I work a job in retail. I won't say which store, but it's one of the bigger ones. I spend my day back in the electronics department. I love it there. Granted, it is minimum wage, and some parts of the job aren't even as enjoyable as staring at a wall, but for somebody, like myself, who practices the art of people-watching, it can present you with some of the most unique specimens our species has to offer.
I feel like many future posts may be devoted to all the different and wonderful characters I meet during the day. In general I've noticed that my writing tends to flounder if it is entirely out of my head. Fiction, like any good lie, needs to keep one foot in reality for it connect and sound believable. At least, that's how I feel about it.
One of my favorite things to examine of the people who visit my department is parenting style. Lot's of mom's and kids come back my way on the hunt for video games. More than anything, it drives home just how much the parent plays a role in shaping the attitude of their kids. I've seen so many jaded parents come in (generally these are the ones in their late 20's) and buy their kids a game just so they shut up. They barely look at the kid. It's almost like they were buying a treat for their dog so it would stop barking at them. The kids on their own sound like entitled brats. Some people would blame the kids behavior for the parents attitude, but those people probably also failed at being a good parent. They are the disinterested and uninvested.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the kids who come in with a parent that obviously cares about them. They get the game they want, but when they do, they are grateful. They say thanks. They look curious, but not obnoxious. It's such a hard difference to put into words, but in person it is so incredibly easy to make the distinction between the two. These parents are the loving ones. They are the ones who poured some of themselves into their kids.
It has gotten to the point where when I see just a parent or just a kid, I have no trouble picturing exactly what the other must be like. The other day a kid came in looking for a PSP. I told him the price and he said that was too much. Before he left, though, he gave me this gem.
"You want to know how bad I have it?" he said, double chin threatening to roll onto his brand-name-cool-clothes.
"How bad do you have it?"
"I only have a Wii, DSi, PS2, and some computer games."
"Wow. That's rough." I said. I then lost any remaining respect for the kid when he bought my oh-so-poorly disguised sarcasm.
"Yeah, I know."
Only. I only have.
Care to guess which group his parents fall into?
Again, sorry that this post ended up being less than happy. I swear I usually write lighthearted stuff. Next post, I promise :)