People watching is the best show on earth...

Oct 8, 2007

Mend Me

. Oct 8, 2007


I'm standing in the ticket line for the movie, "Into the Wild", this afternoon. The line is about 20 deep and moving at a snail's pace. I glance left and right at my line neighbors. There are a good number of young children bouncing around their adults waiting along with me. There is laughing, little feet slapping cement as they run up and down the length of the lines. A little girl and her brother on my left are slightly ahead of me with their mother. They are white and quite well behaved. Both watch the other children frolic. The girl, about seven, has sandy blond hair in a ponytail with a purple glitter clip. She wears a light green smock with big purple flowers and purple leggings. She twirls her ponytail with her fingers. Her mother suddenly looks below the girl's upheld arm and sticks her finger through a hole in the dress seam:

Mom: Oh, honey, there's a hole.
Daughter: (gasps) Oh noooo! We just got this! I love this dress! Mom you have to fix it!
Mom: (examining the hole closer) Hhhmm. Maybe this was already here when we bought it.
Daughter: Mom! You have to fix it! I wanna wear this to school. Can you fix it? Mom?
Mom: Well don't worry. Yes, I can fix it.
Daughter: I can't wear stuff with holes! They'll make fun of me like the Mexican girl.
Mom: What girl?
Daughter: The girl who wears pants with holes. She's gross.
Mom: Honey she probably can't help that.
Daughter: Well her mom should fix the holes.

We stand next to each other now in our respective lines. The girl looks over at me and I am caught staring. Immediately she folds her arms and clenches the hole in the seam with a little fist. She looks at the ground until they reach the ticket window.

20 Whispers:

Leann I Am said...

Wow! From a child's viewpoint...that's awesome! I hope the hole humbled her a little. Then again, maybe not. She has plenty of years to become humble.

kml said...

Out of the mouthes of babes.....

Jolly Green Girl said...

I really enjoyed reading your stories. You have a gift with words... and keen observation. :)

Vienne said...

Thank you Jolly Green Girl. I'm happy you liked listening in on what I've heard.

Anonymous said...

Hello Vienne, The story you helped create, "Mercy, South Dakota" is now posted. I most say out of all the stories I have written for weekly shorts this one proved to be the most difficult. Here is the url:
I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I appreciate your participation in my project. Please stop by again,

Vienne said...

Jenn, I loved "Mercy, South Dakota"! Thank you for spending time creating a character for me. I liked Slow Joe and I'm glad he defended defended a damsel in distress. Readers, check out Jenn's blog at the url above and request a story, if you like. I enjoyed the experience!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

From the mouth of babes...:D

Practical child, exceptional mother.

This is one blog that's a must see!!!

Hugs, JJ

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

From the mouth of babes... :D

I pray the Mexican girl has new clothing soon!!!

Practical child and exceptional mother. :D

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Love your posts, always get me thinking.

Vienne said...

Thanks, Bob. I wonder if this little girl treated her classmate any differently after experiencing torn clothing herself. Hope so.

Mr. Grudge said...

I hope the girl's mom had a nice talking to with her daughter about predjudice after that.

Some Girl said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoyed your blog, quality posts, not filled with ads and awesome layout and banner at the top. ! :)

Vienne said...

Hi Mr. Grudge, I hope so too. What a great teaching moment.

Thanks, Some Girl! I enjoyed your blog, as well. And happy 21st birthday next week! That post of yours reminded me of some of the best years memories.

Digital Art Photography for Dummies said...

Mexican girl+holes in clothes=marginalization

bob said...

"the mexican girl" ...
"she's gross" ...

i think mommy needs to impart a little more wisdom on this privileged little white girl.

i'm probably being a little tough but i was just at a restaurant enjoying a nice meal, when an empty headed bigot at the table next to me asked the busboy (who was an older man) if he was a "wetback", and when the busboy didn't answer him, he asked again.

that kind of spineless idiocy starts with undiscussed "she's gross" from a seven year old.

thanks for giving me an opportunity to spew my feelings on this one. it just bothers me.

whew ... i'm feeling better now.


Vienne said...

I understand what you're saying, Bob. That's a terrible exchange you witnessed at the restaurant. It is so important to address prejudices in children. Maybe the experience opened the child's eyes to the other little girl's reality.

AntiBarbie said...

Great idea for a blog. I live in the city and I hear all kinds of crazy stuff of a daily basis. Thanks for the read!

Vienne said...

Hi Anti-Barbie (gotta say again, GREAT name!), thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy what I hear.

Lisa McGlaun said...


Maybe it did give the child a dose of reality and maybe it didn't. I hope the mother learned something too about the workings of her little girl's mind. I think the girl is reacting typically.

I heard Dr. Bill Cosby the other day on Face the Nation. He said that parenting has changed in the last two decades and we have lost our ability to correct the characters of our children. We just don't do it for whatever reason..time, laziness...and allow them to use other, TV, Internet, other children to form their values in a vaccuum.

I think that is often true.

Thanks Vienne and how was the movie? I'm going to see it this weekend.

Vienne said...

Hello Lisa! That's a wise observation by Dr. Cosby. It really does come down to character - behavior, ethics, values, I think are all by- products of character. The movie was fantastic and haunting all at once. There's also some parenting lessons in the story. I think you'll enjoy it. I really did.


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