A spanking mom verbally attacked me yesterday. REALLY long. - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 12:46 PM
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Many MDC mamas complain about being criticized for NIP, for cosleeping, for babywearing, for choosing homebirth, etc.
All of which are not acts of violence. I do get offended when my parenting is harrassed when I am not doing anything detremental to my daughter. Those examples are moot imo...I sort of see your point in that we shouldn't criticize others' parenting when we feel so criticized for other things... however when it crosses the line into violence, I will "criticize", or how I see it, advocate on behalf of the child in question, or adult, or animal, whoever the victim is.

The fact that violence against children is "mainstream" doesn't make it right and I for one, won't sit back and watch it happen.


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(I also think there is a difference between spanking a diapered butt and backhanding your wife.
See, I see no difference. Sure, one may say there is a difference in how bad it may physically hurt in the moment, but to me, violence is violence, shame is shame-- putting your hands on someone with the intent to control or to hurt them (even emotionally) is never okay with me.
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#62 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Sheena,
I have taken an oath, literally, on the www.NoSpank.net site to intervene if I ever see a child hit by an adult. Hitting a child is assault. An environment without recourse where a child is repeatedly subjected to being hit, is abuse. Period.

Thanks for the link. I love that website. I can't decide what to read first there's so much stuff there.
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#63 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
All of which are not acts of violence.... I do get offended when my parenting is harrassed when I am not doing anything detremental to my daughter. Those examples are moot imo...I sort of see your point in that we shouldn't criticize others' parenting when we feel so criticized for other things... however when it crosses the line into violence, I will "criticize", or how I see it, advocate on behalf of the child in question, or adult, or animal, whoever the victim is.
True, they are not acts of violence in the sense that spanking is hitting, whereas my examples are loving expressions... But I disagree when you say they are moot examples. I've had several people tell me that, for example, cosleeping is dangerous to my child- i.e. that she could be "hurt" by that behavior (like if we rolled over on her, or whatever). And I've also had several people tell me that my planned homebirth is dangerous for my child. One even suggested I shouldn't be "allowed" to do it! (Allowed?! By WHOM?!?!) So these people are telling me that I am physically endangering / hurting my child by this behavior, just like we're saying this guy is hurting his child by spanking. I think there *is* a parallel here. I am NOT an advocate of spanking, and am NOT suggesting that this guy was right in swatting his kiddo. Just trying to point out that we should be sensitive about how we judge others, that's all.
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#64 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by newmommy
I agree with you.

OP-it was OKAY for you to explain to your kids ""Spanking is wrong, mommies and daddies should not hit their kids." BUT if you said it loud enough...for the benefit of the Spanking Parents...then what type of reaction were you expecting?

Anytime you decide to take a strong stance against a heated topic as spanking...then you had better be prepared to embrace whatever comes your way and in Public no less.

Yes, I believe the mother was wrong to scream at you and call you an idiot, but you attacked her Parenting skills (no matter how wrong they were) and she reacted on the defensive side.

You touched a Hot Button at the wrong time in the wrong place.

To avoid this type of scenario again (and you absolutely should expect this again...because people are going to spank their kids whether we like it or not), then you and your family should quietly leave and reiterate to them that yes some parents spank.

I have to agree with this. I think that just by saying it loud enough to be heard you kinda have to expect a reaction.
If I had not wanted a confrontation I would have quietly spoken to my children as we left the table.
Now I am not saying it was wrong to speak up. I think that it is a good thing. But just that in doing so, a confrontation is to be expected.

Joline
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#65 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did anyone read my post??? I didn't say it loud! I said it quietly to my kids. And I didn't say it as we were leaving because we had just sat down, didn't even have our food yet.

Why should we have left??? We just sat down. I'm confused about why I have to tippy-toe around someone else's offensive behavior. Why should we have had to leave?

Oh, and one more thing: Isn't this a GD support board? I am pretty sure support for spankers is not allowed.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#66 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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Okay, lets say the woman could reasonable overhear Sheena's comment (which I consider totally appropriate, btw--- you need to tell your child RIGHT THEN that that is not right).

If I could over hear someone saying something like, "OMG, look at her nursing that child. That is just disgusting." or the like I *do* have the right to turn around and make a comment, IMO. I do NOT have the right to follow her around for the rest of the day making catcalls and trying to incite a riot. IMO, Sheena would have been totally reasonable to ask for the management to deal with it or to call the police if they would not.

 

 

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#67 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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I am not supporting spankers in any way. I am and would have been just as shocked and disgusted as you were.
You said you spoke to your children. YOu did not actually state how quietly you said it.
HOwever as you were aware she was within earshot, you would have been aware that you would have been overheard.
I think moving tables is a way to tell your children, "I do not approve of this and we shall not be witness of this any longer"
I am not suggesting you leave the restaurant.
And anyway I am not suggesting you actually DO any of those things. Or even that you were wrong in making your comment within earshot. But that when we do take a stand, even if we mean to do it to ourselves, if others are there to witness that stand, it is likely to lead to confrontation.
I actively admire all of the women here who have the strength and determination to speak up even knowing that it will lead to confrontation and unpleasantness.
My statement is only to imply that if you really want to avoid confrontation, it is probably a pretty good idea to know who is within earshot before making a judgemental comment.

Of course, I also think that following up with the management once the harassment continues is an excellent course of action when the woman just cant seem to stop "reacting".
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#68 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by johub
You said you spoke to your children. YOu did not actually state how quietly you said it.

I did.

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Originally Posted by Sheena
I said it like I would normally speak. I didn't speak up but nor did I whisper.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#69 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sheena
I did.
Ok but still, "like you normally speak" having never spoken to you doesnt really describe.
Like I normally speak is very loud! I have quite the lungs. I 'whisper' all the time when I want private conversation in public, and it in no way implies that there is anythign "wrong" with what I am saying. Only that it is private. (or that my 13 year old asked me for the umpteenth time to be quiet)

Many people stated that you spoke quietly to your children, which you did not really state. I felt it was still unclear.
Again no attack. You have the RIGHT to speak your mind.
But if you talk about somebody within their hearing, you really ought to expect a confrontation.
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#70 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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You did the right thing, and you were smart not to shout back at that woman, as tempting as it was. It only would have escalated her already out of control behavior. I would have had no qualms calling the police on her for harrassing you though. You calmy made a statement to your family about spanking being wrong, etc. It's not your fault the woman took it personally and freaked out. It's not like you were yelling in her face, calling her a bad mom, yk? You have a right to speak your feelings without being followed around the rest of the day, being verbally harrassed! Once the police heard both sides of the story, you would have come out looking like the sane one, imo.
I'm sorry you had to deal with such a public confrontation, but bravo to you for standing up for that poor toddler! I'm not sure I would have been as brave and risked public confrontation.
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#71 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by johub
But if you talk about somebody within their hearing, you really ought to expect a confrontation.
They were in public and did not even know these people. Why should someone always expect a confrontation?
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#72 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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I could throw up thinking of what that child's life is like day in and day out. And he has many more years under that roof.

If your comment gives them reason to pause just once in that little boy's life and put their hand down and not hit him, it was worth your getting attacked in the restaurant and taking a few swings here as well.

Way to spread the peace, mama.
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#73 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
They were in public and did not even know these people.
All the more reason why you have to be extra careful these days on who is hearing your comments re them...we live in a society where people *react* (dangerously, following you home etc.) first and *think* later.

Thank goodness she and her family are safe.
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#74 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by newmommy
All the more reason why you have to be extra careful these days on who is hearing your comments re them...we live in a society where people *react* (dangerously, following you home etc.) first and *think* later.

Thank goodness she and her family are safe.
Yes Exactly! Assaults and fights have started simply as a result of a look.

I agree that among civilized people it should not be the case that an overheard private conversation becomes "fighting words" to somebody. It is polite to not listen to words spoken by somebody else if they weren't meant for you. And when it cannot be avoided, the polite thing to do is to at least pretend you dont hear. (Implied rather than real privacy).
But so many people just dont do that anymore.
Even a look, body language, and words spoken quietly to another are taken by complete strangers to be active insults which must be responded to.
I am NOT in any way saying it is right. Not at all!
It just is.
Joline
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#75 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annab
I could throw up thinking of what that child's life is like day in and day out. And he has many more years under that roof.

If your comment gives them reason to pause just once in that little boy's life and put their hand down and not hit him, it was worth your getting attacked in the restaurant and taking a few swings here as well.

Way to spread the peace, mama.
Well said! It made me cry thinking about that poor baby. While I am a live and let live kind of person, there are some things that are worth making a stand for...and violence against children is definately one of them!

Shelley

Crunchy, pagan, vegan,homeschooling wife and mother of 3 beautiful daughters and 2 wonderful sons

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#76 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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I do see the point about different parenting styles and getting defensive about it, co-sleeping and home birthing especially because it's seen as a safety issue. However, this woman went way overboard with her reaction.

If she did overhear it and it bugged her, she should have just told the OP to mind her own business and left it at that, or even moved tables.

It's rather nutty to start yelling at her and calling her an idiot and following her around and trying to muster a posse against her at the Chuck-E-Cheese, for goodness sake, it sounds like a Kevin Smith movie.

For my own sake, OP Momma, I would have said the same thing, and then moved tables to get away from them, and I would have left if she had followed me like that, and I would have called the police if she had persisted with her harassment.

As far as the hitting his wife goes, it is within the law to spank children, it is not within the law to hit spouses or any other adult, without thier consent. The law views children differently, whether some parents agree with it or not.
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#77 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know the law views it differently but that doesn't make it OK. The law in North Carolina up until about 10 years ago made marital rape legal but that didn't make it OK, KWIM?

If she would have told me to mind my own business I would have felt she had every right, you know? Just a quick "Oh mind your own business lady." But I actually wondered for a few seconds if she might physically attack me. I don't like to get into confrontations in front of my kids. I still remember once when I was 5 and my dad got into a yelling fight at the grocery store, it was so scary.

Anyway, I just want to clarify that we weren't at Chuck E. Cheese we were at this place called Gatti Town which is MUCH bigger and more spread out. Just so you can get a mental picture.

The posse thing cracked me up, lol.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#78 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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IMO the abusive behavior of the father and the aggressive nature of the mother paint a scary picture of the dynamics in that family. I'm sorry you and your child had to witness that, but I'm even more sorry for the babies that must live in that situation. I will pray for those kids tonight.
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#79 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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I would probably have done what you did Sheena, or spoken directly to the person.

I don't like passive-aggressive stuff like moving tables. To me all that teaches the children is that mama is afraid to say something, or that the child's predicament isn't our problem.

I would have expected something similar to what you expected, like for her to say MYOB or something like that. But for her to harrass you and become aggressive crosses the line.

If you don't want ppl to talk about you, don't abuse your child in public.
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#80 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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I totally hear you, Sheena, I just wanted to point out the difference in the law when some of the posters were comparing it directly to hitting adults. That doesn't make it right, it just makes it "legal", thus, you did not call the police as you might have if he HAD hit his wife, right?

Aw, my "mustering a posse" is funnier if you set it in a Chuck-e-Cheez, there are mascots there that can get involved!

Hang in there woman.
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#81 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:58 PM
 
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the only thing that makes me uncomfortable about the way it got handled was that provoking already antagonized people can be dangerous. not even to you so much, but what are those kids going to have to look forward to when they get home? calming your kids down was a worthy goal, but as dr phil would say, how's that workin' for you? i'm guessing everyone involved went home much more upset than they started.

i would have been more likely to get the management to call security & tell them a man was beating a small child & moseying my butt on out once i saw it was being handled. i know that when i had harassing neighbors that let their pit bull out to roam & kill my cat on my front porch, trading comments with them (no matter how right i was or how abusive they sounded) didn't stop the behavior till i called the cops & the dog went at *them*, then the guy did too! (and subsequently went to jail.) they have been pretty quiet in the years since then.

it only ended up with that insane shrew feeling vindicated and you, who tried to do the right thing, getting abused in turn. the cops (and legal spanking or not, any episode as you've described would be considered child abuse) might have made a deeper impression. one that might have led to change.

anyways, it all sounds horrible, hindsight is twenty-twenty, and you certainly didn't *deserve* any of it.
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#82 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I don't like passive-aggressive stuff like moving tables. To me all that teaches the children is that mama is afraid to say something, or that the child's predicament isn't our problem.

I would have expected something similar to what you expected, like for her to say MYOB or something like that. But for her to harrass you and become aggressive crosses the line.
But what if your nature is passive-agressive! LOL And if mama IS afraid to say something or doesnt imagine that she can have any real affect on the child's predicament. I am not saying these things are right. But just as we try to respect our children's inborn temperaments, it is sometimes hard to respect our own.

And yes, "mind your own business" would have been the civilized response and what she did DID completely cross the line. But these people were already across the line when they started hitting their baby.
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#83 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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To the OP......you didn't do a damn thing wrong. Her harrassement spells guilty for her.

One time my sis was BFing my then 3yo nephew in a nice Indian restaurant, when she saw a woman across the room keep hitting her *highchaired* baby on her head each time the baby *reached*! for something. My sis kept getting more and more upset witnessing this.....so she stood up and walked over to the lady and told her how hard parenting can be-then handed her a piece of paper with GD content. THE WOMAN GRABBED MY SIS AROUND THE NECK AND SLAMMED HER HEAD TO THE TABLE,YELLING AT HER TO NOT TELL HER HOW TO RAISE HER KIDS!!!!!! The police were called, and the woman was taken away. : You never know, but I would do the same thing. What b*tch*s!!! Can you even imagine the home life????

mp
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#84 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 09:24 PM
 
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I am a Christian and I don't spank my children ...I use to spank though in my not knowing better days. The woman must have a very low opinion of herself,to carry on like that,actions like that are what give Christians a well not so nice name.I would have reported the family to the management because that was abuse in public,here in Illinois you can get in big trouble for spanking in public,it is abuse.
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#85 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamapoppins
THE WOMAN GRABBED MY SIS AROUND THE NECK AND SLAMMED HER HEAD TO THE TABLE,YELLING AT HER TO NOT TELL HER HOW TO RAISE HER KIDS!!!!!! The police were called, and the woman was taken away. : You never know, but I would do the same thing. What b*tch*s!!! Can you even imagine the home life????

mp
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#86 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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What if the op had an insistent dc demanding to know why that boy was getting hit? My oldest dd will escalate her questions until I answer them, there is no way I could have avoided commenting on the situation. But, op, you handled it much better then I would have, I would have gone off on the b*&%^.

I feel so bad for the poor baby, he was probably over stimulated by it all.

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#87 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapoppins
One time my sis was BFing my then 3yo nephew in a nice Indian restaurant, when she saw a woman across the room keep hitting her *highchaired* baby on her head each time the baby *reached*! for something. My sis kept getting more and more upset witnessing this.....so she stood up and walked over to the lady and told her how hard parenting can be-then handed her a piece of paper with GD content. THE WOMAN GRABBED MY SIS AROUND THE NECK AND SLAMMED HER HEAD TO THE TABLE,YELLING AT HER TO NOT TELL HER HOW TO RAISE HER KIDS!!!!!! The police were called, and the woman was taken away.
Holy frijoles! That is just unbelievable.
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#88 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
I mean, she was RIGHT behind me and could have definitely heard my conversation but if she was particularly listening she would have for sure heard us.
I understand your were upset and you wanted to say something and I think it would have been fine to actually say something directly to the woman but to use the passive aggressive technique of speaking through your child is most likely what set the woman off.

I think PPs are right ~ you don't know how a stranger will react to such comments (and i am going to say that a man smacking around his toddler is not someone I would want to confront nor his content-with-the-situation wife). Ant that story about the woman in the Indian restaurant is very scary.

I have made my fair share of comments to moms in the past and have been lucky in that it doesn't go past a few nasty comments my way but after reading through this thread, I will think twice before confronting someone directly and instead look for a manager/security/police to deal with the situation.

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#89 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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understand your were upset and you wanted to say something and I think it would have been fine to actually say something directly to the woman but to use the passive aggressive technique of speaking through your child is most likely what set the woman off.
For pete's sake... you're making assumptions here, and I have already addressed them once. I wasn't being passive aggressive, I was simply speaking. Is it passive aggressive any time I speak to my kids? Must I always consider everyone around me before I make statements.

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#90 of 216 Old 12-28-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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Sheena - I am sorry if you think I was making assumptions but I was honestly going by your posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
I turned to my kids and said, "Spanking is wrong, mommies and daddies should not hit their kids." Then I said something to dh about how I hate seeing that in public.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheena
I mean, she was RIGHT behind me and could have definitely heard my conversation but if she was particularly listening she would have for sure heard us.
I think it is fine to speak up when you see something like this, I believe it is far better to actually speak directly to the person as this probably will not produce the ire that it did in this particular person.

And because I think I am starting to act like the restaurant lady here...I will stop posting.
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