I don't understand some people.


A woman came into the bookshop with a couple of bags of books she wanted to sell. I had a look, and lo and behold, there were two cookbooks, one a Nigella Lawson, the other called Once Upon a Tart from New York City's Favorite Bakeshop and Cafe. Good, good, and the rest of the books aren't bad either, so I gave her twenty bucks for the lot and off she went. Brought the cookbooks home, and found to my disgust that the Once Upon a Tart book had had several, at least 15 pages of recipes torn out! There's no way I can resell this book. If you want to sell or give away a cookbook, and there are recipes you still want, you either copy them out or xerox the pages; you don't tear the pages out!!!!! And the original price of the book was $41.95! It's a crime. So far, I don't think she's torn any pages out of the Nigella Lawson.

badge posted by: PaddyL on January 13, 2012 at 12:19 am in Member news
tags: Cookbooks
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reply by: omaria on January 13, 2012 at 12:37 am

I totally agree with you Paddy. How can one tear pages out of books ? Magazines ? Sure, have done that many times but books ? Never ! And then bring it to sell , the nerve of her.

reply by: sandra Alicante on January 13, 2012 at 1:30 am
sandra Alicante

That stinks. I feel bad enough when I make notes on a page but if I do it, it's because it needs it - usually a mis print on an ingredient amount that I KNOW either will or has thrown the recipe into a spin. Or, in some cases I draw a little heart above a recipe (to show it's a favourite.)


reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 13, 2012 at 6:14 am
Mrs Cindy

.....but, then I would never re-sell a cookbook I had made notations in. The absolute fricking nerve of that woman! I hope she chokes on her $20! Sorry, not enough caffiene, yet!


reply by: KAF_Keri on January 13, 2012 at 7:23 am

Ugh, people!

Cindy, your comment gave me a much needed laugh this morning. Thanks! :)


reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 13, 2012 at 10:10 am
Mrs Cindy

You're welcome, Keri! I had been up since 4:15, and PaddyL's post just flew all over my under-caffeinated self. 😊 Glad I was able to brighten your day!


reply by: pammyowl on January 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

I don't understand some people! Would you rip a page out of "The Grapes of Wrath"? I don't think so. Both of my Grandmothers gave me their cookbooks, and I treasure the handwritten notations in them. Mine are written in as well. But to tear out pages, and then sell the book? Oh well, Karma will bite you in the butt every time!

reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 13, 2012 at 10:46 am
Mrs Cindy

Well, pammyowl, that woman is going to lose a whole bunch of her rather large rear end, if karma has any say in it! What a way to lose weight! Hey, if that would do it........, nah, I still wouldn't tear pages out of any book, much less a cookbook!

p.s. but the thought of some woman in Canada walking around with huge bites taken from her butt does make me smile!😊

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 13, 2012 at 11:19 am
Mike Nolan

My wife's family has been in nearly every aspect of the book business, writing, publishing, running a bookstore and buying used books, as well as working as a librarian. I worked as the IT director for a publisher for nearly 20 years.

People do the strangest things to books, like ripping pages out of library books and even new books in a bookstore! I once saw a book where someone had methodically gone through with a black marker and crossed out 'dirty' words.

My father-in-law did book buys for over 40 years, he learned that you have to either assume some damage when buying large lots of books or look through EACH ONE briefly.

You also can't assume the dust jacket matches the book inside.

reply by: CookinATX on January 13, 2012 at 11:34 am

I've never torn a page out of ANY book...however, the pages of my favorite recipes are often splattered with bits of the ingredients. OK, I'm a messy cook, but my cookbooks are going to be buried with my remains some day. Not for sale. : )


reply by: cwcdesign on January 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

So there was a dealer of rare maps and he was finally caught on camera cutting rare maps out of books in the Yale University library. I had to go back and find the story - New York Times 2006

I've copied recipes by hand, copier or scanner, but never cut out - you hope whoever finds the book next enjoys it as much as you did.

reply by: elutz01 on January 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm


reply by: Mike Nolan on January 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm
Mike Nolan

Most of my cookbooks have a note in the front as to which of our two kids has first dibs on them. I've had to revised these a bit now that we know my daughter-in-law can't tolerate wheat.

I might donate my notebooks to the Vatican, they're about as cryptic as some of Leonardo DaVinci's notes. :-)

reply by: PaddyL on January 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I do tend to make notes in my cookbooks, but when I lend a book, I am usually thanked for the notes. And I love reading people's handwritten notes in older cookbooks, but tearing out pages is just simply beyond me. It was, and still is to a point, a beautiful book, but I can't sell it. Years ago when we ran a library in our parish, there were one or two members who regularly crossed out 'naughty' words!

reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm
Mrs Cindy

The 'thought police'. Doncha' just luv 'em?

reply by: GinaG on January 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I'm hoping the lady didn't know. I could see someone finding nice books for a song at an estate sale then selling them for more. But personally, for whatever reason, when I buy a book, I make friends with it first; I open it up, flip through the pages and read the intro: Any signs of molestation like dog-earring or creases and I'll select another. I want my books pristine.

It never occurred to me that people rip pages from books, but I have been very disappointed with the condition in which books have been returned to me. I take care of my books, but if it's YOUR book, I guard it with my life and make sure it is returned in the same condition in which you presented it. I never "forget" to return it, either. Believe me, I'll never have a book-drought, but I have lost untold numbers of books and other objects to people who said, "I promise you'll get this back."

I don't share books anymore, I give them away.

Paddy, my heart goes out to you, what a disappointment. I hope it never happens again!

reply by: altardee on January 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I hope you will remember this cheater, Paddy. I would never buy anything from her again unless I examined it . SOME PEOPLE HAVE NO SENSE OF HONOR.

reply by: CookinATX on January 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

That's nice of you, Gina, to give the woman the benefit of the doubt that maybe she didn't know. I'm betting she ripped out her favorite recipes before selling the book.

Someone should let her know that Kinko's (or other copy centers) will make copies for about 2 cents per page!

Oh well, she probably didn't give it a second thought. ...and here all of us are ranting about it! LOL


reply by: GinaG on January 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Thank you Chris, but I'm out-numbered on the benefit of the doubt vote.
Maybe I want to entertain the possibility so I don't get mad!

reply by: easyquilts on January 13, 2012 at 11:58 pm

What a lousy thing to do!

I regularly make notes and underline in my own books, and often tear out quilt patterns from magazines, but would NEVER tear a page from a book. That just is not done!

My hope is that the woman who sold you the book was, for some reason, unaware of the missing pages.

Sandy from Cincinnati

reply by: --jej on January 14, 2012 at 12:53 am

Yes, Paddy, it was outrageous that the pages had been torn from your book. I, too, hope she was unaware of it.

For me, it was not a cookbook, but a precious old volume with names, pictures, and biographies of early residents of the county in which I was born and grew up, which someone practically destroyed. When my brother and I were preparing our parents' estate for sale, I'd rescued this wonderful old tome; the edges of the pages were even gilded. I was so excited, as I'd been doing genealogy work, and I was holding the documentation of some of my grandmother's family right in my hands. They had come across the Atlantic from England, through the St. Lawrence Waterway and on through the Great Lakes, landing in America at the port of Milwaukee in 1847!

Of course, I proudly took this treasure with me to the home of the genealogist with whom I was working at the time. I had such respect for this lady, as she seemed to 'really know her business' -- and there were several of us in her classes. So, when I was asked to leave my book with her until our group's next meeting, which was only a week away, I agreed. What a huge mistake! When I next saw my precious book, the spine was broken and the book had to be held together.

She had photographed the whole volume on her copier!!

reply by: GinaG on January 14, 2012 at 1:01 am

Okay, that did it for me! The other lady, we might not really know who the true criminal was, but I have no question here! (Of course this in no way dilutes my sympathy for Paddy).

I learned from my parents and teachers how to respect books. We never turned a book face down, dog-eared pages or even wrote in our own storybooks, not to mention someone else's.

Please tell me this woman apologized and went to great lengths to repair and restore the damages to your precious family heirloom. If you didn't trust her to have it a second longer, that's reasonable, but she could still cover the cost!

This one gets a big goose egg from GinaG: NOT benefit of the doubt!

reply by: --jej on January 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

No, Gina, no apology or anything else when she gave it back to me. My parents taught us about handling books the same as yours did: To keep them in pristine condition.

I can still see, in my mind, that woman's big smiling face, even though she died several years ago, but the book is still in that awful condition. I get numb and sick to my stomach when I think of it -- like right now. If that happened today, I'd be bold enough to confront the woman, but back then, I sadly wasn't.

Although genealogical work is seldom 'done,' I did complete enough back then that I was able to become a member of the DAR, which had been one of my goals.

As to that book, I haven't looked at it in years. But you've just slipped a new goal into the picture. I'm not sure where I'd start looking to get the repair work done, but it just might become a new goal for me. I have to get to the local library soon, so will inquire there. Thank you, Gina, for the inspiration.

reply by: GinaG on January 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I'm glad you have been inspired; now we can erase the bad memory from the book of GOOD ones and re-warm your heart!

I know just what you mean about not wanting to look at it. I have quite the collection of antiques because Mom and Dad were avid collectors; I have some of my own and a few from ancestors. Most of it is furniture, ALL of it was in mint condition until my first-ex-SIL did horrendous damage to an early-American Honduran mahogany bedroom suite when she and my bro stayed with me for 6 months: How does one SCRAPE sideboards on a bed? How do you BREAK a poster?
Another family friend who used a mirrored dresser got face make-up, coffee-rings, perfume, cigarette burns and sticky-nicotine residue all over the surface of the table-top. I did strip, lightly sand and refinish the mess and cleaned the daylights out of the whole piece. Today, you'd never know a thing happened. Other pieces were damaged by careless movers I paid a fortune to because they were "experienced."
Everything was in climate-controlled storage for years, then when I moved up to Dad's, I stored it in his garage.

I couldn't go in there without getting sick at the sight of it, wanting to murder someone, and finally did something about it: I found a lady who restores antiques and had her take everything away so I don't have to look at it until it's pristine again. She's been working on it for over a year now.

Contact your local antiques stores and dealers; antique book collectors as well as your local library for referrals to those who specialize in restoration. Ask to see the work they have done and ARE doing. Find out what they intend to do and how and verify it's industry norm before you hand over the treasure. Get it all in writing first and if they ask for a "deposit" before they start, tell them to go pound sand. Above all, don't hesitate to walk away if your gut tells you beforehand not to work with someone.

My lady is repairing damage made by a "Master-Craftsman" who ruined my great-grandfathers writing table which was custom-made for him in 1921 and simply needed minor repair and cleaning. The man who damaged the table has Alzheimer's, poor guy, and the first thing to go is whatever one studied the longest and hardest and did the best, all in one lot: Poof! I learned the hard way, but my story need not be your story!

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on January 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

People can be very weird about books. The library in the teensy town near where I built my house (very rural MO) had, at one point, had rather a progressive librarian for awhile.

The librarian while I was there was this very odd woman who was literally pathologically "shy" - I suspect some Cluster B traits along the lines of Avoidant Personality disorder.

Every once in awhile a book would disappear off the shelves and we couldn't figure out why. It turned out that whenever someone would check a book out of which the current librarian disapproved, she would note the title and it would turn up in the very next booksale, which they had twice a year. There were books in that library that were 50 years old and hadn't been checked out but once or twice in all that time that didn't get sent to the book sales, but let anything with a liberal slant attract her attention and it was a goner.

So along comes ultra-liberal me and my cohort, and we start checking some of these titles out repeatedly, which brought them to her attention, and hey, presto, they were gone! In fact on at least one occasion I actually got CHARGED for one of these books which I had returned to her in person during a period when the library computers were down and books were being checked in and out by hand. The book was "On Walden Pond" and it was never replaced, although I was charged about $30 to replace the library's very old and ratty copy. Since it had been checked in by hand I couldn't prove I had returned it, even though I had not one but TWO witnesses who were with me at the time.

Another book that disappeared off the shelves: Peace is Every Step, written by the Buddhist teacher and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. Of course it was subversive and blasphemous because the author Wasn't Christian. I was the last person to check it out, and it never appeared in the book sale either, she just tossed it.

How did I know this was going on? One of my in-laws had a part time job at this library and saw her doing this.

So all these "liberal" books that the previous librarian had painstakingly added to the collection were gradually winnowed out because the current librarian disapproved. It was very, very weird.

The stories about people redacting the "dirty words" from books reminded me of this, LOL!

reply by: Mrs Cindy on January 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm
Mrs Cindy

....{shaking my head}.....people do the strangest things for the most incomprehensible of reasons. If you ask 'why?' you get a blank stare. Along the lines of, "I can't believe you have to ask?" But you did have to ask.........because it makes no sense to a thinking person. You do not have to be educated. Many well educated people are the very ones of which we speak.

The thought of destroying property, someone else's property, is as physically abhorrent to me as the thought of cutting my hand off. I couldn't do it. Emotionally, much less physically! To have someone harm or destroy MY property is just as incomprehensible!

p.s. ........ Did any of that make sense? Or is it my lack of sleep over the past 24 hours?

reply by: sandra Alicante on January 15, 2012 at 2:12 am
sandra Alicante

Yes, many people have odd attitudes. Like you, I would never tear pages out of books, I use a bookmark to mark pages, not bending corners. I remember my father having words with the librarian in order to let me access the adult books of our local library. Nothing racy you understand, but at the rate I read as a kid, I'd gone through all the kids books that I wanted to read and was into Miss Marple and Agatha Christie was in the Adult section!
While one librarian was fine with it, another was not, so he had to get books out for me under his name instead.:)

We used to have a small place we rented out for short term summer hols. Now we know that wear and tear happens, the odd plate or whatever gets broken and we accepted that. We always told people that and would ask at the end of their week stay if anything had broken (incase we needed to replace it for the next lot). Now most would own up to the odd breakage and we'd just say, 'that's fine, don't worry about it' and off they'd go. Some said that they had broken a glass or two and had already replaced them, again, fine. But we had one family in who said 'no', nothing broken. Hmm, We found a toilet seat hinge wrecked, a laundry hamper lid smashed and hidden, chewing gum on the furniture and on the pool coping (yuck) and broken garden furniture. Oh, and they had put extra people in the house without telling us.......


reply by: GinaG on January 15, 2012 at 4:53 am

I hate to say this, but while there's an exception to every rule, in so many cases its a direct result of lazy parenting.

When I was growing up, my parents were watchful, diligent and consistent all our lives. They didn't "wait" to teach us things and other parents were the same. In fact, that someone wasn't YOUR parent did not matter. If you even thought about getting out of line, the nearest adult was on it. Today, it's bad manners to correct an unruly child. I however do not care. If the parent is ignoring their responsibility to keep their child safe and or they're creating mayhem, I'll step in and restore order. I also do not hesitate to confront teenagers behaving badly. I must have an air about me, because no one has ever objected or disobeyed.

Recently, I was in a grocery store and a little toddler boy was running and screeeaming his head off while Mom completely ignored him. I gave her ONE minute. Nothing. Completely tuned-out as if this was just the place for that. People were reacting by giving each other looks, but no one said a word.

So I bent down and caught the little bugger running toward me, "Gotcha!" and I had a word with him, "Hey. You need to stop. NO running or you MIGHT get an owie," I whispered, "Ssssh, you gotta be quiet,'Kay?..Will you be a good boy and go help Mommy do her shopping?"
Big nod and he held his chubby little finger up to his mouth, "SSsssshhhh. Bye-bye!" he waved, blowing kisses. So cute.

Five minutes later they happened to be next to me in line and the kid starts screaming again. Piercing, bloody-murder screaming. So I turned to him and made the same threatening face Mom used to make at us and he stopped.
"WHAT did I tell you about that?" I asked.
"Ohhh, come on it isn't THAT bad!" the mother rolled her eyes, laughing and shaking her head.
The man behind the counter said, "Oh yes, it really is."
Other people behind her chimed in with their two cents, one woman said she had lots more shopping to do and had to leave because she couldn't take it anymore.
Mother suddenly felt bad and asked, "Well why didn't you tell me?!"
"Excuse me!" said the senior lady passing by, "But I raised NINE children and they all came shoppin' with me and nobody had to tell em' not to touch anything, not to run, not to raise their voice or go ANYWHERE beyond the body in front of them 'cause MY kids were being RAISED! You got some nerve telling people they owe you the courtesy when you ain't got none yourself!"

Well, that's what happens when you push people's buttons. I did not bother going to the mother deliberately. It made no sense to me to try reasoning with a nut-job who lets her toddler run like a stallion on steroids through grocery aisles. I knew I could reason with an innocent.
And while the lady wagged her finger at the offending mother, her anger pouring out in a graphic harangue, those chubby little arms and fingers suddenly reached out for me and I let him melt in my arms. When the senior-lady stormed off and his mother reached for him, he resisted.
"It's okay, " I said, "I'll help you to your car."
"Are you sure?"
And so we walked to her car in silence, the little boy's runny-nosed face nuzzled against my neck, singing his new hit-song with a catchy tune, 'No running-running-running, no running!!!' Aren't little boys a kick? His name is Jonathan. He'll be three in April.

It takes a village to raise a child...Or they wind up tearing pages from books; selling damaged goods, stealing priceless historical maps and doing time; damaging family heirlooms, throwing library books intended for others in the trash...lying to nice people whose property they damaged, walking away as if nothing happened...

Their mother's set them running free, like wild stallions on steroids down the grocery aisles...

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on January 15, 2012 at 5:49 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

I'm totally with you on this. When my son was about 4, he finally hit the "terrible twos".

For me this was no big problem. If he started throwing a temper tantrum, the result was an immediate and non-rescindable "No" and an immediate return home if we were out. I might have stuff in the grocery cart, whatever, it would be left and we went home (though I would make sure to let someone know I had to leave with my screaming child, since I never got cold stuff until last and this generally happened early in the trip it was nearly always only canned and boxed stuff in the cart).

In a restaurant? Doggie bags, home. Even if he stopped the screaming, once it had happened, the irrevocable result was a trip home. He quit this pretty quick, although it kept popping up every couple of weeks. Finally, when he threw a temper tantrum over something in the car and we had turned around and were headed home, I asked the sad little cherub sitting next to me with big fat tears running down his unhappy red little face, "Why do you keep doing this? You KNOW it doesn't work with me."

He stopped dead, tears and all, and asked me in a VERY puzzled voice, "Why not? It works with my DAD."

It continued to "work with his dad" for at least another 2 years, even though I tried to talk to the man about it. The kid never threw another temper tantrum with me, but the continued tantrums at his Dad's house were somehow my fault, regardless of the fact that the man completely ignored my advice on the issue.

Nowadays my son will point to some child behaving obnoxiously in public and he'll say, "THAT is why I don't want to have kids".

I keep trying to explain to him that THAT is not the inevitable result of having a child, but rather the inevitable result of refusing to be the parent. For heaven's sake, he's got ME for backup, I guarantee no child of his would ever behave that badly in public, or at home either, for that matter. At least not more than once, LOL!

You don't have to beat a child to provide discipline; rather the reverse in fact. All you have to do is be calm in the face of the storm, even if you don't feel calm inside, the kid can't tell the difference if you behave calmly and rationally. But if you let them run loose like little hellions, they'll never learn any better.

I'm not one for blaming every flaw of the adult child on the parent. I doubt that guy was cutting maps out books because of bad parenting. I don't think every criminal is a criminal because his or her parents are at fault. I think the further down the economic scale you go the more likely there are to have been serious parenting issues, not because poor people are in anyway degenerate, but because people living in poverty are already stressed to the max and this will show in their ability to parent, as it does in every other aspect of their lives. They have fewer resources left over at the end of the day for things like their own educations, raising their kids, and everything else in their lives because poverty is just HARD. Poor people are more likely to be sent to the pokey for the same crime somebody else might just get a good talking to for, because we're bigoted about poverty. Also poor people are unlikely to be able to afford a lawyer, know someone who knows someone, or have the educational resources to be able to figure out what their rights are. Poor people are just way more likely to get run roughshod over by the "justice" machine. It's not really bad parenting that leads to the higher incarceration rate, it's the whole poverty-grindstone gestalt.

Nevertheless, I do think the lack of parenting that seems to have become rampant these days is the root cause of a lot of behavior that stops short of being actually criminal. This includes selfishness, a refusal to share or help others, an inability to communicate with a SO because the SO is presumed to be there to fill one's every need and desire, VERY delayed maturity (with 30-year-olds frequently behaving as if they are emotionally still 12 years old), inability to accept responsibility at work or at home and blaming others for all flaws and negative consequences, appearing to be unable to connect negative consequences with their own behavior, and an inability to follow through on tasks or to work on their own and figure out what needs to be done that appears to be unconnected to one's actual level of intellectual functioning.

And, of course, these children in adult bodies make extremely poor parents themselves, thus guaranteeing a fresh batch of 3 year olds in adult bodies coming down the pike in a continual stream.

Regardless of actual criminal activity, these are all very bad for society.

And the thing that pisses me off most of all - all those spoiled brats running around in public may be the direct cause of no grandkids for me!

reply by: sandra Alicante on January 15, 2012 at 9:15 am
sandra Alicante

It doesn't stop with parents either. I once found a couple of kids hanging around a local store (in the UK). They were about 8/10 yrs old. There had been a recent fuss because a young child had been murdered, not where I was living but it made national news. People had been urged to keep their eyes open for kids truanting.
So, seeing this pair, who should have had no reason not to be in school at that time of day,(I asked them) I walked into the police station a hundred yards up the road.
'Excuse me, but there are a couple of 8 yr olds hanging around by the store, you might want to have a word with them'.
"Why? What are they doing?'
'Hanging around, browsing, when they should be in school'.
'What business is it of yours? Do you know them?'
'No, it's just that they couldn't give me a reason why they were not in school, where they should be.'

I'm not kidding, you'd have thought I was the guilty party here.


reply by: omaria on January 15, 2012 at 10:31 am

When my girls were little we lived in a street were the neighbors had 2 boys same age as my girls. Their mother would come and ask if they all could go to the store with her. They all were blond kids and could have been brothers and sisters. She always said people complimented her how well HER 4 kids behaved. Before I would take the girls anywhere I would tell them "I don't want any "GEZEUR" we will go straight back home if you do". Now My girls tell their kids the same thing and those 4 grandchildren also know that their mama does not want any "GEZEUR"

reply by: sandra Alicante on January 15, 2012 at 11:16 am
sandra Alicante

OK Ria,

I'm probably being thick here but what is "GEZEUR" ? Glad to say my sons always received compliments about how they behaved in public and out with friends.

The elder one, when he was about 2, threw a tantrum (in the house). He'd never done it before and I don't remember what started it off. I decided there was no way he was going to start that trick, so while he was still screaming, I lay on the lounge floor on my back, waved my arms and legs in the air and wailed loudly. Well the kid was so shocked, he stopped his tantrum immediately. Oddly enough, he never threw one again and to this day is so laid back an placid, nothing gets him riled!


reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on January 15, 2012 at 11:41 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

I believe it's dutch for being whiny and obnoxious

reply by: omaria on January 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Exactly Zen, that is right.

reply by: sandra Alicante on January 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm
sandra Alicante

Thanks! I shall try to remember that!


reply by: stripers on January 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Re: You can't assume dust jackets -

My favorite cookbook of all time is the Fanny Farmer Boston School Cooking Book, 11th edition. My first one, in 1970, was in paperback, and I have since purchased 2 others. Due to the high acid paper, all but the last one has disintegrated over time. And the last one is very fragile and disintegrating fast.

I've often been tempted to photocopy the entire 648 pages, but find the prospect daunting.

Then, one day, I came across a hardback version. I grabbed it because the dust jacket read "11th edition" then quickly paid and ran out with my prize!

Having been a librarian in another lifetime, I SHOULD have checked the verso of the title page before putting my money down because when I finally did, after I got home, the C. stated it was the 10th edition. It now sits in the attic and I am still looking for another 11th!!

reply by: stripers on January 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm

SIGH ala Lucy in Peanuts ;-)

I just give mine away as well.

reply by: stripers on January 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I live in Gloucester, MA, 'America's Oldest Fishing port' (1623). Many of the things we do with visiting friends or relatives in the summer, revolve around our proximity to the sea. Last year we took friends on a Whale Watch...a half-day trip on a boat out to sea scouting for whales. They had other friends visiting in the area, so they invited them to come with us and these friends brought their 4- going on 5- year old daughter.

As always, once everyone is on board, someone in charge goes over the saftey features of the vessel, the location of life vests and life boats, and the rules set by the captain. By law, all children under 12 have to wear a Personal Floation Device, PFD or safety jacket the entire time they are on board. This little girl absolutely refused to put hers on. She screamed and hollared and had a virtual fit in protest, so much so that the young woman giving the lecture had to go to both her and her parents and say that the boat would not leave until she donned her jacket, or they would all be left ashore. Both the parents and the child submitted, and the boat left the dock.

We no sooner got of the harbor when I noticed the little girl without her life vest running around the upper deck, climbing on the gunnels and rails, running across the seats, and totally annoying other passengers by climbing over and around them. People were giving each other 'looks'.

As basically the hostess of this fiasco, I grabbed the little girl in a playful fashion and brought her back to my seat with me. I was hoping to get her under some kind of control when I got the "You can't tell me what to do" thing. She freed herself from me and took off back to the seats and the rails and the gunnels - VERY DANGEROUS. The boat was moving at about 5 knots, the wind was blowing steadily, the wake was about 4' high near the boat, and we were in about a hundred feet of water. I found her again, and this time she started screaming at the tops of her lungs, "You are not my mommy. You can't tell me what to do" etc.

I held her firmly and set off to find her parents, which I eventually did, sitting in the lower deck cabin drinking beer.
When I brought her to them her mother asked "What's wrong?" to the little girl. The girl said "This lady is being mean to me. She won't let me have fun. She grabbed me and hurt me." The mother looked up at me crossly and with a straight face asked if I was 'abusing' her child? I said, "No, of course not, but what she is doing isn't safe, she isn't wearing her PFD and she is disturbing the other passengers." Her response wqas "I don't know who you think you are, but you can't tell me what to do!"

Whoah! Where had I heard that before?

I just left and went to the Captain in the cockpit and asked if he could send somebody to correct the situation. He did, and the PFD was put on the girl, and it stayed on until the ship was back in port. The parents were furious and, to my relief, declined to join us for the dinner we had planned for afterwards.

Not only was the safety of the child at stake, but they were risking the well-being of everyone aboard, not to mention the Captains license if the Coast Guard had boarded the ship and found a child improperly protected.


reply by: GinaG on January 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm

WOW, Stripers:

Like mother, like daughter indeed!

Thank you, for caring enough to step-in where some other angels may have feared to tread. "Crossing-the-line" to bring a child to safety is a smaller price to pay than watching a life swallowed whole by an The Atlantic-depths. You were rewarded:

No brats at your table that night!

reply by: --jej on January 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Wow, how this thread has evolved!! Interesting!

Reminds me of when our daughter was little. She was just so easy to deal with, happy and almost never crying. When she was about two, I began going to the Y for exercise -- for me, not her. For those of us who were moms, there was a 'baby-sitting room' available. We could either pay a dollar or volunteer to take a turn watching the little ones in there. So, like the others, I waited my turn, and dutifully went in to watch the kids. Wowsers! One little 9-month-old boy cried and cried and cried; nothing, it seemed, would stem his crying. Thereafter I paid my dollar. How lucky I felt that my own child didn't pick up on the crying.

I recall one time at the store when I was getting groceries when she was about that same age; I'd just motion to her to help remind her to keep the voice down, and she was so good about it. Same with asking for things -- she had learned not to do that. One day as we were leaving the store, we met another mom with a child of about the same age in her cart. Suddenly I saw my little Annie wagging her finger at that other child who had begun to fuss and beg for something. I don't recall even looking at the mom, but that child did pay attention to my little daughter with the wagging finger! It is still in my mind like it happened yesterday.

Another occurrence that will stick in the front of my mind forever. When my child was in about 4th grade, she came home in one day in such an awful snit and started kicking me in the shins!! I was really surprised, and asked her --unsuccessfully-- to stop. Finally, I had put her right down on the floor and lie on top of her to stop the kicking, while asking her why she was doing it. She then burst into tears, explaining how one of her classmates, the girl who sat right behind her in school, would not let her play on the monkey bars or some such piece of equipment on the playground. My daughter then added that she knew if she kicked the girl at school, she would get into a lot of trouble -- but she knew I loved her and she could take out her frustrations on me. I felt so blessed, and still do.

Then there is our grandson. When he was about 2 1/2 years old, it was my job one summer to take care of him. So, in learning how to keep his hands off things in a store, he and I would both walk with our hands clasped behind us, and just 'look with our eyes.' He got very good at it when he was with me. Later on, we weren't able to spend so much time together, but often when we would be in a store, we would again 'look with our eyes,' keeping out hands behind us. He is 10 now, and when his curiosity gets the better of him, we again remember to just 'look with our eyes.'

Another sweet remembrance he and I will share forever from that summer of '04. We were sitting of the sofa, talking. I don't remember the topic, but I was saying to him, "Oh, Ira, you are just pulling my leg," because he was telling me something wild. Well, he jumped down and began tugging on one of my legs! And over the years, when he might be telling bit of a story, I would again suggest he was pulling my leg, and of course, we'd go through those motions again. He still loves literally and/or figuratively to pull my leg, with a joke or a story.

We have some serious talks when need be, and those times do arise. And I am aware that he sometimes has tantrums with his folks, but he and I have developed an understanding that pretty much eliminates those kinds of 'games' here. I only wish we did not live half a continent away from each other.

reply by: GinaG on January 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Me too: I wish you lived closer together, too.~GinaG.

reply by: dachshundlady on January 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

The "parenting" of some people today just astounds me. Not only would I keep the life jacket on my child, I would keep her/him right near me in that situation. When we had a camp in the Adirondacks, our kids had to don a life jacket the moment they stepped out the door. Even if they were going out to swing or ride tricycles. Once they were older, had taken plenty of Red Cross Swimming courses and passed our own test, then they could go out without the jacket. Even then I always kept a close eye on them and, if they were swimming, I sat on the deck and watched. Once when our son was a little guy we were outside in the fall. He had on his life jacket and wellie boots. The water was really cold. My older sister was visiting and we all went down on the dock. My son fell in and I had to pull him close with his boot and then drag him out by the vest. He was quickly stripped down right on shore to shed the wet clothes. As he shivered he exclaimed "I HATE this!"