Saturday Night at the local Mall...
For those of you who've been visiting since the beginning... Glad to have you back!
To all of you:
When I started this site I didn't have a clear idea of exactly what I wanted it to be... Still don't!
However, I've always enjoyed writing so I know I'd like to infuse this little corner of the web with some of my musings... However odd they may be. I also would like to encourage YOU to make comments good and bad whenever you feel moved to do so.
Last night we decided to meet up with our friends and go out to dinner together. They took part in a neighborhood 'Yard Sale Day' and were preparing to put away all of the 'Crap' (for lack of a better word) they weren't able to unload. Some of... (strike that), MOST of the items were placed in a massive pile at the curb to piss off the trash collectors on Monday. I'm sure a few of those items will find a resting place with some 'dumpster divers' before then... In fact, while we were putting things away several of the items were being loaded into a van driven by a beaten down looking man who was accompanied by his maniacly grinning wife... But I digress...
After the clean up we headed out to a popular Mexican Restaurant... Too popular!!! The wait was 45 min. to and hour and some of us were really hungry! So we made a quick decision to head over to the food court at the mall (a good choice seeing as we had 7 people and that means a lot of different ideas on what's good to eat!) So we walked in to the food court area and weren't standing there but 2 minutes when we heard a loud scuffle of chairs suddenly rake the linoleum floor and a saw several dozen people jump up across the room. I wasn't sure what was going on... My first thought was that this was one of those internet pranks when a group of people plan online to meet at a pre-determined destination in order to gather together and make some sort of public statement... That would've been fun to witness but what we were witnessing was actually quite disturbing.
Two rather large teenage boys were throwing brutal punches at one another. While the teens around them looked on they began clapping and yelling "Fight, Fight!" The look of glee on their faces quite apparent. As this was taking place I could see the boys that were fighting were headed in our direction (near the doors that exit the mall) and I looked for my daughter to be sure she was clear of that area. When I caught sight of her and saw the look of sheer terror on her face I quickly made my way over to where she was standing and wrapped my arms around her. By this time the boys had made it out the door and I began searching for some sort of security presence to see that the situation was going to be taken care of before any more violence broke out. That's when my daughter began sobbing in my arms... She was extremely shaken by the whole incident... And our friends daughter just kept repeating, "I want to get out of here, I want to leave NOW!, I don't want to eat here!" As parents, I think our immediate reaction was, "It's okay, it was just a couple of boys fighting... Let's get something to eat, everything will be fine." Then our friends daughter began saying, "They could come back with guns!... I want to leave!"
You know, you don't really realize how much of the news your kids are taking in when they see a newspaper headline or hear a report on t.v. or radio. Truth is, they ingest it in some form because after we got into the car and started heading to our next destination in the quest for food they informed us of the very real danger of Angy Kids, Retribution and Guns. Society is SO different from when we were kids... Sure fights broke out and people stood around and watched and egged on the participants but never in fear that their own lives might end up in danger... Now, with gangs and violence so prevelant one never knows. When did the mall, a place to shop for a 'Mother's Day Card', grab a 'Cinnabon' and sit with your little kids while they throw a few pennies in the fountain become a site for gangs to hang out and flash their rival colors... When did it become a place where teens holler out expletives to one another while a mother sits nearby cutting up her sons hot dog from 'Surfside Fries'?... This is suburbia for God's sake... These aren't kids who are living in the projects... These are teens who are dropped off at the mall by their Mom's and Dad's driving their Chrysler mini vans and SUV's... Do they have a clue what their kids are doing at the mall while they're there? Or are they just dropping them off in an effort to get rid of them for a while... Let them find a way to entertain themselves?
Needless to say... My daughter has informed me that she will never again go to the mall in the evening. Now we're going to have to have the discussion about violence and how it can happen anywhere at anytime and it's important to live your life and not give in to fear... I just can't help but think she's too young to have to worry about such things.