Childish

Recently, older boy and I were playing catch at a local park.

We had found a patch of open greenery between two young soccer teams--coed groups of energetic first-graders.

The football soared back and forth through the azure and cloudless sky.

Little Sissy would call for a turn and we would include her in the game as well.

Passing and kicking.

Quality family time.

A woman carrying a water bottle seemed to be watching us closely while walking to my left.

She appeared to be in her 30s sporting shoulder length blond hair and red-manicured fingernails.

As the woman past, I caught her eye, said "Hi," and then punted a low-line drive to older kid; trying not to make him run too far for it.

With an expression-less face she replied, "You kick like a little girl."

Stunned and embarrassed, I blurted out, "So you say."

She then disappeared into the crowd of soccer parents behind me.

Not my most witty retort.

Probably ranks up there with: "I know you are, but what am I?"

Doesn't she grasp the situation?

There are lots of innocent people around.

Folks who do not want to be hit by a flying ball, kicked by a "manly" dad.

I am directional punting and surrendering distance and form to keep an errantly aimed ball from disturbing parents or players using the park!

Can't she tell: I am kicking like this on purpose!

This internal Charlie Brown-like conversation that had hypnotized me ended when older son shouted: "Dad, I am open!"

I lowered my head, took several steps, and punted the ball as hard as I could.

The pigskin sailed well over older boy's head; fortunately hitting no one.

He raced to retrieve it.

Though unseen, I was sure that the lady was now standing next to parents and laughing uncontrollably.

I later apologized to older boy, but I did not mention the "you kick like a girl" accusation.

Humph...

Sometimes in our family it is difficult to distinguish the adults from the children.

Now pardon me why I go practice a more manly punting form.

_________________________________

Enjoy your weekend.

39 comments:

Anthony said...

Great post..by the way, did your background change?

Lt said...

Sounds like we're similar dads when it comes to quality time with the kids.

And you should feel good about the incident with the blond. You were the victim of a reverse negging. That's a compliment.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

That was just totally rude! But hey, you got her attention :-)

messymimi said...

She is apparently clueless about how careful parents need to be with kids. Hope she isn't one.

Maxi said...

More than your worthy footwork, it caught my eye how much you attention you pay to detail…

Like, red fingernails. Always on the alert.

Blessings - Maxi

Clarissa Draper said...

Don't feel bad. I punt like a girl too. ;)

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Too bad the ball didn't take her out. Then again, maybe she was just trying to get a reaction, which she did. Either way, it would have been fun to see HER try to kick, or better yet, catch without breaking a nail.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I don't understand why anyone would say something like that? People should mind their own business! Ugh!

Sarah Ahiers said...

First off, this was hilarious. Second, though, what the hell, Lady? Who says stuff like that to strangers?

Diane Estrella said...

Maybe she was so attracted to your manliness that she had to try and take you down a notch so she wouldn't be drawn into your animal magnetism.... these are the conversations I have in my head to make me feel better. Hope this helps and you have a great weekend! :O)

(I still say best dad ever, who humbles himself for his kids' sake.)

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
I agree with your commenters...she was a real "Buttinski" with her rather rude "observation".

WTH is it to her, anyway?
SHe scouting for a team?

Next time, try some "Philly" retorts:
"Yeah, what's it TO 'ya?
OR...
"And I'll bet you're a hoot at funerals".

Either one works...and then give 'em a HUGE smile.

Stay safe out there.

Brian Miller said...

haha...i hear you man...we all got something to prove to someone...smiles...i probably would have done the same...smiles.

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachna Chhabria said...

Great post. I understand as I am often mistaken for a student in the college I teach. I love the compliment.

Have a lovely weekend.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Someone would seriously say that? Wow. Thanks for giving us a laugh.

Ciara said...

ROFL. I SO see this. It's tough having to be the adult. :)

Pat Hatt said...

hahaha I would have done the same as well, except I may have watched where she went and aimed for her head, accidents happen right?..haha

Lisa said...

I think the key word here is "expression-less." Goes along with tact-less, care-less and thought-less.

Christina Lee said...

WTH?!?! I think that's so strange! Maybe she was in a bad mood and wanted to take it out on someone?

And LOL, you're about as good at retorts as I am (I'm really good, like an hour later)!

Carol Kilgore said...

Maybe she was flirting with you :)

Happy Weekend!

terri said...

Who says something like that to a person who's just trying to be friendly? People can be so rude!

arabwriterchick said...

Hah, that's just extremely rude...Some people just don't have manners :(

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I think there is something seriously wrong with our soccer balls. I went to kick one the other day and it veered in a different direction and almost hit my daughter in the face. Fortunately she ducked at the last moment. No one, though, told me I kick like a girl. :D

Rachel Lloyd said...

I'm still stuck on how you noticed her red nail polish. lol ...Which just confirms you are an awesome writer! Always paying attention to detail.I write this as I look over my chipped "beige" nail polish. Have a great weekend!

Blond Duck said...

What a mean woman! I don't even know what I would have said....

Reggie said...

How rude of her!

Such a pity that one often can't think of the perfect, pithy, clever retort at the right moment!

Nonetheless, well-handled, Slamdunks. Your image as a great, protective and caring father - and observant writer - is definitely still intact. :-)

Bonnie said...

you are a very funny guy...thanks for the laugh!

Luisa Doraz said...

I love it. The park is a wild place sometimes. lol Good thing you are a tough guy/ lol

Nas Dean said...

Thanks for this fun post! Loved it!

Jax said...

LMAO A stranger really said that to you?? Funny...but the nerve!!! hahahaha Glad you showed her by panting that form as manly you could. lol

James (SeattleDad) said...

Who says that? She must be socially dysfunctional.

Chip Allen said...

Been there, done that1 On the other hand I've also sat and grinned when the other guys on the firing line at the county range packed up their gear and went home after watching my girls shooting almost impossibly tight groups like it was second nature. I neglected to tell the boys that my girls led the county Army JROTC three position rifle team to nationals at Camp Perry 3 years running.

Anthony said...

Lol, good find.

SuziCate said...

that's crazy that she said that to a total stranger...I never think of the perfect retort until much later. I think she was really just trying to get your attention!

Tina L. Hook said...

Wow. And she is a soccer mom. Imagine how she must talk to her kids.

Hilary said...

This is a hoot. It reminds me a bit of something I read recently.. a witty retort to an insult:

It was between Noel Coward and Edna Ferber. She was wearing a tailored suit and Coward said to her "You look almost like a man." Her quick reply was "So do you."

Beth Zimmerman said...

What a jerk ... HER ... not you! YOU I like!

Candice said...

Sounds to me like she was teasing you...prehaps even flirting. Why not just take it as a compliment? :)

Secret Agent Woman said...

Wow, what a weird random bit of mean-spiritedness.

But also a pet peeve of mine when people insult a man/ boy by comparing him to a girl or woman, as if that's a lesser state of being. Why not say (if she just had to be a jerk) "You kick like a little boy?"