A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. Mahatma Gandhi Click To Tweet
I was driving home from a writer’s meeting, It was dark, quiet and I was looking forward to spending some QT with my little sis. As I was driving down her street, I noticed 3 pre-teen girls, standing in a pod of teenness on the sidewalk, watching me drive by. I noticed them, and when they noticed me one of the girls burst into a very crude and exaggerated gyrating gesture towards me…and I was like…
“What the heck?! Did that really just happen to me from a bunch of preteens?” I was shocked. My mind began to race… Who do they think they are, where are their parents, I should talk to them, no that’s too intimidating…Sarah, if you’re intimidated by a bunch of gyrating mini teens you have a problem, what would Jesus do?!” K, I really didn’t ask what Jesus would do, but in this split second of thought, I decided to respond.
I slammed on my breaks.
“I slammed them so hard my tires squealed and I looked in my rear view mirror. I could see the girls jump. I slammed it in reverse. As the white lights shone from the back of my little red car, one of the girls, the gyrating one to be exact, BOLTED across the street to hide behind a trailer. The other 2 stood frozen, abandoned by their fellow fellan. I slowly unrolled my window.
“Excuse me” I asked, unsure how I was going to handle this.
They didn’t respond, they were frozen in fear.
“Can you please explain to me, why you felt you needed to do that?”
“do what?” they lied through tight pressed lips.
“Do you really think it’s kind to make crude gestures to strangers driving by?” I persisted.
“what, we don’t know what you’re taking about” they denied again
UGH…I soon realized that a “mother lecture” wasn’t going to cut it, as they denied, and refused to offer any insight into their vulgar street entertainment. I said a small prayer in my head, and prayed for wisdom, and I soon felt a need to tell them how to behave not how not to behave.
So, I decided to chat with them, woman to woman.
“You know you girls are very beautiful” I changed my tone
Their heads popped up from their lying chins.
“Thank-you” they responded, wanting to hear more.
“As a woman” I said gently “Beauty, and kindness are some of the greatest qualities a woman can have, there is no need to be vulgar and rude, it doesn’t suit you”
“Thank you” they trembled again, wishing I would leave, but wanting to hear more.
I told them to be kind, and let their gentleness be made known to all men. well, I didn’t say it like that, I tend to use the word DUDE a lot when I talk to teens, it’s embarrassing, but they got the point.
I rolled up my window, after wishing them a better night, and slowly drove forward. As expected, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the gyrating perpetrator come out of hiding and run back to her friends, who were still looking at me driving away, and trying to laugh it off with their friends like it was no big deal. I definitely gave them something to giggle about for a few days.
However, I can’t help thinking the conversation after went like this.
“OMG, what did she say?!”
“Oh she just said, bla, bla, bla, bla ,bla we are beautiful…”
If that’s the only thing they hear out of that lecture, then I am glad.
I drove to my sisters, pumped full of teen freedom fighting power. We had a glass of wine and some lime dark chocolate!
I could have this amazing closing for this blog post, but this situation brings up too many thoughts. Thoughts like, the issue of teen girls and their new found fad of being crude, and sexually aggressive. I could turn it to an issue of how women are supposed to mentor younger women, I could also turn it into a post on responding in the opposite spirit in situations and so on. But, what I learnt from this, is that those girls were beautiful, and that it made me sad to see them act so stupid, and I am glad I stopped, and I felt like I made a difference after, even if the one who did it was in hiding.
Sometimes we all need to start slamming our breaks, reversing our momentum and face this culture head on. If we just keep driving on to avoid awkward tension then we change nothing, and life just keeps gyrating.Sometimes we all need to start slamming our breaks, reversing our momentum and face this culture… Click To Tweet
There! That’s the perfect close!