People watching is the best show on earth...

Dec 1, 2007

No Christmas List This Year

. Dec 1, 2007

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Tonight it's raining in Southern California. The newscasts all have 'storm watch' for us fragile sun worshipers. We decide to fight the cold with some delicious hot Italian food for dinner and motor over to a popular ristorante down the street. It's Friday night crowded and we're seated in a booth behind another family with young teens. The kids, a teenaged girl and younger boy, sit behind me across from their parents. They are white, the females are blond and the males brunette. The dad talks on a cell as we're seated. The children joke and laugh with each other. Their father cannot hear his caller and tells them firmly to be quite. The call ends and their conversation resumes. After several moments:

Daughter: Mom, at lunch we were all talking about what we want for Christmas?
Mom: Yeah?
Daughter: Yeah, and I'm all, I really really really want a Juke. And Megan goes, me too! Isn't that funny? It's a really cool phone and it does so much stuff!
Mom: Yes, I know honey. You've told me that.
Daughter: Haha! I know but it's just sooooo killer. But do you know what's weird? Megan's friend Jen was all quiet and we're all, 'What are you asking for, Jen?' and she's like, I don't know. So we kept asking her and then she said her Mom said no Christmas list this year. She's not allowed. Can you believe that?
Mom: Well, maybe they're having trouble -
Dad: There's no reason to have financial trouble if the man of the house is a good provider. Simple as that. What does this girl's father do? Does he work?
Daughter: She said her Dad's in Iraq.

21 Whispers:

Dorion said...

All I can say is "wow." Man, that was a good post. What a message. It should be printed on Xmas cards.

mikster said...

I'd imagine, or hope, that comment that the other father was in Iraq shut the girl's father up. I think a lot of the military families are having trouble this year.

Vienne said...

Thanks, Dorion. My head snapped around when she said that. Normally I try to hide my eavesdropping but I just had to see her father's expression. He said little more than, "Hmm" and shoved some fries into his mouth. There were no words of assurance from the mom, either. Just silence.

Hello Mikster, I think you're right. What's something is that before I overheard this, I assumed that those with parents serving overseas just miss them terribly. I hadn't considered the financial impact on military families. And what a shallow man, huh? He must lead a charmed life to be so unempathetic.

Jamie said...

Wow! I bet the dad felt like a complete arse after that...then again with his attitude, he might not have. Sad...

Suburbian Queen

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

The military needs to pay more to the families who have soldiers putting their lives on the line. What a poignant story.

Hugs, JJ

Matt said...

One hell of a good twist. Best thing I've read all day actually.
Matt Maddox
www.eKettle.com

Vienne said...

Thank you Matt & JJ. I hope this family pulls through the holidays and beyond okay.

Bubbles said...

Wonderfully touching story. Shows how often we are engrossed in our own world - not giving a thought to those who are less fortunate.
p.s. The attitude of the father is just too much.

Vienne said...

Yes Bubbles, too, too much. Makes me wonder about the wife...is she proud of him? Do his provisions allow her to not work and are they teaching their daughter to accept nothing less? Or is he all talk? Fascinating to me where listening leads.

AntiBarbie said...

Reminds me of a conversation I overheard back when I worked in retail. The district manager stopped by and I overheard him saying to the store manager, "I hate people who say they can't afford to go on a vacation. Everyone can afford to take nice vacations every year if they just get some willpower and stop spending all the time."

People with money can become so far removed from reality that it's sickening.

AntiBarbie.net

deathsweep said...

The things you hear never cease to amaze me! What a response, I hope Mr. provider shut up after that one...actually...I would have loved to have heard what his response was, really.

Vienne said...

Hi AntiBarbie, it's amazing how people lose perspective isn't it? Or perhaps they never had much of a grip in the first place.

Hello Deathsweep, Mr. Provider I think provides a good deal of dangerous stereotypes for his children. He had no response at all. See above where I mention the garlic fries.

Spirit said...

Aww, that has to be so hard.
What a thing to be a child and not understand how the world works and having to deal with that, either from the girls POV or the daughter.

I hope the father will think twice next time he opens his mouth. ;)

Magdalen Islands said...

The conversation was heart-wrenching, beyond complete and it brings home the gravity of the situation.

Vienne said...

Hi Magdalen, you said it.

Leann I Am said...

That breaks my heart. Did the father have a reaction to that?

Vienne said...

Hello Leann! Yes he had I guess what you could call a reaction...see my "fries" comments above! Pathetic.

Lisa McGlaun said...

Vienne,

I was in So Cal on that day. Took the family to Universal Studios and braved the rain your spoke of. I should have called you!..we could have met for coffee! Darn, I wasn't thinking.

Great post with a touching twist. I hurt everyday for our soliders in Iraq. It's time to bring them home and put the families back together.

Hugs,
Lisa

Vienne said...

Hi Lisa, how are things? Too bad I missed your visit! Next time. Hope you enjoyed Universal.

Yes, I cannot imagine the lives on hold here waiting for loved ones to return. Then again, I guess that's the reality of it; time stops for no one and they return, if they're lucky, to families and friends that must seem somewhat unfamiliar so many months or years later. Unbearable.

Hoyeya said...

I can't believe how out of touch with reality some people are. Financial trouble can hit the hardest working folks in the world; it isn't a reflection of the people. *sigh* He should have had praises for the soldier in Iraq instead of shoving more fries into his mouth.

Sorry, things like that burn me up. I love reading your eavesdrop posts. Keep up the good work.

Missy Frye

Vienne said...

I'm with you, Hoyeya. A program that reminds me regularly of what you've said here is "Home Makeover". Do you have that show in your area? Often times, people who have run into financial trouble are chosen for a home remodel. Just the tip of the iceberg of upstanding citizens going through hard times, I think.

 

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