I had the most bizzaro experience when I went for lunch today. I went to a really decent, though not particularly cheap fish house here in our small town. I had the bad idea to eat in, and sat by a family consisting of a grandma, who appeared to be in her 60’s, a daughter, a grand-daughter who struck me as about 7, a grand-son who struck me as about 13, and another grand-son who struck me as approximately 18. I know they were all related based on the monikers they used for each other. Mom could have been in her late thirties, I am assuming, based on the 18-year-old calling her “mom”.
When I first sat down, I noticed the 7-year-old (let’s call her “Sue” for simplicity’ sake) grabbing food off her oldest brothers’ plate, chewing it up, and spitting it out into her mothers’ hand. Before I know it, Sue has hopped up and ran up to my table and grabbed a piece of fish off my plate, and says, “I can have this?”
I was a little shocked, and my first thought was, “Where have your hands been?”, so I said, “Sure…” with a puzzled expression.
She runs back to her table, takes a bite, chews it, says, “Yuck, I don’t like this,” and spits it into her Mom’s hand. Sue received no questions from Mom about where she got the piece of fish. Sue received no response whatsoever from Mom. There were three more tables with people eating in the restaurant
Sue ran to the next table, sticks her hand in the plate of the unsuspecting customer who had not been observing her, and says, “This is mine, now.” (Notice the progression of the demand after Sue saw her Mom was not going to set a firm boundary for her?) She runs back to her table, chews a little bit, says “Yuck” and spits the food back into her Mom’s hand. Mom and the rest of the family are still mostly ignoring her.
This pattern continued for the other table, until she came to a table of young service men and women eating. She put her hand in a young lady Sergeant’s plate, who gave her the food, but also asked her where her Mommy was.
The Sergeant walked to the table and very politely said, “Ma’am, I’ve noticed your daughter asking all the customers for food. With it being the holidays, if you can’t afford food for her, I would be happy to buy her lunch.”
The Mom replies, “She has food, but her family always shares their food with her.”
The Sergeant replies, “That’s terrific at home, but I would be concerned about her doing that in public, with strangers?”
To which the Mom replied, “SHE’S NOT IN PUBLIC. HER FAMILY IS HERE.”
The Sergeant and I exchanged puzzled looks and shrugged as she walked away. I don’t even know where to begin to rant on this one..