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07:08:2006 Entry: "Stan : Talking to strangers"

Talking to strangers

Today in a public restroom at Cave of the Mounds a child walked up next to the urinal I was using and said, "I didn't know girls peed standing up". I guess he couldn't tell what gender I was because of my pony tail.

I ignored the child and went to wash my hands when I heard an adult telling the child that I wasn't a girl. I am surprised though that the child wasn't told never to speak to strangers.

So... what do we have here??? and adult who allows their child to walk up to strangers in public restrooms and start conversations with them. I don't understand why parents are so permissive with their children these days.

19 Comments

Shoot, Dick! I'm so embarrassed that I wrote what I did without even checking to see if you wrote anything. I had no idea you did,, if I had, I wouldn't have written the thing about the restroom. My bad.

Posted by Ann @ 07:10:2006:09:31 AM CST

Maybe the kid doesn't have paranoid parents. Maybe the kids interested in the world around him. How refreshing.

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:10:2006:10:38 AM CST

I don't think telling your kids not to approach unknown men in restrooms is paranoid, I think it's common sense and looking out for their best interests. Maybe if the kid was actually interested in the world around him, he'd already realize not all men have crewcuts like daddy and bubba.

Posted by Ann @ 07:10:2006:10:45 AM CST

Maybe junior wasn't looking at Stan's hair?

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:10:2006:11:03 AM CST

And what...he thought Stan had a vagina? What? confused

The kid was very little...too little to understand the concept of sarcastic humour.

Posted by Ann @ 07:10:2006:11:09 AM CST

I'm assuming this kid was very young. Little kids just say stuff like that. They are not sarcastic - they make observations and they make comments - sometimes comments that are embarrassing or funny or whatever. That's why Bill Cosby had a show called "Kids Say the Darndest Things."

A very young child is no more going to differentiate (between what is socially acceptable) on making a comment concerning urination habits, ice cream cones or mud puddles.

After a certain age, then they (should) know better.

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:10:2006:11:19 AM CST

I recently got a child rearing book- ok, actually Bruce, 17 months, stole it. He dropped it into the cart that had just kids, not groceries and no one noticed. It was my fault, and if you have ever hauled 4 kids and a screaming husband all the way to the back of the parking lot of a busy grocery store, you will know why I didn't return it. Yes, I am a bad bad person and an going to hell for it.

"I don't understand why parents are so permissive with their children these days."

Sorry, my point is that the book says that parents were over permissive back in the 50s and 60s because of Dr Spock. I didnot know that. Just thought I would share, lol.

Posted by dawn @ 07:10:2006:03:48 PM CST

My parents read Dr Spock to raise my sister and I and if they were suppose to be 'permissive' they must have just put the book on a shelf for display and didn't actually read the thing.

My parents did let me have play time to myself, but the rest of my life was highly structured. I fine with all of this and am glad that they expected me to have maners and not run everywhere like a spastic brat.

My parents also taught me not to talk to strangers and I think that is a good thing. I still do not talk to strangers now and usually when one talks to me I ignore them.

Interestingly... a coworker (security guard) at my job was mugged this weekend. The approached him asking for directions to something like a laundry mat. He began to point out how to find the location and one of them grabbed him and held him while the others searched his pockets. This is the kind of thing people get for being dumb enough to talk to strangers. Fortunately my coworker wasn't badly hurt.

Posted by stanley @ 07:10:2006:08:41 PM CST

i didnt think parents were over permissive then. i think the guy who wrote the book iws cracked. he hasn't said anything that i dont already know. I talk to people at the grocery store check out lines. Usually it is to offer to sell them one of my kids, on the rare occaion i let them come with me. People think I am crazy. I can't beleiive that guy got mugged! So scary!

my son told the guy trying to kidnap him he wasnt supposed to talk to strangers. i told him that telling him that was talking! Thankfully Austin got away and got home. its a long story and i called the cops. this happened in montana. my mom said kids should yell fire instead of help. people will respond to fire, but not little kids in danger of being stolen.

Posted by dawn @ 07:11:2006:10:20 AM CST

Yes, saying, 'I', not suppose to talk to strangers' is talking. It takes time to learn how to get past people who are approaching us without a word.

Very good that your son was able to get away - and these creeps need to be stopped.

Posted by stanley @ 07:11:2006:07:55 PM CST

Dawn, that is so scary. I'm glad your son got away.

Yes, my parents read the same book Stan's parents did, and they weren't permissive in the slightest! That author does sound like he's talking out his butt.

Posted by Ann @ 07:11:2006:08:40 PM CST

Stan - you're in your mid 40s and you won't talk to strangers? You ignore them? You think your co-worker was "dumb" to try to be helpful and give someone directions? (which was unfortunate in this instance). Tell me you're exaggerating! That totally floors me. I talk to strangers, give directions if I know them, have picked up hitch hikers by myself, walk alone in the dark, frequently don't lock my doors, don't use outside lighting ... and I hardly would consider myself courting danger. (Obviously not ultra cautious either.) That a middle aged man wouldn't talk to strangers is the most unbelieveable thing I've heard in a long time. (However, you may not be alone - sometimes I speak to people and they don't say anything - I always assumed they didn't hear me or were stuck up.)

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:12:2006:05:40 PM CST

If that's the most unbelieveable thing you've heard in a long time - you need to get out more. Syd Barrett didn't talk to strangers and he was 15 years my senior. If you don't know someone and they want your attention you need to be very warry... seriously you are a tragidy waiting to happen.

Think of it this way; in that every human interaction needs to be a purpose. For example if you are shopping for groceries there are strange people you can talk to in order to help you find the foods you need and pay for them. This is a structured situation and talking to strangers is a good thing.

There are inocent situations which may have conversations short and to the point. For example on a bus another rider may ask us if we know where a certain stop is or if we heard the weather report for the afternoon. In these kind of situations the discourse is in the context of transportation and sometimes we may actually help another person too. These kinds of conversations are with strangers, but the scope of the discussion is restricted to polite subjects and useful information. If the person wants to talk outside of this scope and get into personal questions like 'what are your political views' you may have a psychotic freek on your hands and you need to shut the diaologue down as soon as possible.

Here is another example of bad stranger discourse: This really happened to me a few days ago. Some freek on the bus asked me if I could give him a smoke. I predended that he wasn't there and fourtunately for me that was enough to shut the discussion down. Why? You can't smoke on the bus and his question is way out of the scope of polite subjects or the context of transportation. He is being intrusive and for all I know he may be trying to set me up for trouble.

I'm not sure if I'm making my point well, but you have to see that there has to be a context and structure to interact with strangers. The stranger needs to be talking to you about something within the scope of what is appropriate to the context - otherwise you may have a person who will put you in jepordy...seriously there are people in the world who will hurt or even kill you.

As for the situation my coworker was in - it looks like the people needed help...News Flash.... You are not responsible for helping every peoson in distress... We do have Police who are payed to do that sort of thing. Anyway anyone who needs directions in our society is free to impose on any place of business. Haven't you ever gone into a gas station or other store to ask where a near by street name might be found? Ann and I had to ask a gas station employee in Massachusetts where a street name was a few years ago, and they were very helpful.

Try thinking about it from the other side. Imagine that you need directions and you are just going to approach the first person on the street you see? That is very dangerous and the person you choose to ask for help might just happen to harm you... You really need to be more careful.

The world is a very dangerous place and the human species is one of - if not - the most violent and destructive species on the planet.

Posted by stanley @ 07:12:2006:06:41 PM CST

Well shoot. I just wrote a reply, then looked at another entry and lost it. So don't feel like re-writing so will just say that now that you've clarified yourself Stan (not that you were obligated to, of course), I don't consider you a hopeless case. I understand the context from which you're coming.

Remember how nice and helpful you found everyone when your car broke down a few weeks ago? Keep that it mind - there's a lot of nice people out there!

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:12:2006:09:05 PM CST

Sorry you lost it... maybe it is posted in a blog in on some distant planet.

However, "nice"???

Everyone who was nice to us was making money on our misfortune. The law enforcment officer was on the job, the people from the towing company were being payed by us, and the employees at the gas/convience store were being payed to work as we were buying liquid refreshments from them.

There were no friendly strangers doing any good deeds whom were without any kind of business relationship. All of the people who were 'nice' to us were working with in the scope of thier employment just doing their jobs.

This is something we were very thankful for and I'm glad none of them were ... for instance .... crabby or.... passive agressive twards us... and it was nice that they were nice.

Posted by stanley @ 07:12:2006:09:35 PM CST

ROTFLMAO! It's nice to be nice to the nice!!!!

If I were to say I hate it when people are passive aggressive, would that make me passive aggressive?

Posted by Ann @ 07:12:2006:09:38 PM CST

By "nice" I ment, (take your pick): thorough, or in-depth, or thought provoking, or agreeable or something along these lines. Not nice in any kind of sarcastic way.

Ann - how does the subject of passive agressive come in to this, on the 16th posting?

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:13:2006:08:54 AM CST

Stan brought it up in the post above mine, and frankly, I wasn't counting the number of posts...as if it matters, because it doesn't.

Why is it, greenthumb, that everything you seem to post in this journal (as well as some of the email correspondences I have had with you) is in some way an analysis of what we say, as if you're some kind of prosecuting attorney analyzing everything and picking apart our statements to find us guilty by reason of inhumanity?

Yes, you are being passive aggressive, and I don't appreciate these little constant digs. What you said to Stan and how you said it was quite rude in a snide, passive aggressive manner and I am amazed at his ability to present a reply void of emotion, as I clearly can't.

Is it a wonder strangers ignore you when you talk to them? Perhaps you don't understand human boundaries and how not to overstep someone's personal space. That is clear in the manner which you make these insults in the Comments section. Do you visit other blogs/journals? Do you interact with the writers? Because if you do so in the manner in which you reply here, that would be considered trollish behavior, and that is never welcome in blogs. Or is this the only one you visit or feel you are allowed to respond to in this manner? I am guessing you feel comfortable being a little loose with your slams and snide remarks about Stan or me here because you used to know me a long time ago and met Stan a couple times and maybe you feel it's just fun banter between faces you can place rather than the anonymity of the rest of the blogosphere. However, a relationship where people are miles apart not just in physical distance but in time (we haven't even seen eachother for nearly 2 decades, nor corresponded for a decade before this) as well as in many of our ideologies, does not automatically mean one is entitled to be part of the super close slapstick insult poke fun club. In fact, none of my friends are part of that club either. We have respect for eachother and we don't resort to that sort of kidding.

I don't appreciate it. We (Stan and I) don't appreciate it. We both find it a bit bullyish.

Please realize not everyone is like you, not everyone believes what you believe or wants to live like you do. My taste in jewelry, art, reading materials, food, or Stan's interaction style with strangers, etc. may not be to your taste, but just LET IT GO. When I visit someone's blog and they're writing about a part of their life that I can't relate to, I don't start questioning them about why they do something some way, or how hideous I find an article of adornment they like and "they weren't actually planning on wearing it, were they?" I just leave their post, not respond, or respond to some aspect that I *can* relate to, some place where we have a common interest or consensus.

Posted by Ann @ 07:13:2006:10:21 AM CST

Ouch. I appreciate your honesty (seriously). Please consider me thoroughly chastised.

Posted by greenthumb @ 07:13:2006:11:35 AM CST

By Stan @ 04:06 PM CST:07:08:06 ..::Link::..

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