I find it hard to deal with rude people. I often get annoyed with myself for not sticking up for the underdog when they are being bullied by rude people. It's the Brit in me - don't get involved, don't hurt people's feelings, mind your manners etc. Then I just get mad at myself and fester in the "what I should have said" scenarios.
Yesterday was no exception. I walked into the swimming pool changing room to find 2 women staring at a little boy. One lady (probably in her late 60's) went marching over to the boy and said "where's your mother little boy?" The boy said "its my grandmother and she is using the toilet". The older lady grabbed the boy by the shoulder and marched him to the sinks and told him to "stand there, this is a ladies changing room and you are too old to be in here". The boys grandmother came out of the toilet and was looking for the boy. The other lady pounced on her "is this your grandson, he is far too old to be in here. There are women changing!" The other woman was completely surprised and said "he is 5". "That is way to old to be in the womens changing room, he needs to be out of here look at that sign it says "boys 4 and older need to use the male changing rooms or use the family changing room". The poor other woman grabbed her belongings and the boy's hand and left.
I was flabbergasted! First of all at the intensity of the verbal attack on this poor lady but by the fact that I had never seen the sign before. The woman stormed back to the corner where I was changing and said to her friend "stupid English cow that type of thing makes me so pissed". She saw me glare at her. "I am allowed to say that because my husband's English" she proclaimed. At which point I said "Actually I am English, in fact we are all English" pointing to my kids and my mother in Law who was busily helping my kids get changed. Then she proceeded to ask me questions like how long I have been here etc. and I did NOT want to talk to her. BUT being the Brit I am, I of course answered politely. What I wanted to say was "you are such a rude person, who gives you the right to call someone an "English cow" certainly not because your husbands British and stop swearing in front of my kids" BUT I DIDN'T! I am so annoyed with myself for not saying what I really wanted to say and not sticking up for the other "grandma".
I discussed it with my mother in law afterwards. My daughter is 4 now and if it was the other way around and my husband had her in the mens changing rooms, I would not want her to be in the womens on her own. Yes, there is one family changing room I discovered last night but when you have 40 kids coming out of swimming lessons at the same time, how quickly does that get filled up. Do you agree is 4 years old too young?