Thursday, August 24, 2006

What a jerk!

I’ve been contemplating writing this entry just for the simple fact that the topic really ticks me off every time I think about it. Well, a couple weekends ago we had some friends over for a bonfire. Our friend brought one of his friends along which was fine until he started dropping the “R” word every other word.

It all started when we started talking about movies we’ve all watched recently and I said that Pat & I watched “The Ringer”, and how mush I enjoyed it and thought it was great that the actors with T-21 were given a chance to act in such a big movie. This guy blurted in saying that all the actors were “f-ing R’s” and that’s all they’ll ever be, and he just started ranting and raving about people with disabilities. I sat there biting my lip as hard as I could for long enough and I finally jumped up and ran inside to my husband.

I know this guy was drunk but that makes no difference or excuse. I knew if I would have opened my mouth and said something to him, it would of just made him rant and rave even more, and I’m not sure if I would of opened my mouth it would of stopped. And I’m not even sure if he realized that our son has Down syndrome.

After this I found out this guy really is crazy and a drunk so he is no long welcome at our home and if we go to an event that he is at, I will leave. I just had to vent somewhere to someone and the majority of the people that read this are fellow T-21 parents.

I know that I’m going to come along other people who are going to be mean and disrespect Joey and us, but that was the first for me and it still hurts. The more I think about it, I feel like I failed as an advocate for people with Down syndrome by not saying something to this guy, but I know I would of just gotten hysterical.

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle idiots like him and what to say to them when/ if this happens again?


Michelle said...

Wow that guy was pretty overboard with his descriptions of the actors! How ignorant can some people be? I agree, saying anything to him then (being drunk and all) probably wouldn't have done anything but incite him more. Sounds as if he may just be one of those people who really doesn't get it either.

I struggle with this so much! I know a lady who hangs around the same group that I do (I'm not exceptionally close to her - we don't do things together) but she will use the R word and I cringe each time. I feel so ashamed that I haven't said anything to her about how it offends and bothers me. But since she usually says it with a group of people around, I don't want to make a scene if that makes sense. And we're never alone together - I guess I could pull her aside, but I would rather do it after she's said it so she will realize it. It's frustrating! I feel your pain!

amy flege said...

ok, how did you NOT say something to that guy? I dont think I could of done what you did. what a TOTAL JERK!!! I think I would of put him in his place drunk or not. Its uncalled for the way he said things.. I guess I am not much help, am I? Its so frustrating isnt?

LeslieAnn said...

I'm not confrontational either and I tend to just babble and rant and cry instead of making good I understand you not saying anything. I do believe my husband (if he'd heard this) would have drawn blood from the guy.

We've had to ask that this word not be used around us and it's not an easy thing to do. It should be, considering they are totally disrespecting you and your child, but it's not easy putting someone in their place. (At least it isn't for me...)

I am so sorry you had to encounter that- especially in your own home. Did the friend that brought him not give him a heads-up? I know we're going to have run-ins- every parent (disability or not) does at some point. I just hope I handle it with grace and not go for their throat.

On another note- I just found your blog and your Joey is a doll. He reminds me a lot of my Jack when he was that little.


Tracey said...

So sorry you had to have someone behaving so horribly, and at your own home...

I agree that with him being drunk, it might have just gone right over his head, but next time, maybe you could pull the friend that brought him over and tell him, in no uncertain terms, that this man is NOT welcome again. And the reason why.

Also, a good reply to rude comments would be good to have prepared. My daughter is not T-21, but has a few large birthmarks that elicit rude comments and stares. I have some stock replies to the obvious stares that will shake people out of their rudeness and make them walk away, or will instead begin a conversation - usually about her smile, or about how they know a child with them, etc.e tc.

mum2brady said...

I always cringe when I hear the "r" word too. And - whether I speak up or not depends on the situation and whether I think it will actually make a difference. Some people are just ignorant (like this guy) and you're right - if you'd said anything, he probably would have just gone on more :( Some people simply don't get it... I feel badly sometimes like I'm not being a very good advocate, but I do try with the people who are closest to us :)

jotcr2 said...

All I can say is that he is very ignorant. He would have impressed no one with those comments. He obviously has a lot of issues.

RNP said...

Oh the "r" word--how I HATE it. I just don't understand why it has to exist in any context at all these days. It has such negative connotations...and it just isn't any appropriate description of ANYONE in my opinion.

I can tell you that my oldest boy once slugged a kid hard after using that word in our home. My children are very pro-active in making sure their friends know why not to use it...

But an adult-my goodness-I just don't understand it. You did better than I in not saying anything.

Jessica said...

Thanks everyone! I apprecite your thoughts and advice!

Michelle said...

I wish I had some advice, but I just wanted to say how much I feel for you. That must have been so hard and you handled your self with dignity and poise.

Overwhelmed! said...

Having not been in that situation, I'm not sure what I would've done. I like to think that I would've been angry enough to ask him to leave my home, but who knows.

I've run into a few rather insensitve comments about adoption and I've attempted to defend but it seems to go out one ear and out the other and I just walk away even more frustrated and angry.

I guess, in the end, I have no advice. I do want to say, "I'm sorry that you've had to experience this rude and ignorant man."

I don't blame you for not wanting him in your home again!