Friday, 19 August 2011

Overheard Conversations

Photo copyright: Maggie May

I can't believe that another week has gone by so quickly.
I have caught the bus to oncology at various times of the day, all this week and my treatment seems to have gone well. I am feeling alright.
I could catch the hospital bus if I wanted, from the city shopping centre. They seem to run every 30 minutes or so and stop at all the major hospitals. However, so far, I have felt the need to walk the short distance to oncology from the main shopping centre and again on the return journey. It is the only exercise I seem to be getting these days, so I feel it must do me good.

While on the bus, I have overheard some strange conversations.
One man who obviously had some degree of learning disability, plonked himself down in the seat behind me, next to another man and immediately struck up a conversation with him.
He asked the stranger if he'd ever been abroad and he replied he'd been to Spain. This was met by a very excited response and the conversation got louder and louder and he wanted to know what food they ate in Spain and what the driving was like etc. The other man was very patient with him and must have known that the whole bus was hanging onto his every word.
"Are you going again?" he asked the man.
"Yes in September," was the reply.
The excited man then asked for how long and the long suffering man answered "One week."
"Only for one week?" Replied the excited man, "Whats the matter with you, couldn't you afford more than that?"
Unfortunately, I had to get off then and I was wondering what the reply would have been. I'm sure he'd have been very polite and had a very good reply.

Another journey going into town, nearly brought tears into my eyes and I wish I'd have had the nerve to say something.
I noticed a very rough and ready grandmother who was sitting next to a little girl who must have been about 4 yrs old. They were sitting directly in front of me
Her granddaughter was repeating a word over and over again. I think it was *Anyway.* She wasn't shouting the word but it was obviously getting the grandmother down. She put a fist to the little girl's chin and said in a very gruff and menacing voice, "Will you just shut up and stop saying that word." She then went on to say the word over and over again in a very sarcastic and mimicking kind of way.
"Now you know what it sounds like. Just shut up."
I couldn't believe it when the man who was sitting next to me, started to poke her through the seat and also tell her to shut up and listen to Nan.
She turned round and said, "Don't Daddy." She was doing her best not to cry.
I made a point of moving after that. I hope they realised why, though I doubt it.
What rotten luck to have two grown ups looking after her who were behaving in such a barbaric way. Her father and her grand mother.

It is the end of the week now and I probably won't be getting into another bus until Monday.

You might be wondering why I chose a wet ornamental grass to illustrate this post.
Well, in truth....... I have no idea.
Not sure if there could be any psychological reason.
Any guesses?


Akelamalu said...

That second conversation made me so sad. :(

Rose said...

What a sad life this little girl must have. It breaks my heart to see children treated this way, and yet there's not much you could have done to remedy this situation. I don't blame you for moving to another seat.

Glad to know your treatment is going well and that you feel well enough to walk to catch the bus. I'm sure all that walking is good for you as well.

Twain12 said...

amazing what we hear and see sometimes, and sometimes we don't want to be witnesses :(

Hilary said...

I've overheard a few conversations similar to the trio and it's very distressing.

As for wet grass, I thought it was raindrops on leaves and that would have worked for this post because you were (l)eavesdropping on conversations. ;)

Maggie May said...

Hilary....... Very good play on words!
Maggie X

Jeni said...

In semi-defense of the grandmother and the little girl, mainly because of having been in similar situations with one or both of my grandchildren, both autistic too, they frequently latch onto a word and keep up with the repetition, interminably at times. And yes, it does get really, really OLD and irritating too. And, that kind of actions on the part of a child, if they aren't corrected for it will also end up, without a doubt, with adults around muttering or at least thinking, "Why doesn't the adult in charge reprimand that kid?!!!" Granted, I don't think the methods used were fully appropriate, just that I definitely can understand the frustration and especially if the adult had repeatedly, perhaps, requested nicely that the actions cease and desist. My grandson would have lots of folks crying for him just to see the look that spreads across his face as soon as he is told anything remotely like a reprimand. The mouth begins to suck together immediately and then quiver and he tries desperately to manipulate a tear or to out too -sometimes even successfully. His mother and I are so accustomed now to this behavior we generally just smile, sometimes break out into loud laughter too though as we tell him to try a little harder for that tear. Sometimes, discipline when accompanied by sheer frustration from whatever cause, is a really difficult step to maneuver ya know.

Teacher's Pet said...

I was thinking that perhaps the child was autistic. I know that there are special needs children and adults...but no matter what the case, it is heartbreaking to read the response by the little girl toward her Dad. I want to think the best about everyone...and I've lived behind rose colored glasses. I want to see and think the best of everyone in this world. I have found out the hard way that to do that is to bring heartbreak to myself. I pray for this child and her family. I did that after I read your post, Maggie. I left my computer for a while when I first read the blog....and pondered that situation. That's what I do (sometimes to my detriment....sigh.)
I love the "Overheard Conversation" theme, though. Wonderfully written...tugged at me...both of them.
Your photo is refreshing! I love rain on the plants and flowers. I can just hear the plants' gentle "thank you" for the much-needed gift from God.
Love to you, my sweet friend.

Anonymous said...

So sad! Love your dewy shots.

Bernie said...

I found the first conversation amusing and the second quite sad, I know it happens more times than I would like to think. Hope it doesn't get you down Maggie.
I meant to tell you that fatigue is a side effect of radiation, you will get your energy back I promise.
Have a great weekend....:-)Hugs

Retired English Teacher said...

Oh, I hate to hear things like that. The poor child. You wonder if she has anyone who cares.

I have no idea why you posted the photo. Perhaps, it indicates a need for refreshment during a dry time in life.

Nora said...

Raindrops on fresh green grass are a sign of new life and hope, aren't they? You must have a longing for a lot of that, especially after overhearing the last conversation for which there was no excuse. I'm sorry you were witness to it.

I'm glad the treatments are going well and according to schedule and that you feel well. You're right, the walk is probably good for you. Better than sitting on a bus anyway.


cheshire wife said...

Some people should not be allowed to have children. The grandmother and the son were probably badly treated as children and may see their behaviour as normal.

I suppose that you could say that you were grassing the overhead conversations.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Makes you wonder who actually was the child! With behaviour like that the grown ups. Shocking behaviour and I agree, poor child. I wonder if the chap in the first conversation eventually lost his rag and told the other to sling his hook.

Great that the treatment is going OK and you are feeling strong. Love and hugs ~ Eddie x

secret agent woman said...

Maybe you were feeling a little burdened by the conversational droplets you heard?

Whether the child was autistic or just enjoying the sound of the word, there was no cause for that sort of ugliness on the part of the grandmother. It is never okay to shame or mock a child, and feeling irritated is no excuse.

Wendy said...

Poor little girl. No matter how irritating that word repetition was, there is no reason to treat anybody, particularly a young child that way. I think I would have told the grandma to shut up!

Too bad you had to get off the bus before the end of conversation #1. I wonder what the answer was?

Raindrops on leaves - I like Hilary's answer. LOL

Clare Dunn said...

The photo is lovely, regardless of the 'why'. I love your posts!

My heart breaks for that little girl, but, like Jeni, I can understand a little about her Dad's and Gram's motivation. It's sad for us to witness such behavior, but we are not privy to their side of the story. I think you did the right thing by moving. My guess is, they DID get the message.

The gentleman going to Spain maintained his composure, and answered the question honestly. That's what nice men do.

xoxoxo, c

Anonymous said...

I guess that's the trouble traveling on the bus; you are forced to listen to conversation whether you want to or not and sometimes its something you don't want to hear.

Love your picture. Water, fresh and revitalising, gives life and washes away impurities. xx

RNSANE said...

Good grief, I think there were much more appropriate ways of asking the child to stop - perhaps, trying to engage her in conversation or to direct her in some gentle, more loving way.

It's hard for me, as a nurse, who worked 21 years with child victims of abuse, to sit quietly by. Once, while waiting for an elevator to go up to my office, I witnessed a woman snatching her toddler by the arm to the degree that I thought she might dislocate it, then she slapped him in the face. I, quietly, stepped up to her and said that the child protection center was on the floor below and that, if she did not desist in her treatment of the child, I would call and have someone come up immediately. I, in fact, dialed my cell phone while she ranted at the child and the secretary sent a worker on the next elevator. It seems the lady was actually being followed by one of their case workers!

Glad you're doing pretty well with your treatments, Maggie!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

The first conversation made me chuckle and I would have loved to know the end if it. The second made me sad. I find any sort of unkindness towards children quite distressing. I probably would have moved as well.

Glad to know Maggie that your treatment is going well and you feel fit enough to get in some walking. A x

Iota said...

You're obviously quite a people-watcher. I wonder if that goes with being a blogger.

Wisewebwoman said...

The picture shows me some grasses burdened with tears.
I despise to see the spirit of a child kicked like that. I would have created a song with the word, with her help and made her giggle.
As to Spain Man, how lovely he engaged with one more challenged.
The sweet and sour of life. I love overheard conversations and often write them down.
PS and walking to treatment, I am so pleased for you!

Shammickite said...

Poor little wee girl, what a shame to be mistreated by her dad and gran.... some kids have to deal with such a hard life. I've got four grandchildren... and I'll never never mistreat them like that.

Brian Miller said...

i enjoy my bus rides...i think they are great sociology experiments...smiles. intriguing convos...the second for sure is sad...

Retired English Teacher said...

I accidentally deleted your comment on my blog today. I feel like such an idiot. Thank you for writing such kind words. I think of you often as you go through your treatment. I hope today has been a good day for you.

Take care dear Maggie May.

Elisabeth said...

I nearly confused you with the other Maggie May here, Maggie. I'm here via cheshire Wife. Such sad conversations and hoe beautifully you recount them here. thanks.

Suldog said...

Certainly, a child's behavior can sometimes be annoying, but to treat a child with such indifference to the child's dignity... horrid! There are ways to get children to behave with humor and gentleness. At least, the attempt should be made before making threats!

The grass appears thick and impenetrable, a bit foreboding if one were a creature who might venture into it. Perhaps it is a subconscious expression of how you feel concerning your treatments? You asked...

Anonymous said...

A was smiling through the first half of this post at the thought of that lovely-sounding man whom was quite literal and seemed to have very typical special needs, of the "honestly" quality. People like that give me a warm glow, Maggie. They love each other for who and what they are, not for how they look or how they speak etc.

Then my heart broke. Utterly awful. Some people seriously do not deserve to have children, simple as.

You should know I have mentioned you in my blog post today.

CJ xx

rosaria said...

Hi Maggie, so good to hear that your treatment is working for you. My special thanks for all the wonderful notes you left on my blog.

Joey said...

Tears... it's why you chose it.

I would have cried too.

Celia said...

Those conversations are such a contrast, the patient and kindly listener, the impatient and abusive listeners.

The dewy grasses make me think of growth and the tears shed at times when we are changing. And still we need the moisture to grow.

Hope you day is well, good for you for walking to bus.

Casdok said...

Looks fab :)

Suburbia said...

I am glad your tratment seems to be going ok.

Poor child, how on earth is she going to keep up her spirits with that sort of abuse. I'd have felt just like you.