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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Break the Silence.”


The other day my daughter and I were doing some food shopping, and as we turned to go down the bread aisle, we came across a family of four. Mom and dad were selecting pull ups while their older son (I’d say around 5) was mashing their younger son’s (I’d say 2 1/2) head into the bread shelves.

Now when I say mashing, this kid has his brother, who had a pacifier in his mouth, by the back of the neck and was forcing his head into the shelf while his body pressed fully against his back. This little fucker meant business. The little brother, head facing towards us, was grimmacing in pain and crying.

My reaction? I looked at the older brother and said, “awwwww” in sort of a “how could you do that to your little brother?” fashion. Then the mom looked at me, and told her son to “quit it.” As I grabbed my bread, I quietly said to my daughter, “I feel so sorry for that little boy – he doesn’t stand a chance with a bully like that for a brother.”

The scenario I just laid out is about as involved as I get when there’s trouble around. I rarely push my nose into other people’s business to add in my two cents mainly because I don’t like it when other people do it to me. Had I said something to the mother, she’d more than likely would have told me to piss off and I would have spent the rest of the day feeling like shit. Or, I would have said something snotty back.

I won’t start it….but I certainly can finish it.

For instance, once a lady got all in my grill as I was getting in my car for not returning my “buggy” to the cart corale. I had instead, leaned it up against a post next to my car. (And sorry, but in my eyes only a dipshit calls it a “buggy”). I looked at her and said, “You know what? I have cramps and am currently bleeding through my pants. Tough shit.”

While I had no trouble talking back to her, I find it near to impossible to initate something like this. It is not my place to school people on how to live their life. I hate people who do that – but I gotta say, I admire them as well.

One time at work, many years back, I had to speak up about the lack of work that was being done by the people in my department. I was doing the lion’s share of the work, and I knew I had to confront them. But my trouble lies in being the accuser…I just can’t seem to do it. I could barely get the words out – it was as if my throat had closed up, and I began to cry.

Yet if the tables had been turned and someone pointed the finger at me? I would have had no problem opening up a can of whoop ass. I guess because when you defend yourself, you are justified. But if you point the finger? You are a bitch.

Here’s an example; I could sit on my front porch and watch a guy let his dog crap on my lawn and I would not yell at him to pick it up. That’s how I roll. Afterwards I’d think of all sorts of scenarios where I tell the guy off and come out the big hero, but in real life I’d never actually confront him.

On the other side of the coin, if I have something good/helpful to tell you, no problemo. You drop your wallet? I’ll hand it back to you. Left your gas cap open? I’ll honk and point it out. Have one item in the check out line? Of course you can go in front of me.

But if you have something in your teeth or your tag is hanging out, my lips will usually stay zipped because although helpful, that could cause you embarassment and that’s where it all falls apart for me. I’m so odd.

Last fall a UVA student, Hannah Graham, was murdered in our town. You may have heard of her. There were several witnesses that saw her drunk and saw her being taken away by the man that eventually (I should say allegedly, but I won’t) killed her. All these people saw her, and nobody questioned who this man was, or asked if she needed help. And off she stumbled to her death, with her killer’s arm around her.

But who am I to assign blame…had I been there, she’d still be dead. I wouldn’t have said anything either.

Yep, I am as spineless as they come. Maybe that’s why I never went very far in life.

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