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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Hypervigilance is a hard way to live life. The stress associated with doing so causes all manner of stress-related disorders, and causes people to lose the ability to enjoy life; the ability to, "stop and smell the roses."

    Be polite, be professional, and have a plan to kill anyone around you. Train yourself to be able to react to a situation. The best among us do not have the magic ability to preempt an attack, even when it is known to be inevitable.

    I know they say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but in day to day life, that is not a practical approach.

    The person that lives in condition zero has a 0.0001 percent chance of being the victim of an attacker. The person that lives in condition orange has a dramatically higher percent chance of being the victim of a stress related disorder. Be somewhere between, be aware, but don't pitch a fit when one of your party wants to unwittingly take the tacti-cool seat.

    The person that invests so much in protecting them and theirs that they burn out, and die of stress, or they miss out on the good experiences they could have shared with their family... sad.

    Speak softly, carry a big stick, be ready, and accept that a coordinated surprise attack will catch you by surprise. Be ready to respond, but don't let life pass you by as a result of hypervigilance.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by psweigle View Post
    It's a tough call, I think I would have told him that my kids are taught not to accept anything from strangers, and thanked him anyway for his kind gesture. If he THEN became agitated that would put me on alert. Most people are just trying to be polite, but if you read them, it isn't hard to see who is who.


    As for the gunfighter seat, I almost always try to sit where I can watch the exits and can have my back to a solid wall. My wife and kids know this and so do the wait staff at the restaurants we go to.
    Actually, I would get concerned if he didn't become agitated.

    Having had similar encounters with random old people and my faughters over the years, their reaction is the opposite of how you portray the response. Folks from an older generation experienced much more in loco parentis than we ever did. They frequently think nothing is wrong with tussling a strange kid's hair or offering a treat or money. And when they become older, their filters are a bit clogged and slow, so they don't take subtle hints when trying to drive them away politely. As such, only after repeatedly declining the gifts do they begin to understand why I might be declining the gift. Once those reasons dawn on them, they become embarrased that anyone would think that about their innocent gestures. The next phase is that they get upset. Initially, it appears as if they are mad at me for accusing them of such behavior (even though I never said a word), but mostly they are mad at themselves for being so clueless. They will still take it out on me because of their shame.

    I had one older woman at the local mall try to give my daughters each a dollar. And to be truthful, the girls were cuter than hell that night. I started out with genuinely polite smiles and several rounds of thankful rejections until the old bag walked over, opened their hands and stuck the money in their palms in spite of my saying no a thousand times. This right here crossed the line. She circumvented my authority. So I took the money from the girls and handed it back to her, but she wouldn't take it. She kept mewling "But why can't they have it? They look like good girls. Why can't they have it?". So I half whispered, half yelled at her something like " Because if I let them take it from you, they'll think it's OK to take gifts from strangers and the next person may want to hurt them"! When this sunk in you would have thought that I punched her in the gut. She first looked mad as hell that I might think that of her, but when she thought it through more she almost physically collapsed. Her posture went slackish, shoulders sagged, head dropped a bit as she weighed the possible outcome of her actions and she was mortified. She took the money and walked away with her head down.

    No up until the point that she put the money in their nands I was actually going to capitulate and use it as a learning tool for the girls to teach them that not all strangers are bad, but it's only. OK to accept a gift if mom or dad say it's OK. And that would be a good lesson, because not all strangers are dangerous. But when she bypassed my decision it was all I could do to keep my 3% Neanderthal genes from smashing her with a rock.

    So in the case of the OP, from what I can read, it sounds like an innocent gift was offered. If the guy persisted with questions used to qualify who, what, and wheres such as "So, are you guys local?", that could be used to try to locate you spatially at another time, then I would start to question motives. But for the most part, people are well intended, but clueless about this stuff. One can be alert, watchfull yet relaxed at the same time. No need to be ready to pounce every time someome approaches.

    But now that it has happened, use the situation to do some creative visualization (aka daydreaming) to train your brain to think of other responses. In this way you'll be better ewuipped to handle the next episode. And there will be a next episode as sure as Lawrence Welk pimped Geritol.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?




    I hate to post a vid twice, but many of the comments, and it looks like some have been removed, if you click the "watch on YouTube" link, and read the comments there, where folks have posted many hyper thoughts about Dean Martin being a pedo, so this is an example of what the difference is today vs yesterday, what passed by the radar then won't pass now.

    And since we were talking about Christ and the Last Supper, folks back then had a problem with allowing children to approach Christ. Wassup with that?

    .

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Took the wife out to dinner last night and as I sat down facing the door (I guess she knows to let me have that side by now), I thought of this thread and the term "gunfighter seat".


    PAFOA works.

    BUILD THE WALL!

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandcut View Post
    Actually, I would get concerned if he didn't become agitated.

    Having had similar encounters with random old people and my faughters over the years, their reaction is the opposite of how you portray the response. Folks from an older generation experienced much more in loco parentis than we ever did. They frequently think nothing is wrong with tussling a strange kid's hair or offering a treat or money. And when they become older, their filters are a bit clogged and slow, so they don't take subtle hints when trying to drive them away politely. As such, only after repeatedly declining the gifts do they begin to understand why I might be declining the gift. Once those reasons dawn on them, they become embarrased that anyone would think that about their innocent gestures. The next phase is that they get upset. Initially, it appears as if they are mad at me for accusing them of such behavior (even though I never said a word), but mostly they are mad at themselves for being so clueless. They will still take it out on me because of their shame.

    I had one older woman at the local mall try to give my daughters each a dollar. And to be truthful, the girls were cuter than hell that night. I started out with genuinely polite smiles and several rounds of thankful rejections until the old bag walked over, opened their hands and stuck the money in their palms in spite of my saying no a thousand times. This right here crossed the line. She circumvented my authority. So I took the money from the girls and handed it back to her, but she wouldn't take it. She kept mewling "But why can't they have it? They look like good girls. Why can't they have it?". So I half whispered, half yelled at her something like " Because if I let them take it from you, they'll think it's OK to take gifts from strangers and the next person may want to hurt them"! When this sunk in you would have thought that I punched her in the gut. She first looked mad as hell that I might think that of her, but when she thought it through more she almost physically collapsed. Her posture went slackish, shoulders sagged, head dropped a bit as she weighed the possible outcome of her actions and she was mortified. She took the money and walked away with her head down.

    No up until the point that she put the money in their nands I was actually going to capitulate and use it as a learning tool for the girls to teach them that not all strangers are bad, but it's only. OK to accept a gift if mom or dad say it's OK. And that would be a good lesson, because not all strangers are dangerous. But when she bypassed my decision it was all I could do to keep my 3% Neanderthal genes from smashing her with a rock.

    So in the case of the OP, from what I can read, it sounds like an innocent gift was offered. If the guy persisted with questions used to qualify who, what, and wheres such as "So, are you guys local?", that could be used to try to locate you spatially at another time, then I would start to question motives. But for the most part, people are well intended, but clueless about this stuff. One can be alert, watchfull yet relaxed at the same time. No need to be ready to pounce every time someome approaches.

    But now that it has happened, use the situation to do some creative visualization (aka daydreaming) to train your brain to think of other responses. In this way you'll be better ewuipped to handle the next episode. And there will be a next episode as sure as Lawrence Welk pimped Geritol.
    Excellent post!

    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Sandcut again."
    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandcut View Post
    Actually, I would get concerned if he didn't become agitated.
    Interesting story. I have some thoughts, but I want to preface them by saying I am not questioning your decisions, and your responsibility. I'm not suggesting you should have done anything different, in fact, I may have done exactly the same, especially the part about being upset when the person usurped my authority. When it comes to my kids, the only force that trumps my authority is God.

    Now, that said, I think your post demonstrates an extension of my earlier post in this thread. Earlier I mentioned about how hypervigilence can be problematic for individuals. It seems those problems extend to society as well.

    We have shifted from being trusting/polite to being hypervigilent/standoffish. I'm not going to claim to have all the answers, but I suspect the 24hr news cycle has a lot to do with that.

    Case in point... Do you think there is a higher percentage of child molesters today than there were a hundred, or thousand, years ago? I really doubt it. I think the only difference today is the widespread awareness of the weirdo diaper-snipers propagated by a media machine looking for the next lead that bleeds.

    There were always cho-mos out there, but back in the day, society was so polite that it was scandalous to even acknowledge it.

    I think we are a better society for being able to address such things, but our media creates the 'must watch fear factor' to increase their ratings while leaving consumers with the notion that every other guy on the street is Chester the Molester. Fear sells.

    The reality is that there aren't really that many of them out there. You may be more likely to bump into one at a busy place like a Wal-Mart or sporting event, but even there, still rare.

    So, once the media has us convinced that everyone is out to get us, who benefits? It's not the old lady. I've come to know a few old ladies, and how they tend to view things. Now, this is only my experience, but old ladies understand refusal of a gift as being polite, and insisting as being necessary to be polite, but it's just a dance because it is ultimately rude to refuse a gift. It seems as odd to me as a bird's mating ritual, but they have to go through the dance. Here Grandma, take the leftovers... No, sweetie, I couldn't... sure you can, we have too much... no, no, you kids need it... but you liked it so much, we just want to make you happy... okay, if you insist... blah, blah, blah.

    It's annoying, but if grandma dosen't leave with some leftovers, she'll be pissed. It's goofy, but I've seen a lot of old ladies go through the same rigmarole with all manner of things.

    Your story sounds like a sad clash of worlds. The old lady was genuinely enchanted by your kids. She lives on a limited income, but wanted to do something nice to return the good feeling. She offers a dollar each, and you 'politely' refuse, as she expected. She goes through the ritual thinking it is polite for you to refuse, but ultimately it would be rude if you did not accept the kind gesture.

    Then you smacked her with a dose of 'unspeakable' reality. She walked away dejected... lost, wondering what has happened to her world. Just a moment earlier her miserable life was brightened by a couple adorable children, and wanting nothing more to share her joy, she was smashed by the culture clash that happens when a trusting/polite culture collides with a hypervigilant/standoffish culture.

    I blame fake news; it is worse than any of us know.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Some call it the gunfighter seat, I call it the babe watcher seat.

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by DukeConnor View Post
    Some call it the gunfighter seat, I call it the babe watcher seat.
    There are, indeed, certain second order benefits to being tacti-cool.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnes View Post
    Interesting story. I have some thoughts, but I want to preface them by saying I am not questioning your decisions, and your responsibility. I'm not suggesting you should have done anything different, in fact, I may have done exactly the same, especially the part about being upset when the person usurped my authority. When it comes to my kids, the only force that trumps my authority is God.

    Now, that said, I think your post demonstrates an extension of my earlier post in this thread. Earlier I mentioned about how hypervigilence can be problematic for individuals. It seems those problems extend to society as well.

    We have shifted from being trusting/polite to being hypervigilent/standoffish. I'm not going to claim to have all the answers, but I suspect the 24hr news cycle has a lot to do with that.

    Case in point... Do you think there is a higher percentage of child molesters today than there were a hundred, or thousand, years ago? I really doubt it. I think the only difference today is the widespread awareness of the weirdo diaper-snipers propagated by a media machine looking for the next lead that bleeds.

    There were always cho-mos out there, but back in the day, society was so polite that it was scandalous to even acknowledge it.

    I think we are a better society for being able to address such things, but our media creates the 'must watch fear factor' to increase their ratings while leaving consumers with the notion that every other guy on the street is Chester the Molester. Fear sells.

    The reality is that there aren't really that many of them out there. You may be more likely to bump into one at a busy place like a Wal-Mart or sporting event, but even there, still rare.

    So, once the media has us convinced that everyone is out to get us, who benefits? It's not the old lady. I've come to know a few old ladies, and how they tend to view things. Now, this is only my experience, but old ladies understand refusal of a gift as being polite, and insisting as being necessary to be polite, but it's just a dance because it is ultimately rude to refuse a gift. It seems as odd to me as a bird's mating ritual, but they have to go through the dance. Here Grandma, take the leftovers... No, sweetie, I couldn't... sure you can, we have too much... no, no, you kids need it... but you liked it so much, we just want to make you happy... okay, if you insist... blah, blah, blah.

    It's annoying, but if grandma dosen't leave with some leftovers, she'll be pissed. It's goofy, but I've seen a lot of old ladies go through the same rigmarole with all manner of things.

    Your story sounds like a sad clash of worlds. The old lady was genuinely enchanted by your kids. She lives on a limited income, but wanted to do something nice to return the good feeling. She offers a dollar each, and you 'politely' refuse, as she expected. She goes through the ritual thinking it is polite for you to refuse, but ultimately it would be rude if you did not accept the kind gesture.

    Then you smacked her with a dose of 'unspeakable' reality. She walked away dejected... lost, wondering what has happened to her world. Just a moment earlier her miserable life was brightened by a couple adorable children, and wanting nothing more to share her joy, she was smashed by the culture clash that happens when a trusting/polite culture collides with a hypervigilant/standoffish culture.

    I blame fake news; it is worse than any of us know.
    Too bad it won't let me rep you, 'cause that was probably one of the best, most insightful posts I've read here. And I completely agree that that was most likely what was going on. And as I said, I was on the verge of allowing it to occur largely because of the reasons that you stated about the socially polite dance that you mentioned. But as you also said, the only authority that trumps me with regard to the kids is God (and possibly the wife) and this woman crossed that line.

    I grew up with an Italian grandmother. If you ever left her house without being completely stuffed with food, carrying a bag of leftovers and with $5 in your pocket something was wrong. So I fully understand where you are coming from. But I don't see my reaction as being so much from hypervigilance (although I can't say that that didn't play a role in it) so much as it was from an expectation of consistancy. As I've said before, raising young kids is very much like training a dog. Smart dogs and toddlers are about the same level of intellect. However, to train both successfully, the training must be consistant everytime until the lesson is imprinted and engrained. Deviating from the training leads to failure if allowed too early. Parenting isn't necessarily hard, so much as it is difficult to consistantly provide the same message every time. So part of my reaction was due to me not wanting to break the regimen of teaching the girls not to take things from strangers. But as I also said, I saw a teaching moment and was going to exploit it when she pushed my buttons. And this doesn't even get in to all the other lessons that you teach your kids when they're young such as "You don't ask for things that other people have" or "You work to earn your money", etc.

    But I do agree that society in general is largely unable to assess risk and, therefore, responds badly to benign occurrences because there are few real dangers out there, so they overreact to things that aren't really dangerous. Kind of like social anaphylaxis. And the media is very much to blame for this.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Strange encounter at diner with family: what would you do?

    Carnse......................That WAS one of the best explanations of the Greatest Generation's Grandmother/Grandfather gifting I have ever read or tried to understand. I think you nailed it in non-Latin terms that would have come from a psychiatrist!
    This is a hyper vigilant/standoffish culture we have evolved into verses what many of our parents and we ourselves experienced first hand growing up. (Walking to school over a mile away. Walking to the park. Hell..walking alone at night! No locked doors, no locked cars, excepting accolades and greetings from perfect strangers, etc, etc.).
    Too much news. Too much information! Way way way too much commentary by all the news channels . COMMENTARY that is thrown out there as news. We read and view COMMENTARY as news and it isn't!!!!! News is when a reporter or anchor communicates something that happened in the world by giving the facts and events as it occurred and leaving the consumer of the data to form his or her's OWN opinion. IF a news show in the day was going to issue an editorial or commentary on a news item, they very clearly stated that it was in fact, an editorial and it did not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the network, station or company that it was generated out of.
    Many of us get our news spoon fed to us by our FAVORITE news source because "that news source agrees to how I feel!" Congratulations! You are now being bombarded by information that for the most part, keeps you from hearing and seeing and reading both sides of a story.
    Stop and live in the moment. Smell the roses! Reduce the stress that your bringing on yourself and others around you! Vigilance without overload!
    Like I posted before: "Don't live in the headlines and TV news we consume. Too much of it and we get consumed by it!"
    And once again, history repeats itself! Over and over again!

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