I teach Andrea not to stare at people all of the time. I watch shows with her about children who have disabilities, and how staring and pointing hurts their feelings, and that they have feelings too. She understands, and I swear she has never reacted unkind, or strangely to anyone who was different. (accept for that SUPER dark Nigerian man in the show store, that tried to put her shoe on. she nearly climbed my back. The same exact way she did with the baboons at the zoo. This was all in the same month...and there was no pun intended. Please no hate mail, children are children! I am not saying that she saw a resemblance, just that maybe she was going through a phase that month where she scared easily towards certain things she had never seen, and she also climbled my back. I had her on my hip, she was 2)Anywho, I have always taught her and almost pointed (not with my finger,Geez-how rude would I be) out people who were "different" so that she would get used to it, and not stare or poke fun.
I guess that is why she didn't mind when the mentally challenged man asked if he could sit beside ME in the nearly empty movie theatre. Seriously, there were four other people (says alot about the movie "Coraline") in the whole movie on a Friday (it was around 6). After the movie started, a nice looking,well-dressed young man walks in by himself, and scouts the seats. As he reaches our row (dead center-no lie) he says "There is no-where to SIT!!!!!!!!!!" in a very loud voice! The only other people in the theatre, were in the back row, and started laughing. I thought maybe they were all friends, and acting immature. That is also what I thought as he walked directly up to me, and asked if he could have a seat. I thought this was an immature 17 year old punk, that would probably hit on me. I said "sure" as Andrea paid no mind (she was SO cute as she was all into the movie with her 3-D glasses on) and got prepared to let him have it in the most "kid friendly" yet venomous and belittling way possible, if her tried anything funny. I was so ready, that I lost track of the movie. I mean there are 100 other seats, why would you come sit down directly beside me?
As I attempted to watch the movie, he didn't talk to me. He ate his popcorn,very loudly, and guzzled his drink (bottled soda that he kept in his pocket).I tried hard not to look over at him, but my body language (left leg crossed over right , almost leaning over Andrea)suggested I was a tad uncomfortable. It wasn't until he dropped his popcorn on the ground , and started rubbing his head in circles,then retorting to sweeping his popcorn back into the bag,to just eat it again, that it really registered to me that something was maybe wrong with him, and that he was not just a highschool student acting stupid in a children's movie. (that Andrea loved bc it was creepy, but I should have read more about it, because she thought the full-figured burlesque dancers were funny, I thought it was a little too risque.)
At this point I felt bad for him and started to ease up a little bit. My grandmother who lived in Charlotte, Peggy (who was a character, I'll tell you more later),ran a group home for mentally challenged young adults. So, from the time I was an infant, until I was around 9, I was around young people with mental conditions, often. Most of the people in her nursing home had down syndrome, with an exception of Wick, who was hit by a car at 8, and never mentally grew past that point, and Wesley (I think he was just very eccentric..I never was told what was wrong with him-he was like the Rain Man) and were all so kind,and I loved them like fellow playmates.
As soon as I started to Ease up, that is when he belched really loud (he was taught to say "excuse me" very loudly )and then turned to me and asked (in a very low,bold) if he could have some of my popcorn!!!! I said I am finished you can have it. He said thank you, and right then, I told Andrea that I needed to go pee, and we left.
I don't know why I was so frighten, and I feel ashamed because of that. I also feel guilty for making Andrea leave her first 3D movie that I drove 45 minutes to go see (had to be #D) and paid $30 for (popcorn and drink included). But the situation was so creepy to me, and I would have felt the same way if he weren't mentally challenged. That would have been worse.
I don't know why I felt like letting this off of my chest. Am I a terrible person. Poor guy. Andrea said "Mommy, he sat beside you because he liked you"...and I told her that I just didn't like for strangers to sit so close to us when there were other places to sit. Hey, we all say the wrong things sometimes, and I am sure that statement will bite me in the ass one day. Oh well.
I need therapy!LOL
I bet I sound really ignorant,to everyone right now.
You really had to be there.