Manners Matter: A Public Tirade

Dear Mary Pat,

I took my six-year-old daughter for a treat after school at her favorite place. We were paying for our order when a man came bursting through the door yelling at the man who was helping us. The particulars don’t matter. It was some kind of parking dispute. What does matter was that my daughter, who again is six, had to listen to two grown men cursing at each other with raised voices. I was stunned and quickly covered her ears but not before she heard a few choice words. I wish I would have said something to both of them such as “please restrain yourselves” or “little ears are listening,” however, I was too focused on moving her out the door. It broke my heart that my daughter had to witness that immature tirade. I should have gone back to wash their mouths out with soap.


Big Bar of Soap

Town Withheld


Dear Big Bar of Soap,

What kind of example do you set for a child when you scream, curse and make a spectacle of yourself in public? What kind of example do you set for your fellow adults for that matter? And over a parking space? Come on now! Maybe they could benefit from observing you and your daughter in public or anyone else who is able to rationally explain when they have an issue with their neighbor.

Children grow up quickly enough as it is. This kind of behavior is what slowly chips away at their innocence until they are too familiar with some of the ugly realities of adulthood. Clean up your act, men. I hope that one or both of you happens to read this and finds this woman to ask for forgiveness.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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