Ignore them


I work downtown. As with most cities, downtown usually brings an eclectic group of people. Anywhere from homeless to the most elite. I could people-watch all day from  my desk.

The other day I was driving home and noticed a man in his late 30’s without a shirt on and obviously suffering from Tourette Syndrome.  He was walking, by himself, across the street. I noticed him, but not real intent until I saw a group of 20-something guys on the other side of the street loudly making fun of the guy.

I will not lie. I wanted to swerve just a bit and clip their ankles.

The man tried very hard to ignore them and just keep walking. I mean it’s not like he couldn’t cuss them out!

But what good would that have done?

I do not do well with people who draw attention to others who are different.

I never had to deal with that growing up because Hulkman was the town sweetheart. I spent most of my life hearing, “Oh so you’re Hulkman’s sister.”

[Insert Garfield slittey-eyed stare]

Seriously. Hulkman, my other brother, and myself could be standing together and someone would walk over and give Hulkman a sucker and completely ignore us. HELLO, WE AREN’T INVISIBLE HERE!!!!

But I digress….again…sigh.

When we moved to India, everyone thought he looked Burmese so no one stared. But when we moved to Missouri, we couldn’t go to Walmart without people being so outright rude to him. I would be fuming, but Hulkman would just grab my arm and tell me, “Ignore them, Jenny…ignore them”.

I’m 37 and I still am very abrupt and ‘in-your-face’ when I take Hulkman out and anyone stares rudely.  Curious is one thing. Walking up to someone and blocking their path so you can stare at their face is flat out rude, tacky and a few other words I won’t write on this blog.

I wish I could curb my “enthusiasm” to “teach” people the downside of drawing attention to others that are different. It really doesn’t help. Maybe one day I’ll learn from Hulkman.


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  • I have a strong need to “educate” these people too, and I would have considered bumping them slightly with my car, too.

    This is going to sound so old-fashioned, but my mom always taught us not to stare or make fun of others. She also told us not to rudely ignore people who are different, either. Just treat them the same as anyone else. So my guess is these rude folks had sub-par parenting and their oafishness is going to come out in many ways. Pity for them.

  • Ahhhh yes, I know this all too well due to growing up and constantly being with my cousin Charles. His heart is made of gold… if only other people could be as wonderful as those with Downs.

  • Oh, Jen, you know I am right there with you. I work with kids who some are labeled different. Luckily, for the most part, the other students are accepting. But, there are times, they break my heart with their rudeness.

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