Last night is a perfect example of what an ugly person I am on the inside and the reason I tell people I am not a nice person. I try so hard to not be judgmental of other people and their lifestyles, their social class, their religion, or their politics but then I go somewhere, like a ballpark in a more rural area in our county and I realize what a snob I am.
So last night I go to the ballpark with an old friend to watch another old friend coach his daughter’s softball team. I was immediately nervous about going. I am not a ballpark mom. I am not one of those women who wear a team supporting t-shirt with a chair pulled right up to the fence who hollers at all the players and the umpires through out the game. When I started having kids I spent years watching my sister do the ballpark thing with her two boys and I knew that is not how I wanted to spend my weekday afternoons or my weekends. Luckily none of my kids have acted interested in playing baseball, softball, basketball, or football.
Being at the ballpark made me incredibly anxious and I was totally out of my element, as were my Anne Klein three inch slingbacks. It also made me quickly realize that deep down I am a horrible person. See, when I was sitting there in the stands trying to watch the game, I was distracted by all the people around me. For instance a family who had five children sat to the left of me. Their children were young and were inappropriately dressed for such a cool night. The baby had no socks on or hat and one little girl had a tank top on with shorts. But not only were they inappropriately dressed, they were dirty and one of their little girls who looked about two was sucking a ring pop and it was all over her face and her curly hair was all matted with sticky gunk in it. Another one of their children was running around barefoot. AT A BALLPARK. To say the least, I was mortified.
I really don’t care if people are rich or poor, and I am not sure if this is a cultural difference or a class difference but I just don’t think its right to let your children run loose in a ballpark, much less do it barefoot. Also there is something to be said for keeping your children clean and well kept. I know children get dirty and get messy but don’t take them out in public looking like Pigpen. Comb their hair, wipe their faces, and if you have little kids consider a damp wash cloth in a plastic bag for when you go out in public to wipe sticky messes and snot dripping from their noses. It isn’t cute or endearing to have a child that looks like they just washed in syrup and rolled around in the dirt.
It is also in these times that I find myself to be the most judgmental of peoples parenting. I swear you could write an entire book on how not to parent a child by watching parents at a ballpark in rural Alabama. While by no means am I a perfect parent, it just seemed to me that many of these parents were treating their kids more like pets or herded cattle than like little human beings. I also was totally turned off by how invested some of the parents were in their child’s softball games. I’m all for some healthy competition but it isn’t a do or die situation, after all it is just a game. And if it wasn’t the appearance of the kids that got me or how their parents treated them it was definitely the food they were consuming. Many of the kids I saw last night were fat. I am not talking baby chubbiness or slightly over weight, I am talking obese. These kids were eating nothing but pure junk, and lots of it topped with a sugary drink. I would like to believe that this was just a once a week thing on game nights but by the looks of many of these kids that was just not the case. It makes me sad that these parents don’t realize the life long world of hurt they are causing their children by not giving them a healthy diet now while they are young. And as a fat girl myself, I am sure that comes across as very hypocritical.
I admit it, I am a snob. When I take my kids out in public I want them to look their best, even in their play clothes. I fix their hair and make sure their little faces are clean. I want them to make a good impression when they meet people out in public. I don’t want the first thing a stranger notices about my child is that they are snot nosed and dirty with mussed up hair. I also want them to have manners because I believe it shows decency and respect. Shoes are required, and while I am a barefoot type of girl, out in public with bare feet is just gross. I think its tacky to smoke cigarettes not only during your child’s game, but around children in general and I don’t think it shows good sportsmanship to chatter and yell things at the other kids or coaches on the opposite team. O, and least I forget, could you please teach your child to throw their trash in the trash can and spit their gum in it too by setting the example and do it yourself.
I am sure someone will comment that this probably has something to do with income, and I assure you it doesn’t. Many of the people I saw tonight most likely have middle class incomes, especially if the cars they drove were any indication or the jewelry the ball park moms had on their hands. Income has very little to do with it, but more of the mentality that these people had. I couldn’t help but feel like I was surrounded by white trash and I know that makes me a judgmental bitch.
I am sure I have now riled up ball park moms and dads from around the country with my stereotyping and that is okay. If I could I would buy all of you a corn dog and cheesy fries to show my deepest apologies if I infringed on your sensitivities. I have told my readers time and time again I am not a nice person and here is an example of the ugliness that I harbor inside of me. I’m a snob, plain and simple.