Having spent my entire life in Texas with the exception of 7 years in Arkansas, I used to think that there was no way I would ever see displays of ignorance or idiocy akin to what I’d experienced in “Bill Clinton Land,” after returning home to Texas. Well, one fateful night at Wal-Mart in my home state, I was proven wrong.
Shortly upon entering the store, I’d noticed a rather large woman, who was visibly economically impaired. She had with her 4 children, 2 of them in nothing but diapers, and she had them all sitting in her buggy. The youngest of the babies was probably about 7 months old, and because it was close to 11 at night, the poor little thing was cranky and exhausted, not unlike his siblings, and understandably, the mother herself was rather frazzled and short tempered. I wanted to point out that if she had her children at home in the bed at such a late hour, she would probably not be in that situation, but I held my tongue because perhaps she was a working mom who just got off work or something, and had to go to the store for milk or other various necessities.
I was soon proven wrong on this, however, because I saw her a few minutes later in the beer and wine section, with cartons of ale and bottles of wine shoved in the basket in the available space not taken up by her children. And the littlest baby had decided that enough was enough, and was squalling so loudly it could have woken the dead. I felt sorry for the poor thing, and remembered that I had a brand new pacifier, still in the package, in my purse for any tantrum emergencies for my own baby. So I went up to the woman and said, “You must have your hands full. I have a new binky in my purse, it hasn’t been opened yet, you are welcome to it if you’d like.”
The woman blinked and said, “Oh, no, I don’t let my babies use those things. It’s bad for their teeth, and I think they need to have other ways of soothing themselves.” I shrugged and walked away to the dairy section, leaving behind the screaming baby, and a minute later I noticed the baby had stopped crying. Curious, I scanned the aisles to see what she had done to quiet him down. Well, the woman whose children were too good for pacifiers had given her child an unopened bottle of beer from one of her cartons and he was happily sucking on it. Go figure.