Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Adventure in Cleveland

I haven't decided yet if this story is an adventure or an adventure. which is what everyone in Logan told me life in Cleveland would be.

Here's a (very) short list of things I'm grateful for:

1.) It's almost Christmas.
2.) I get to spend time in Arizona next week where it's warm and there's no chance of snow.
3.) Every day that passes I'm closer to getting out of Ohio. Specifically, Cleveland.

I know a lot of people in my ward here love it. But I don't understand it. I can't stand it here. I hate it every time someone asks me, "So how do you like it here?" Because it's one of those questions that you really don't want to answer honestly for fear of offending the person who asked. Usually I just mention the crazy street system because they have to agree with the insanity of the roads here. Then I try to change the subject. This tactic may no longer work since I already opened my Christmas present from Nathan-a GPS system. I can't get lost anymore. Yay!

Here is my latest reason for wanting to leave--because being propositioned a few times, the prospect of an eternal winter, the roads, and being far from family aren't enough.

Everywhere I've lived I feel like I've had really good neighbors. In Texas people were friendly and generally respected everyone's differences. In my high school (where people are generally immature and self centered) everyone who knew me, knew I didn't swear or use any kind of offensive language. Every one, not just my friends, but every single person in that high school who knew me, so most of my class, the entire marching band, the entire drama club, the colorguard/winterguards, etc. watched their language when they were around me. If they slipped up and cussed, they always apologized. Every. Single. Time.

I've also lived in Idaho, Utah, and various cities in British Columbia and never in any of those places have I had an experience like I did last week.

Here, apparently, being respectful isn't a widespread concept. Megan and I ran to the second nearest grocery store, the very closest being way too expensive for a dental school budget. As we stood in line with our dinner rolls and Cranberry Ginger Ale a group of girls walked up behind us. I could smell the fresh cigarette smoke wafting off of them as they laughed loudly and obnoxiously. I worked to ignore them by joking around with Megan. Suddenly a guy entered the store and recognized the girl who was being checked out at the register (we were next in line). He greeted her with a longing in his eyes and hands that only reached her backside. Then one of the girls behind us flashed her gold braces at him, catching his lusty attention with those shining beauties and her "grown"-upness. If you didn't catch on to what "grown"-upness means, you will soon. He quickly left his friend at the register and moved on to his next prey. Vulgarity after vulgarity spewed forth from their mouths. I cannot even begin to describe it. After about the third F-bomb I turned around to ask, "Excuse me, I have a four year old who repeats everything she hears. Would you mind toning it down while we are in line?" I didn't even get half way through my request before hands were flying in front of my face, more vulgarity pounded against my ears, I was being called cruel names, and was accused of racism.

Excuse me? Did I miss something?

The girl insisted that she was "grown" and could use whatever language she liked. She insisted it was the parents' responsibility to teach their children what words were appropriate and what words aren't, which I completely agree with her, duh. And so I stated, "I guess you missed that lesson." To which she replied for the billionth time, "I'm grown!" I guess when she was a little girl her See 'N' Say was the Hussy-Witch version, not the farm animals version I had. She told me she didn't come out in public to watch her language and could say what she liked. There's some sense in this, but really, since when do people use that kind of vulgarity at the grocery store? Go to a sleezy bar for that. She had basically propositioned herself to the guy right there next to the candybars and bubblegum.

If they'd done their business and vulgarity in a bar it would still public, but less likely that they'd offend others. She continued to call me awful names and I informed her that she wasn't as mature as her "grown"-upness led her to believe and that just because she was falling out of her shirt, that didn't make her mature. In the end, there was a police officer and the store manager not twenty feet away and neither of them did anything. Megan and I left the store, leaving our items on the conveyor belt and not two seconds from being checked out. I said just loud enough for the manager to hear that we would never be returning to that establishment. I'd already had a beef with that store (they have smut magazines right at child eye level whether sitting in the cart or standing next to it) so now I will have two things to write to the manager about when I send them my official letter of discontent.

Why can't women be like they used to be? Gentle, kind, softspoken? I'm thinking back to when our grandmothers were young women. When it was ok (and expected) for women to act like women. When gender roles were more defined and stood by. What happened to the days when fighting, swearing, and tattoos were things of men and compassion, love, and care were things of women? Women wore dresses or nice slacks. I don't think my grandmother ever wore pants of any kind in her entire life. Hair was always done, makeup perfect and voices sweet. The only radio station that comes in clearly in our Honda is an oldies station. I don't mean The Beatles oldies, I mean Oldies like 1940's. I've been listening to it and wishing we could go back to a time when women were women and men were men. I love listening to the music of that time period. It is so innocent and full of good clean fun. And so to end on a good note, go here and click on #10 'a' You're adorable. It's awesome good clean fun!


Janelle said...

Funny, I love the Cleveland street system. But I moved here from New England where everything is curvy roads with no street signs. I'm in heaven here!

optoblog said...

More proof that a liberal's knee-jerk response to any criticism is, "You're racist."
Sorry you went through that, but you handled it extremely well.

Summer said...

I'm so sorry you had to endure that, Kellie! SAD! Yeah, living in Cleveland is sure an eye-opener!

Laura Moffitt said...

I have never had this experience yet, probably because I dont have kids. But that is absolutely ridiculous and I can't believe the back talk she gave you. How did megan handle it when you left?

Ry and Kris Jones said...

I would have to say kudos on speaking up and sticking up for yourself. That took courage and I'm proud of you:). I haven't come across that sort of riff raff yet, but I know it's out there and it's tough having to deal with it. But you are a trooper:). Well done.:)

janeen said...

I will never understand what makes swearing a grown up thing. You sound like a bubblering idiot when you can't come up with anything better to say. Way to stand up for yourself and megan.

rachel said...

So sorry you are experiencing that! I've lived all over too, but it's definitely gotten so much worse. It reminds me of that quote "we have enough women who are course, we need women who are courageous" (I'm so paraphrasing!! and hope that's even right :) Way to stand up with integrity!

Tracey said...

Wow Kell, that sounds pretty intense. I was just picturing the whole thing as I read it! Way to stand up to that little hussy! (sorry, I suppose I should watch my words:) How did Megan react to the whole thing? It really is amazing how times have changed isn't it?!
You're kiddos sure are cute! I particularly love the pic of Jeremy staring at Wall-E, and Emma in her sunglasses!

Carissa Poyfair said...

Wow. I've never had the guts to speak up when people are vulgar and all in front of my kids (or me!) although they do get my classic "Are you kidding me?!" look (you'll have to ask Adam about that one). Sorry you had to deal with that without any help from the officer or the manager! Way to go, sticking up for your beliefs!

trublubyu said...

that is awful. truly indicative of today's moral values. usually people are pretty obliging when you ask them to watch their language in the presence of small children. sorry you had to have such a yucky experience.

on the other hand, thank you for saying something to her and forcing her to face what was coming out of her mouth. maybe next time she is in line behind a mom and children she will think twice before she opens her mouth. she will probably still use the bad language, but i'm guessing she will remember what you said and hopefully someday she won't use those words.

enjoy your visit to az! where are you visiting? (i promise if you happen to be in line by me somewhere i will try to watch my language :)

Kim said...

What an awful experience. I'm sorry you had to have it. On a better note though, Hooray for GPS! You will wonder what you ever did without it.

Leanne said...

Move back to Utah, we want you and we have a pretty decent grid system...I'm sorry you had that terrible experience. She sure sounded "growed uo" to me!! yuck. poor Kellie, but good for you for standing up.

Zann said...

Wow Kellie, that's pretty rough. It's funny that even the people who have no manners, no morals, and no obvious culture to speak of can try to put themselves above you and demean you by calling you a racist and that they have been so well trained in doing so. That's a really unfortunate experience, but way to go for standing up, because it's when good people stop standing up that we're really in trouble.