Frustration And Violation

Earlier this week I wrote about the theft of my wife's purse and the anger we felt, especially in regard to the attack on my children. They were not physically harmed, but a piece of their childhood was taken, a little chunk of innocence.

I promised myself that I would not spend too much time harping on this and for the most part I have been successful, but there have been a few frustrating moments at the office.

My office is small so it is hard to keep a secret. The incident is not a secret, but not something that I have run around telling people because I just don't feel the need to do that. However word has gotten out and people have strolled in and out of my office to let me know that they are sorry about this.

I appreciate the sentiment but have a bone to pick. Several of them have made comments to the effect of "you did the right thing but I would have made a big scene and not allowed them to leave the store."

It irks me because I don't appreciate the subtle suggestion that I could have prevented things if I had handled it differently or the lack of appreciation/understanding about how fast it all took place. And it bothers me because to a certain extent I feel like I failed in my responsibility and obligation to my family.

So I have decided to vent a little and express a few thoughts about what I could have done differently.

When I confronted the couple I could have been more aggressive and insisted that they empty their pockets to prove their innocence. Of course had they refused I would have had little recourse other than to resort to a physical struggle.

The vibe I got from the man involved here made me think that I was moments away from a fight. I am not proud to say that I have had a number of fist fights in my life, I have. I know how to take care of myself. But it has been a good 16 years or so since the last time I really got into it with someone and this situation was entirely different.

I have responsibilities now. I don't know if he or someone in his party had a gun or a knife. Maybe they did or maybe they didn't. And even if I jumped on top of this guy and punched his lights out there is no telling what could have happened. Store security or bystanders could have gotten involved and made things worse.

In short a fight would have meant risking my safety and could have even resulted in my being arrested and or prosecuted because this would not have been a fight on the schoolyard. A fist fight in the real world means that you go hard and fast and you assume that your adversary is going to try and maim/kill you. People are crazy, you just don't know.

Since there was no physical threat to my family or myself there really was no reason to get into a fistfight over this. And from a sidenote but probably even more important to me, I don't want my family to see me like that. I don't want my son to be frightened or to think that fighting is going to be an appropriate way to solve a problem.

But let me also make it clear that I do have some regret that I did not get a chance to introduce his head to my fist and his body to the floor. The police have video footage of him and if it is possible to catch him I will do everything that I can to see that he his prosecuted and that he reaps the fruits of his labor.

I work too fucking hard. I bought my house without any assistance from anyone. I bought my cars, furniture and tons of other stuff on my own. And the few loans that I have now or had in the past are always taken care of because I am not some kind of lowlife, dirtbag, scum sucker in dire need of a good asskicking.

So if you encounter me in person and you offer your condolences know that I appreciate it, but also know that at some point I am going to bite someone's head off if they return to that stupid comment about what I could have or should have done.


Stacey said...

You did the right thing for so many reasons. Don't second-guess what could have happened. You handled the situation the best way based on what you knew/didn't know for certain.

Anonymous said...

What Stacey said. You know, you just never know how someone is going to react in a confrontation. Especially people bold enough to just swipe your wife's bag like that.

Anonymous said...

Don't you love how people who REALLY don't know the REAL you, combined with not knowing the situation as YOU SAW IT, can make pronouncments about how YOU fucked up?


Maybe you should kick your coworkers asses... oh wait... I just turned into one of THOSE PEOPLE with my advice, didn't I? :)

I'm sorry it happened and I'm sure you did the right thing. Who knows what would have happened otherwise.

stc said...

I'm certainly not second-guessing you. You had to make a very quick decision, you acted in accordance with your conscience, you spared your family from witnessing a very ugly and frightening scene, and you don't know how it might have turned out if you'd handled it differently.

It's always easy to play armchair quarterback. Hold your head high, Jack.

Unknown said...

Oh yeah...make a scene and then when the dude pulls out a piece and wastes you or someone in your family sit back and listen to what you SHOULD have done (which is what you did in the first place.)

Jack Steiner said...

Thank you all.

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