Some Random-Ish from the past few days....
Friday when it snowed and it was the day after the Sun's school winter concert (they were brilliant by the way, my little kiddie friends) we overslept by hours. Which is just as well... the Sun was tired and had been begging for a day off and I hadn't been able to sleep anyhow, and plus we both needed our hair done.
So we came into the city by subway. It was snowing off and on but there was already a goodly amount of snow on the ground.
Around Parkchester, some rowdy Dominican High School kids got on, throwing snow at each other and roughhousing. I know they were Dominican cuz they were talking about it and trying to out-DR each other. I remember being a rowdy teen on the subway, and usually I let stuff go by me, and usually within a few stops folks settle down.
But two in particular were overstepping themselves, and at every stop one of them would step outside the car (we were still above ground), scoop up armloads of snow and bring it in to the car, where they would proceed to make snowballs and throw them at each other. The Sun and I were sitting in a corner seat and were out of the way but further down the car a few people sat, one of them an elderly gentleman. A snowball grazed him on its way to the intended target--another teen--and the guy jumped and brushed himself off and never looked up or made eye contact with the offending teen.
This pissed me off... not so much because the guy got hit... not so much because the teen barely acknowledged what he'd done, but because the old man was intimidated enough not to make eye contact. I was on the phone with CrazyNicaraguanChick but I got mad enough to yell at the kid "HEY! You all need to stop that. Stop bringing snow in here!"
They ignored me. This pissed me off even more. But I noticed that the majority of the group had gotten off, and the few remaining kids began to shift uncomfortably and sat down. Except for the two assholes. At the next stop, as if to prove his point that he was young and invincible, the kid brought in and even larger pile of snow, dumping it on the seat. A middle-aged, stockily built, bald-headed Hispanic man got on and sat down. The snow sort of slid down his way, and he reached out to stop it with his hand, but I could see the wheels click in his head that he was going to let the incident go. He made himself small, put on his headphones and sat down.
But the big kid got bolder. And I got madder. Especially because the Sun was sitting next to me, and was also getting a little nervous. "Mommy, can we move to another car?" "No," I said. "I'm not tolerating bad behavior today. Not today". I said it loudly enough for the kids to hear, catching the Hispanic dude's eye in the process. I noticed he nodded. I said to him "they are being so disrespectful, I HATE when kids act like that!"
At the next stop when the kid brought in even more snow and dumped it on the seat, I finally couldn't take it anymore. CNC heard I wasn't paying attention to her anymore and hung up. We were still above ground, and I looked around the car, sizing up who was going to back me up if there was trouble, and calculating how long it would take Transit Police to reach us if I dialed 911. In the meantime I yelled at the kid "YO!!! STOP THAT! STOP PUTTING SNOW ON THE SEAT! You're making it dangerous for people, AND, nobody can sit there now cuz it's all wet!"
The little fucker looked at me and said "well then they can just go in the next car then!"
"You know what?" I said to him, "You're just being plain old disrespectful, and you KNOW you're being disrespectful!" But I realized he wasn't going to stop. I was fuming. The Hispanic dude across from me took off his headphones.
The skinnier kid of the two suddenly felt his balls and yelled at the guy "WATCHOO LOOKIN AT GRANDPA, WHATCHOO GON DO!".
Hispanic dude exploded. "I'm telling you, you don't want none of this. I'm warning you, don't mess with this. It's NOT something you want to do". And then he got up very slowly, took off his jacket and folded it neatly on the seat, took off his hoodie, folded that neatly as well and placed it next to his jacket, and then sat down. Without his headphones.
The kids got off two stops later with some verbiage but no real fanfare. I looked at the Hispanic dude and laughed. "I just wasn't in the mood to tolerate that shit today. I'm tired of these kids thinking they can get away with everything." The Dude laughed.
The Sun looked mortified, trying to look as small as he possibly could, frantically playing his DS. I looked at him and said "and if I EVER catch you acting like that I'm gonna bust your ass!!!" The Dude laughed. The Sun kind of giggled.
When we were getting off the train, the Dude said to the Sun "You take care of your mom" and the Sun smiled. I asked him, the Sun, if he had been scared, and he said "I was scared of YOU, Mom! I've never heard you yell like that!"
Which is kinda funny, cuz I yell at the kid all the time, but I guess he hasn't ever really seen me go at it with other people, cuz it's not something I do often. I puff up like I will, but I rarely really go all out.
I told him I didn't mean to scare him, and I told him why I felt comfortable taking the kids on... that the "pricklies" on the back of my neck that indicate mental issues/unpredictability hadn't gone off, so I knew the kids were merely being bullies and weren't really crazy. If I'd felt they were mentally unstable or high, I wouldn't have tangled with them. And I had also felt that the Spanish dude would back me up, because he looked "Oldskool" enough not to let a young kid mess with a woman when the woman was in the right. It was a risk... but it was pretty calculated. And I told the Sun all this so that he would practice observing things and behavior around him, in order to be able to gauge the safety level of his environment.
Plus, I knew if somebody came at me I was mad enough to beat their ass...
Christmas Day when CNC drug me out of my den, she took me over to some friends of hers she'd grown up with in Nicaragua. There were cousins and friends and inlaws, and she had told me there would be good food and music and booze. But when we got there, the inlaws had cooked and thrown the party.
Now, the inlaws were Caucasian. The husband himself was pretty cool. He had met his wife in a bar in the Bronx somewhere, and fallen in love. Tiny very Indian looking chick.... complete opposite to him who was tall and well, very Bronx. But they fell in love and he'd learned a passable amount of Spanish in two years and they married and now had a baby girl.
His parents though, had decided to have Christmas dinner for the Nicaraguans, but instead of maybe having everyone chip in a dish and sort of reflect the blend of the family, they instead cooked a very Bronx Caucasian spread; a huge ham, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, creamed broccoli and veggies. But the dip for the veggies was seafood, and they also had a huge bowl of shrimp, and I couldn't touch that. And I don't eat ham. And CNC doesn't eat meat, so we picked. The Nicaraguan side of the family ate gingerly, complaining about the lack of music and booze in Spanish, but wouldn't leave because it was rude. And the Filipino sister-in-law was there with her most adorable baby who was suffering from allergies, and it was entertaining to watch the Nicaraguan relatives who spoke little English, speak to the ones who did who could translate to the Filipino whose English was also passable, in order to give her tips about what to do...
Added to this, as I was observing all this multi-culti, I got a message through Crackbook from the Sun's Albanian side of the family. Out of the blue. I'm guessing the Sun came up in casual Christmas dinner conversation, and Cuzzo must have volunteered that I'd tried to contact him on Crackbook. And in typical SD-side-of-the-family-taciturn-ness, all the message said was "How's [the Sun] doing?" No "Merry Christmas" or "Hey, how are you?"
So I wrote back "wow, Merry Christmas!" and proceeded to tell him how well the Sun was and what he was up to. A few short minutes later the message comes back "My mom wants to know if you have a recent picture." So that meant he was with his mom, who by-the-way was Irish. I told Cuzzo add me as a friend on Crackbook, there were many pictures... and also on Flickr.
A few beats go by and the message comes back "My aunts think he's cute." Which meant not only was he with his his mom, but his aunts as well. I wrote back that of course he was cute... he looked like his dad. And that was the last I heard from him.
Which could lead me to another rant about how that side of the family-- the aunts in particular, never really followed up with the Sun, even when I let them know they were more than welcome to be part of his life, no matter what was going on with SD. So to hell with them, too.
An amusing thing about Cuzzo is that he's one of those people who roleplays historical periods, but his historical period of choice is Genghis Kan's. Go figure.
People amuse the hell out of me, yet piss me off all at the same time....