as loading up your stroller and heading to a busier part of the park or something (or leaving).  It doesn't have to be graceful though.  Don't stick around just to be nice.  If you can't be removed from the situation, if the situation becomes a confrontation, that's when it's time for other options, but

my point today is that I'm done being so nice that I forget wisdom and common sense types of solutions.