Children in the parking lot love to sit in my chair.
If it were only kids coming off the trail who wanted to sit in my chair, I’d speculate they were tired and/or their legs hurt. However, kids who are just getting out of cars also want to plop their butts in my chair. Is the novelty of a seat they’ve never sat in more than they can resist? Are kids these days simply so lazy they can’t stand for five minutes?
If there is a crowd at the front of the parking lot and I have to be a few steps from my chair, I’ve learned to keep an eye on it. If I look away from it for too long, I’m bound to find some child relaxing in it when I look back.
One Saturday morning, an extended family arrived in the parking lot in six vehicles. When everyone finally tumbled out of the minivans and SUVs, there must have been twenty little kids milling about. Haven’t these people heard of birth control? I muttered to my co-worker. I had to stand for some reason, them step away from my chair. Sure enough, when I looked back, some tween was relaxing in my seat.
I walked up to the kid and said, Excuse me. That’s not your chair.
The kid looked at me like What? Isn’t every chair my chair? (I hate people with a sense of entitlement, especially when those people are too young to be entitled to much.) But he moved his ass.
I went on with whatever I had been doing. When I glanced back, a different kid from the same family was in my chair!
I walked over and said (loudly), Excuse me! That’s not your chair!
Again, the child moved, but didn’t exhibit one bit of embarrassment or remorse. Apparently, every empty chair is for a kid to sit in.
In no instance when a child has plopped down in my chair has an adult responsible for the kid said, What are you doing? or Don’t sit in the lady’s chair. or That chair doesn’t belong to you. or We don’t sit in chairs that don’t belong to us. Nothing. I’m convinced the majority of parents and adult guardians will allow the children in their care to do anything if it garners them a moment’s peace.
One morning as I walked across the roadway to pick up a piece of trash, a young woman approached my co-worker to pay her parking fee. A little boy (about eight years old) was with her. The kid was running around, and the young woman (his mother? his sister? his babysitter?) was paying absolutely no attention to him.
I saw the kid eyeing my chair, so I hustled over and sat my butt down in it.
As I sat, I heard the boy say, something, something, chair!
This is my chair, I said,
The boy said, I would like to have a chair like that.
You better get a job, I told him. (Oh, how my co-worker burst out laughing when I recounted this part of the story.)
The kid physically recoiled from me. Who could blame him? I don’t want a job either. But to get a nice chair like mine, he’s going to need money, and to get money, he’s going to need a job. (Of course, I got my chair from a free pile, but I wasn’t going to give the kid that information and get his hopes up. To read about the free pile where I got my chair, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/01/25/the-free-pile-at-the-rtr/.)