Who RAISED you?

I was walking into the supermarket a few days ago when I heard a really loud burp.  I whipped around to see where it came from, fully expecting to see a teenager who would be shamed by my look into saying 'excuse me'. What I saw instead was a man of perhaps sixty, white hair, white beard, wearing a Patriots sweatshirt.  He threw his arms out in a defiant 'so what?' gesture, looked me in the eye and said "Ya hear that?".  Yeah, I told him, how could I  not?  Yikes.  Who raised this guy?

Less than five minutes later, I was picking out fruit when I witnessed a youngish mom eating the grapes that were for sale.  I tried not to stare as she ate one after another.  Her toddler daughter asked if she could have some too.  Her mom said that she wouldn't like them because they were actually kind of sour.  She then turned to me as she continued to eat and said that she thought at $3.99 a pound they were overpriced.  I had no response.  I was afraid that if I opened my mouth I would say the only thing I could think....'Who in the world raised you?'

I often see people's behavior as a reflection of their parents.  Not everything, but certain things, like manners and being respectful of others.  If someone holds the door for me or offers me a seat on the subway, I will think 'I bet he has a good mom.'

When the girls were young teenagers they complained because I forced them to wear their helmets when they rode their bikes.  They thought they looked like dorks, but I told them they looked like they had a mom who loves them.  It got to be a joke when we would pass non-helmet wearing bike riders, someone would always say, 'looks like someone's mom doesn't love them.'

The same day as the grocery shopping incidents, Jemby came home from school looking like he had something on his mind.  He finally came out with it, "I had to stand on the line at recess."  When I asked what happened he explained "I threw a ball when I wasn't supposed to and Mrs. S. spoke to me and then another teacher came over and said the exact same thing. So I said 'blah blah blah' to her.  I am sick of teachers and all of their stupid talking."

Blah, blah, blah? My son?  According to my system...this is my fault!  I guess instead of judging other mothers, I best get to work.  The last thing I want to think about  is a 60 year old Jemby belching as he walks into the supermarket and someone thinking bad thoughts about me.