On Saturday I was spending a lovely mother daughter day with Mikaela. We did a Soul Cycle class in the morning, she had a job interview, we ran an errand, had mani/pedis together then grabbed lunch. We went to this place that’s been on our list for a long time, Sagebrush Cantina. In this neck of the woods there is a Farmer’s Market every Saturday until 1pm, so as you can imagine plenty of foot and car traffic. It’s on a one lane road which makes getting in and out of any of the places of business a tad more difficult but not impossible. It just requires that everybody be that little bit more patient. The one thing that is a much bigger problem than the flow of traffic is parking, since the market takes up an entire lot. The cool thing about LA is that Valet parking is as common, if not MORE common than self parking, which is incredibly helpful in times like these.
Mikaela and I pulled into the parking lot adjacent to the restaurant, where two Latino men in their early 50’s were running back and forth to accommodate all the people who were coming to the restaurant to dine, or to walk around the market. While waiting our turn for them to grab our keys we witnessed the most disturbing thing we’ve seen in a really long time. It was busy, they were running and it was 96 degrees outside. As we exited our car and handed over the keys to the older of the two men we heard the other man shout out; “You can’t just park your own car. You must wait and get a ticket. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME.” At first we didn’t see who he was calling out to. But as he continued his attempt to get the attention of the person/people who had taken it upon themselves to take advantage of two busy men who weren’t able to stop them from just rolling in and parking while they were run off their feet, we finally spotted the culprits once our doors were closed. There in front of us walking away from the gentleman were two teenage boys, tall, blonde, white with Malibu High water polo shirts on. They didn’t look back. They didn’t acknowledge the two hard working Latino men calling after them. We were floored, and we were disgusted by what we were witnessing.
Finally the taller, who I’m assuming was the driver, of the two teens yelled back at the man without making eye contact; “Relax we’re just going to grab coffees.”
“Excuse me, but you cannot do that. It is $4.50 to park here.”
“Well what do you want me to do? My truck is too big, it doesn’t fit anywhere else. We’re just getting coffees.” Keeps walking, doesn’t look back, a douchey smirk covering his white privilege face.
“But you cannot do that. You must pay to park.” The one man continued to follow him, attempting to get this kid to give a single fuck that what he was doing was wrong on so many levels.
Now, for those of you who know me, you know how I get in these situations. So here I go. I call out after the two white princes; “Hey. You’re being so disrespectful you need to come back here and pay for your parking.”
They keep walking. Ignoring me too.
“Seriously you guys, this is disgusting, you’re being beyond rude, it’s $4.50 I’m sure you can afford that. Get back here and pay these men.”
“We’re only grabbing coffee.” By now they’re almost at the street. Mikaela and I standing there with our mouths literally hanging open. I looked at the two men, all four of us standing there helpless to get these two shitty white teens to come back and do the right thing. To not take advantage of two hard working men outside in 96 degree weather. My heart sunk for them, I was so bothered to witness such blatant disrespect that I called after them; “Wow you’re parents must be so proud. Were you raised by wolves??” Of course they had no comment. I went so far as to suggest that the valet guys block in their truck, call the cops, call a tow truck do something to teach them a lesson. As I walked into the restaurant I hoped they would do one of the three suggestions I gave them. I mean what else could be done? It was clear that they weren’t going to change their minds and turn around and pay the fee. They felt in their hearts that somehow they didn’t have to, that they were above it, and that certainly they didn’t have to give any money to the two Latino men standing in front of them.
Over the course of our lunch Mikaela and I played all sorts of scenarios over in our minds about what could have been different that would have caused them to pay the measly $4.50. We envisioned things like her uncle, who is an ex-NHL hockey player, so he’s a giant human, being there as a paying customer, witnessing this happen. He has three sons, I can assure you that none of his boys, my beautiful soulful nephews would ever behave in this manner. We were confident that if he had been there to see this happen he would have most definitely grabbed the big mouth shit by his arm and forced him to pay the men. There’s no way in hell he would have stood by and let those two teenage boys saunter away without a care in the world. But we, two women and two Latino men were not enough to get these white boys to do the right thing.
Their behavior really makes me go “hmmm”…are these two wealthy white teenage boys simply disrespectful? Would they have behaved the exact same way if it were anybody, regardless of race, or sex? Or was it a racist issue? Do they believe they’re above the two Latino men who were parking cars? Or is it all three, are they sexist, disrespectful and racist? Which made me wonder, out loud; imagine if there was video footage to play back to their parents to show them how their offspring behave in the world when they’re not around. To which Mikaela made a very good point. Since those boys are that way she fully believes that their parents probably wouldn’t have thought a thing about it. In fact she went as far to suggest that their parents would most likely have done the same thing; “What? What’s the problem I’m not parking, I’m just grabbing a coffee…”
And that my friends is really and truly the root of the entire problem, behavior like that always starts in the home…