Thursday, September 27, 2007


What happened to being nice? What happened to common courtesy? I'm beginning to think they ran off together.

This past Saturday, while Joe was working with some recruiters at a local fair, people were rude to him. Why, you ask? Because he was in uniform and apparently the whole reason for the War on Terror.

While at the fair, one woman (I cannot use the term lady) came up to Joe and started to mouth off how disgusted she was by him and how he was causing their children to be killed. She kept ranting and raving about things and taking out her frustrations on Joe. Personally. Joe told her that she should thank the veterans in this country that she can talk the way she does because if she lived in another country, she'd be shot for talking like that.

You know, blaming (and yelling at) Joe for the war is like me blaming fast food restaurant cashiers for obesity. Seriously.

I'm learning that respect, appreciation, and even simple common courtesy are too much to ask from some people. And it's really sad.

Another incident that happened to Joe on Saturday. While standing at the Humvee, a child came and spat on him. That's real nice. And, to make it more special, the parents said and did nothing. No apology from either the parents or the child. The parents did nothing. What kind of society are we raising? I'm sure that kid learned it from someone. And, you know, we don't know if this child was HIV-positive. He could be. We don't know.

On Tuesday when I took Sawyer to have his portrait taken, another customer completely blocked the entrance to the only doorway in the studio. I was trying to leave and her cart was there. Except for a 4" gap, she was blocking the entire entrance. She made no attempt to even slide it out of the way as I walked up. Had it not been for two children in the cart, I probably would have moved it myself. Spenser hunched over and went under. I stood there, with Sawyer on my hip and I just looked at this woman. After a few minutes (only after telling Spenser to wait for me because I was stuck in the store, hint, hint), she finally asked "Can you fit through?" Flattered? Yes. Able to fit through a 4" gap? No.

A little common courtesy goes a long way.

My son, Jackson (6 1/2), talks a lot. In fact, he's been getting into trouble at school for talking so much. Not any serious grievances, just little ones. He's gotten in trouble for talking in the hallway line, in the bathroom, in music class (instead of singing). Those kinds of things. After the fifth time this new school year, I had had enough of his shenanigans. I made him write an apology to his teacher. He had to be accountable for his behavior. (He also lost computer privileges at home as his punishment for each account.)

Since that day, Jack has not gotten into trouble. I'm not saying it won't happen again, but at least he is learning. He's learning that it is disrespectful to his teacher and her time to misbehave. He's learning that other children may not be able to listen if he is talking.

If my son spat on another person like that, on purpose? Oh boy. Not only would I be apologizing profusely and forcing my son to apologize, I would be leaving the fair and teaching my son the lesson of courtesy.

[And just a note. Not all people are like the ones I described above. There are times when people (mostly men in my observations) will come up to Joe, shake his hand, and thank him for his service to the country. Sadly, it has also been my observation that most of the mouthy ones are women.]


Anonymous said...

such a generation gap. RESPECT. i believe that is one of the BIG ones to teach our children!

Karyn said...

Wow! Such incredible stories Lera. There's no excuse for rudeness like that, EVER!

And,I'm sure you could have fit through a 4" gap if you went sideways!! he he he

Anonymous said...

You can't get HIV from someone's spit.

Katie Jean said...

aaaaaaaaagh.. I would have been so mad. It makes me mad just to think of someone coming up to Joe and saying such disgusting things. Not only is there a lack or respect, but I also think a lack of education.

At least you know you're doing a good job with your little ones!

One Sweet Life said...

I have been reading (and lovin' your inspiraltional blog) for a while & would like to say hi and oh my goodness! I can not believe people would EVER behave like that to a service-person. You guys risk your LIVES for our country and stick up for us when no one else will ... I could not imagine letting my children disrespect him like that!!! It's thanks to his hard work (and others) that my babies have been kept safe and we owe him nothing less than an amazing amount of gratitutde! I am so disgusted that people would behave that way. At least your teaching your children to behave better than that! :)

laeroport said...

Oh, honey. You know my personal feelings on the war, but I so admire and am grateful for your Joe and our friend Joe for what they do for our country.

I think ever since Vietnam there has been a different attitude in the country toward the military. I watched a bit of the Ken Burns WWII documentary last night and thought about that "greatest generation" and how they were treated with respect. They lived through the Depression and went on to war. Our generation has never known the hardships that they knew. We are soft and expect things to be handed to us. It is sad to think that you must go through such hardship to come though with compassion and respect and common courtesy.

And that is one of my greatest goals as a parent: to raise kind and respectful children who are truly grateful for what they have and don't have a feeling of entitlement.

And I'm sure those parents TOLD that kid to spit. And he probably got cotton candy as a reward after the fact.


Lora said...

Oh Lera. some people are just so stupid (don't tell my kids I said a bad word please!) Sorry your hubby gets these rude people to take out their frustrations on him.

diana said...

that kind of behavior is not caled for ever!!
i do hope that you are having a better day today!!!!!

Little Munchkins said...

That's horrible. I can't imagine how upsetting it must be. I think it is great that you are teaching Jack from such a young age and that he is learning from it too.

Now trying to imagine how slim one must be to slip past that gap.

capello said...

we went out to eat last week, and this kid (who was at least five) was kicking the bench (on my back) and all his parents said to him was "please stop" and "you've been having a good day today, doncha wanna stop kicking?" and finally i turned around and said, "you're really lucky you have such nice parents. if you were my kid i'd take you outside, spank your butt and make you come in an apologize to all the strangers you're bothering."

and i DO that too. i absolutely make my children apologize to people for their horrible behavior. if they scream in a store, i make them walk around to everyone and apologize for hurting their ears.

this behavior of people is absolutely ridiculous. and then people wonder why our society is getting so fucked up.

and anonymous, person who won't use a name, you can get HIV for from saliva if it comes in contact with an open wound. it's rare, but it has happened. brush up on your facts before running your mouth off and making blanket statements.

Sarah and Jack said...

What is with the anon comment anyway? If that is what you want to say, then just say it, I didn't really find it offensive (uninformed perhaps.) Sigh.

I have noticed a lot of rudeness here lately too. Not spitting, thank goodness, but the other day I didn't drive off from a stop light at 900 mph the very second the light turned green and some fool rolled down his window, cursed and gave me the finger. With my kid in the car. Just lovely. And sadly it wasn't the first, or last time, recently.

Anyway, it is one thing to have a political view that is not supportive of war, I can certainly appreciate that, but, it is quite another to be disgusting to another human being over it.

Anonymous said...

"HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients. It is important to understand that finding a small amount of HIV in a body fluid does not necessarily mean that HIV can be transmitted by that body fluid. HIV has not been recovered from the sweat of HIV-infected persons. Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV."

The reason I posted anonymously is because of people like capello. I am a very polite person who never makes rude comments to people, even when they are deserved. I teach my children to be respectful of all human life.

I love this blog. I read it every day and I don't want to come to this site for political discussion. I read it to relax and get a little laugh. I don't believe in cursing or using any type of violence. I respect all people for their beliefs.

amandajean said...

the boy spitting on Joe (and his parents saying nothing) has got my blood boiling!!!

rohanknitter said...

Well, this mouthy woman ; ) says thank you very much to your husband and every other person who serves our country in the military. The behavior he experienced is UNbelievable. Not to mention disgusting and a bunch of other words I won't use.
I have to agree with you based on the behavior I regularly witness, common courtesy is almost extinct. And the things I see children do in public often amaze me. It amazes my children!!

randi---i have to say said...

I can't believe that someone could be so rude and disrespectful! We have a neighbor who is in the army and has similar problems.

I think it is OK to voice an opinion against the war BUT individuals who serve deserve the utmost respect. An opinion like the ones expressed belong in the editorial section of the newspaper or on a blog, and definitely should be expressed without spitting or screaming at someone!!!

Many thanks to Joe for serving our country. We all benefit from his work.

nikki said...

OMGosh! A kid spit on him? What the hell?
Yay for Joe for telling that woman like it is. Double yay for Joe for serving our country!

capello said...

From the American Red Cross site: "In 1997, the CDC reported a case of HIV transmission likely caused by open-mouth kissing between a man with HIV and his woman partner. After much study, researchers concluded that blood in the man’s saliva most likely infected the mucus membranes in the woman’s mouth."

Saliva isn't always saliva alone. Second of all, you claim to respect people's beliefs. Don't mix up beliefs with facts. I respect people as well and everyone's diverse beliefs, but when someone gets a FACT wrong I point it out. It's the nerd in me.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is the last comment I will comment about this topic. It is the nerd in me also to point out when someone is wrong with facts. Incorrect facts spread incorrect truths.

The article you cited says the following "AIDS (a result of HIV infection) is caused by a virus (HIV). There are no known cases of saliva by itself spreading HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). The possibility that saliva can spread HIV is considered only theoretical because --

* Saliva contains proteins that reduce the ability of HIV to infect cells.
* Researchers very rarely are able to isolate HIV in saliva.
* There are only small amounts of HIV in the saliva of people with HIV, even in the saliva of people with bleeding gums or sores in the mouth. However, there have been extremely rare cases of transmission by severe human bites, in which the HIV-positive person’s saliva contained visible blood.

Hopefully no one was planning on open mouth kissing while the spitting was going on!

I did not mean to get into this back and forth debate. I should have just ignored the comment and gone on with my day. Again, it also was the nerd in me.

Again, I am sorry if I offended anyone with my comments. I really only meant to set a fact straight.

I don't think the child should have spit at all. It is just down right gross! What you probably could have caught was his cold!

Anonymous said...

Sorry the open mouth kissing thing was supposed to be a joke. The American Red Cross article went on to say that prolonged open mouth kissing is not recommended when someone has HIV. I thought I pasted that part in..but I didn't, so it was all confusing.

Again, sorry. I will never post a comment again! (at least on this blog)...isn't this a blog??

Kathy said...

Such a hot topic! In my opinion some people would rather blame someone in plain sight, such as Joe, for something they don't believe in when he has no bearing on the decision for our country to wage a war on terror. Whether you support the war or not I feel you should support the men and women who committed themselves to serve our country. And I am in shock of the behavior of these people! Come on! Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? Let's be respectful of others!!

Wendy said...

I am completely against the war, but I very much respect and appreciate the HUGE sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made. I just want them home safely.

Also, I do have to say this about the spitting... I would have smacked my kid and made them write a formal apology if they had done something like that (and I don't even spank).

And this about HIV... my brother is HIV positive and when we talked with his doctor (who happens to be one of the best in the country) about precautions we needed to take to protect ourselves and our kids around him, he said that we could even share silverware with him, we won't be getting it from spit.

I read your blog often and I was taken aback slightly that you would even bring up HIV in association with rude and hateful people. I'm sure that wasn't your intent, but I just wanted to let you know.

I agree with you about the rest of it, though, rude unthinking people are everywhere. Even though, I am shocked and appalled that so many people treat your husband that way! If you think he'd care, you can tell him that a liberal feminist in Colorado appreciates everything he's done for our country. We're all in this together.

atet said...

You know I had hoped people in this country had realized that that kind of behavior was just plain wrong. I thought Vietnam had taught us that lesson. I hate being wrong. No matter your views on the war -- the men and women who are serving their country and fighting are to be thanked. They are doing their job. They are doing a job I KNOW I couldn't do. They deserve respect for that alone, despite any differences in politics with this, or any other, administration.

As for the parents -- they should be ashamed of themselves and their child. I wonder how they will feel when they are the ones on the other end of that spit bomb? And they will be -- since they've already taught the little brat that it's acceptable.

jojo* said...

I'm so sorry that people were disrespectful to your husband. He and others who serve our country deserve our utmost gratitude for the sacrifices they make. It's unbelievable the rudeness (and idiocy) in some people out there. Kinda makes you want to just hide out at home.

p.s. You know you've arrived when you start getting comments from anonymous!!! Yay you! ha ha

Becky said...

I too have noticed a lack of respect in children and am appalled. My husband and I have had many discussions on the fact that my style of parenting is more "me parent you child you do what I say" and he wants to reason with them and give into tantrums. I truly believe that you have to take control when they are young or you will never be able to be in charge when they are older.

I truly sad thing about those people being rude to your husband is that they probably never do anything against the war that really matters like writing letters to their politicians or joining political action groups. It's far easier to yell at the soldier on the street than to put in real work to get the political change you want.

Sarah and Jack said...


I only want to say that "political discussions" are very much a part of everyone's life right now. I am sure that is quite true for Lera and her family, as they are a military family. I am sorry to hear you say you don't want to come here to read about such things.

I am very much against this war, but knowing Lera, knowing her family, it makes the war "human" for me. It definitely changes how I feel about people who have different political views than my own, and in a positive way.

For me, it turns soldiers into fathers and husbands, which is something I can relate to 100%, instead of just pictures on the television.

I guess my point is that blogging can't, and shouldn't, be all sweetness light all the time. It really is the (somewhat) more complete picture that allows to connect in a more personal way, isn't it?

TinkerBlue said...

Ahh Lera I'm sorry Joe had to experience that. I don't necessarily believe in war, but I do support the men and women in the troops who do serve. Who make it possible for me to have the life I do. I do respect them. I appreciate what they do.

Respect is a huge thing. Whatever our own beliefs and values are, we should still respect others. Spitting on/at someone is not acceptable. Ever.

FinnyKnits said...

I know I'm a day late on this and my comment is way down the list - but this kind of thing stirs me up because YOU KNOW that woman and the parents of the spitty kid are never going to write to their congressmen or do anything about their disagreement with the war other than bothering soldiers who have ponied up their own lives to protect our country.

Next time something like this happens you should ask them if they even vote or whether they've written their congressmen about their concerns. Because the soldiers that fight for our country are doing so to protect our right to do so and should be respected for it.

And, if she insists on spitting, go to the White House and place blame/phlegm where it's due. And for godssake - VOTE!

No one votes and it pisses me off.

Brandy said...

Oh, that's just horrifying on all accounts. I just don't understand why people are so rude. I am so not an outspoken person and it just befuddles me that there are individuals that are comfortable acting that way. Be proud of your man...I am. I can't imagine what our country would be like without them!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

OK, I will skip over the myriad of comments about the war and such. I 100% agree that pro or con the war, respect is due all around. I have best friends who see things totally differently than I do in life. But I love that- I love that we can interpret life differently and still love each other and our views.

But I do comment all the time on the ruddness of kids these days. I live in a city that is in a transition period. So while my street might be very nice, a block up might nice let's say. So in true city form, it is a very diverse area. Every other day I am ranting on my frustrations over the lack of respect and social skills that I see. My personal favorite pet peeve is when people will sort of yell down the block to each other. Instead of walking to speak to the person like normal, they will yell from at least a block away. And not yell like they are mad. No, yell an entire conversation. Ooooh- and those irritating cell phone walky-talky things that make that beep beep noise before every sentence as they talk (so loudly that the entire world can hear your conversation- that is rarely in what I would call proper English).

A few weeks ago I saw a kid spit in a shoe store. There was an older man standing in spit-distance and it totally got on the leg of his pants. He was not military btw- so perhaps this nasty kid spit thing is just a severe lack of manners? The kid's mom saw this and instead of informing the man (who's back was turned and was unaware of the spit) and saying sorry and such, she just quietly grabbed his hand and took him to another section of the store. Great lesson on how to avoid the truth and get out of trouble!

Anonymous said...

I am always shocked to see rude children misbehaving, and then seeing the parents totally oblivious to the behavior. It's just sad, really... It's also sad to see that so many citizens in this country are willing to be so disrespectful to the people who risk their lives for this country.Don't blame the solders -- blame the leaders.

I'm against the war, but I also voted for a different leader and made sure my congressman know that I was against the war when it was time to make that vote. Where were all these people who are now voicing their concerns against the war 4-5 years ago? And were they contacting their leaders making their opinions heard then? My guess is no...

Hope your week gets better. And love the blog.

vintagechica said...

As another mil. wife, you know this would piss me off. Such a trashy thing to do. Sorry your hubby has to deal with such crap. Mine hasnt yet, but he doesnt wear his uniform everyday like many have to.

Nothing but love to you all!!!

trishia said...

Thank you Joe for your service to our country. I am my oldest daughters Girl Scout leader and our troop loves to make and send cards to service men and women. If you wouldn't mind, could you email me your address so our troop could make a card for him? trishiag et gmail dit com