Saturday, November 3, 2007

Floral Prints, Frat Boys, and Gum

From the archives...

I wanted to share with you an incident that happened a few days ago...

A young guy, probably about 20 with a frat boy "I'm the king of my universe" look and air about him, was in front of me and opened the door to the restaurant. He then spit his gum out onto the walk to his side. Now this was also directly in the path of a small group of little old lunching ladies who were just leaving, and would now have to maneuver and step over the offending gum wad. I was disgusted by this, but said nothing to the frat boy, deciding to conjure up an image of punching him in the back of the head instead. I was about to warn the ladies when something curious, no... enthralling, happened.

The first little old lady, a timid woman I would surmise was in her 80's and dressed in a simple floral print and cardigan turned to the frat boy and said in a kindly voice, "Excuse me young man, you dropped your gum."

The frat boy stopped and looked at her. Now I only caught her gaze from the side, but you could see that while her face had a soft smile, her eyes said, "You pick up that gum. Now." I can only imagine what the full brunt of that gaze was like for the frat boy. I would assume it was akin to being struck in the chest with a sledgehammer.

"Oh... uh, sorry," he mumbled and bent down to retrieve the wad of gum in front of his floral print and cardigan conqueror. He wanted to tell her no, the annoyance and befuddlement was in his eyes, but what was he going to do? Tell a little old woman to shut up in front of a crowd of people and the restaurant staff for telling him to pick up the gum he had so disgustingly spit out? I think not.

"And with a stomp of her foot, she had vanquished them." The line from Faulkner's A Rose for Emily popped into my head and I smiled. Everyone, except the frat boy, smiled at his defeat. A victory for good manners and respect.

We need more little floral print ladies like this.


  1. You are such a great writer! and kudos to the little old lady!

  2. " ... but you could see that while her face had a soft smile, her eyes said, "You pick up that gum. Now."

    We used to call that look "the granny look," which my grandma was master of. One time when a cousin was in trouble, he could feel the wrath of the granny look from the bottom of a cliff when she was at the top.

    We need more granny police, for sure.

  3. Oh G..this brought back wonderful memories of Grandma McKown of Norman, Oklahoma. That is exactly how she would have handled it.

    My sons called that look "the mom look"...but now that I am a grandma it IS the granny look!

    G, me thinks you have a book in you. Very well written indeed.

  4. That's fantastic! Good for the little old lady!

  5. She sounds like she could be a new superhero. Props to her for speaking up for herself.

  6. Way to go floral print lady! Manners and common courtesy are so sparse nowadays. Ever morning as I commute into the city I'm pushed and yelled at by complete strangers just because I exist. This morning someone pushed me so hard I actually fell down, hitting the pavement so hard that my jeans ripped and a huge gash formed on my knee. But did he stop? Did anyone stop? No, they just stepped over me and kept on going while I tried to get up without being knocked over again. I think I needed a floral print super lady nearby.

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  7. great story! what was frat boy thinking?

  8. Now I remember why I hate frat boys so much.

    Great story, G.!

  9. What a great story- I'm glad that punk didn't retailiate. I always think of how different the older generations are in comparison to my own generation. So calm and easygoing. While we're so stressed and on the go. Maybe that's the difference...

    And I want to agree with everyone else- you are a wonderful writer! Keep it coming!

  10. Thanks for all the ego boosting on the writing (don't expect it too often, lol). XD

    I agree that frat boys do suck. Sure, they can be pretty to look at, but then they go and say stuff and screw it all up.

  11. Yyyeahh Granny! I'd like to buy her a drink! I bet she drinks grasshoppers (that's what my 93 yr old granny enjoys).

    And yes, I'll chime in on the congrats for such a well written post! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  12. Wow, Garrett, I don't need to tell you that was awesome, I just want to.

  13. Great story! I'll bet that young man won't forget that encounter, and hopefully he will be changed for the better because of it. I love that he responded appropriately to her.

  14. Sometimes it takes an elderly person giving a look to make a younger person realize what they have done wrong. With my Nana it was always that stern look, and you shut up REAALLLLL quick!

  15. What a great story! Score 1 for manners.

    I remember having to teach a male friend years ago that no, it was not okay to brush one's teeth while driving, and then spit the toothpaste out the window.

    What are these people thinking?!

  16. Old Ladies - 1
    Frat Boys - 0

    I like that score.


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