|He's always got a basketball in his hand. ;)|
Just so you know, for the most part, I am not a confrontational person. I tend to address things quietly if they need attention, go directly to the source, and do it when no one is around, hoping to get a better understanding of what is going on, or find a peaceful remedy. So when I found myself ready to argue publicly with a woman, at my son's basketball game, I had to find the strength to be the better person, and not be 'that parent.'
It all started on the bleachers. We'd breezed through the play-offs and were at the championship game against the only other team that would truly give us a run for our money. The game got hot!! They'd score, we'd score. They'd miss, we'd miss. They'd foul, we'd foul, and so on and so forth. The kids were getting emotional on the court, and the parents were getting into it, including me. The mom behind me was sitting with those I assume were her husband and grandparents on someone's side (the grandparents left early). The mom is the one I want to discuss. She was obnoxious (here and there) to start with, but it happens, you ignore and keep cheering for your child and his team. Then she started in on our team...
"Don't let that girl take the ball, she's 25 lbs. overweight and a whale."
After I picked my jawbone up off of the floor (and for the record, that particular girl was AWESOME and always one of the top-3 players, along with my son). The girl was not overweight, and certainly not a whale, but she was taller, bigger, faster and better than her son (who was good in his own right). She was saying things like that LOUDLY and I was getting ticked. Never mind whose team the girl was on, the point is she's a kid, 12-years-old at most.
Then she started in on the coach. Our coach. "Oh my gosh, that coach is ghetto as he%*, just kick her out already!" And she's saying these things loudly, and her 'people' are not joining in but they're not reprimanding her or speaking to her about it either, and I'm mortified. I couldn't help myself. I turned around and looked at her. If you know anything about confrontational people, you understand immediately that someone turning around and looking at them is going to set them off, because they love to create that scene.
"What are you looking at?" she asked me, and I told her that I was just wondering why she was belittling the players who are children and cursing about the coach. She ignored the 'belittling' part and focused on my comment about the coach. "What, you think HE%* is a bad word? (enter a ridiculous and loud laugh). Turn your stupid %#$ back around." Only she left the %#$ out of the sentence....like an implied blank. I turned around, looked for another seat (packed house, not a seat in the room) and kept watching the game. She started in again, saying something I won't repeat about a child on the court (she was saying these things loud enough for the kids to hear, which I guess is what really bothered me). I got up and decided even if I had to stand at the wall I wasn't sitting there anymore, the whole while her yelling at me that yeah, I better move (insert me rolling my eyes as I type). I should have let it roll off of me, but I felt myself spin back around and get ready to voice my opinion (yell at her). That's not me. Thankfully my body turned instantly back around (it was almost controlling itself at this point) and I quietly dismissed her behavior as her own and having nothing at all to do with me, and I walked away.
The bleachers were packed but I have formed a relationship with the other parents (my son's been playing awhile now) and a dad jumped up to stand as I walked by, and his wife scooched over and patted her now next-to-her empty seat. She said to her husband, 'some parents just get too upset over a game.' and we watched the rest of the game the way it should be watched, with us cheering on our kids, and happy to be this far along in the season.
We lost the game by 1 point. The first game we'd lost that season, but it was the championship game, so...we didn't end that season as the big winners, but our kids played their hearts out and we were proud of them. Some had tears, some were upset, and the other team was (rightfully) celebrating like crazy. I was proud of both sides, and aching for our team. I took my son out for ice cream, because at this age, that still helps ease the pain of an emotional boo-boo. That and a movie worked and he was chattery and happy again in no time at all. That was last season. I still feel affected by that woman though, not so much that I think of her often or anything, but in the way that I just am so so sooooo happy that my body turned that day and went to the other set of bleachers. What a fiasco I would have made if I'd have played into that and gotten involved. I'd have embarrassed my son, the team, etc. I might even have been the one to get kicked out of the room because I'd have been the one standing and yelling.
Why am I writing about it all? I don't know, I guess I'm just glad it all panned out the way it did. I'm grateful for the parents who gave me that seat (the lady was instantly forgotten once I sat there and we all got right back into watching the game), glad I didn't lose control (eek) and a bit miffed too that there's probably always going to be THAT basketball mom. Thank goodness "she" won't be me.