Monday, February 04, 2013

Setting a Bad Example

Me, 1984.
A few weeks ago, Number One came close to fisticuffs in a soccer game. She's an aggressive defender, and often up against equally aggressive offensive players. Once in a while, things escalate slightly beyond the norm. This other girl went a little too far, Number One fought back, and when the girl looked about to punch my kid in the face, Number One held her off with a pointed finger and a bit of verbal ferocity.

The ref has had it out for her ever since.

Unfortunately, she seems to come by it naturally. My sister-in-law told me I HAD to post this, so here it is. :)

We were at a game last night, and there was a woman in the stands near us who wasn't well versed in the game. She was asking the kid with her lots of questions, and making lots of comments. Her voice was strident and carried, and the subject matter was poking at me. When people ask questions, I have a need to answer. Of course, she wasn't asking me, so I wasn't saying anything, but this sets the background a little bit.

The girls play on an old hockey rink with walls and a solid floor. One girl on the other team ran out of her shoe, but instead of stopping to put it on, she kept going after the ball (instinct, of course). She tried to stop, slid, and slide-tackled our forward. FYI, a slide tackle is when the player goes to the ground feet first. If they kick or knock the feet out from under the opponent, it's a foul, whether it was intentional or not. And whether they slid deliberately, going for the ball, or slipped on the surface accidentally. Slide tackles indoors are illegal.

So the woman cries out, "What, her shoe comes off and it's a penalty?" in a very annoyed tone. That was all I could handle. The following exchange is paraphrased for the most part. Except the part in bold.

Me: "No, she was penalized because she tackled our player."

Before I can explain as I did above, the woman yells at me. "She did not! She lost her shoe!"

Me: "She was supposed to stop and put it back on. It's dangerous. She could have hurt herself and the other player."

By the time I said "stop," the woman was yelling again. Then she says:

"You know what?" *sticks her fingers in her ears* "LALALALALALA" 

And THEN she says, "Forget it. I'm mature. I'm not having this conversation."


I'm like, "Okay, yeah, that's mature." I turn back to watch the game. She keeps yelling at me, and I know I should have just kept my mouth shut at that point, but I couldn't help it. I was still operating under the delusion that I could make her understand that it was the rule, that's all. I don't even remember what either of us said, but she let the F word fly at the top of her lungs.

The stands erupted around me. I told her to watch her mouth. Several other parents scolded her. She yelled at them. The woman behind me said her child was sitting right there and she didn't deserve to be subject to that. My mild-mannered husband, who probably had been fairly unaware of the exchange before that, told her this was a family environment. She went quiet for a minute, then complained that apparently profanity is a felony.

I was lucky this was an informal, indoor event, and the ref was on the other side of the wall. If it had been a league game outdoors, the line judge probably would have thrown us both out. As it was, she subsided completely for ten or so blessed minutes before she started complaining about the fouls. Never mind that every time two players got in the same space, no matter what they did or didn't do, the ref blew a foul on us.

We won, 2-0.

My sister-in-law assured me that she had my back, that she wouldn't let that woman attack me. I'm pretty sure I could have taken her if she had, but you never know. I haven't been in a fistfight since middle school.

Have you ever suddenly found yourself in a confrontation? How did you handle it?


Boquinha said...

Okay, so you totally amaze me. (Yeah, it's me again - the girl who pops up every so often and thinks, "I really, REALLY like and miss those women and when am I going to commit myself to simply JOIN the group and write more?!?").

First off, I have been TERRIBLE about keeping up on blogs (mine or anyone else's), though I'm trying to catch up a bit and stay caught up. And yes, that could be my mantra or battle cry, which is more pathetic than it is admirable.

So, I'm going through my reader and I see the folder I have for you and some others from the group. I haven't looked at it in long time, so I open it up and read several of your posts.

You are SUPERWOMAN. And I keep wanting to ask, "How do you do it?! How do you do it?!"

Your stats? Impressive. Your stat-keeping? Even more so!

And then I read this and think, "Wow, she's assertive, too!"

So you manage to read like crazy, write like crazy, AND *stand up* to crazies?!?

Just wow. My hat's off to you. If you ever feel like adding a new hobby and/or job to your long list of impressiveness, you should consider counseling. People would pay good money to learn to do all the things you do. Seriously.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Wow, S! Have I got the wool pulled over your eyes! LOL

Seriously, THANK YOU for saying such lovely things. I keep the stats and log things here in part to show myself that I'm *not* failing in every area of my life. I feel like I never get enough done, manage my time very poorly, and neglect my house and my family. But I suppose we all feel that way, huh?

I've been horrible about reading and commenting on blogs, too. I mean, REALLY horrible. So I so appreciate you stopping by and checking in! You definitely need to join us and bathe in our synergy! LOL

Great to hear from you!

Delynn Royer said...

Sorry to chime in late. (I'm trying to cut down my blog-reading to Sundays. Good luck with that, huh?) This individual's attitude is an example of how basic civility in our society seems to be going the way of dinosaurs. It makes me glad my kids are out of school and thankful that I was lucky enough not to have a similar experience in all those years of soccer and basketball games. (But that doesn't mean it can't happen somewhere else.) Kudos to you for keeping your cool and to the other parents who helped keep a lid on the situation.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Timing is irrelevant, Delynn, I'm just glad to have you here! :)

In all the years my kids have been playing, there's only been one other incident that I remember of bad behavior by parents.

I hesitate to say civility overall is going away. I think other changes can highlight certain behaviors that always existed, and we have a LOT more people than we did 30 years ago, so idiots are in greater number, too. :)