Those Damn Tourists
Yup, that’s right… that is the title of my post. Now before you get mad at me and think, “well I’m one of those damn tourists”, no, no you’re probably not. At least I hope you’re not.
I know we live in a city that thrives off of the tourist industry. The condos, the souvenir shops, the same food just a different name restaurants, the mopeds that go 10 miles per hour slower than the speed limit. I accept all this. I change my driving routes when it’s tourist season. We don’t eat out at times when we know the restaurants will be packed or we visit restaurants off the beaten path. We change our lives so that others can come and enjoy this beautiful city as well. But there are some things we just can’t change, and wish we could.
Last night I had to take a trip to Wal-Mart to try and find something that Target didn’t have. Bum-mer. I hate going to Wal-Mart. Hate it. We used to go there for our groceries because it was so much cheaper… but after trying out Publix a couple times, we both realized that not only do they have a better selection of just about everything, we don’t leave there wanting to fight any and everyone who comes in our path. Wal-Mart just tends to bring out the absolute worst in people. And not just here… everywhere. It’s like there are no rules, no regulations, no laws. Almost a survival of the fittest and rudest if you will.
As I was sitting in my car about to hop out and head in I saw two younger guys, probably late teens maybe early twenties standing between their parents very expensive SUVS. Both had visors, pastel colored short sleeved wind breakers, white shorts and penny loafers. The “preppy” sailor look. (totally reminds me off my very well mannered, very well brought up ex)
About to get out of the car I noticed one of them walk over to the car parked across from them and throw their garbage next to the car. Grrr. Seriously?! Who does that?! Attempting to bite my lip and just walk in the store, after all, this is the Wal-Mart parking lot, this kind of stuff happens all the time, I couldn’t hold it in any longer and one foot away from them I said, “Thanks for throwing your garbage on my beach.”
Not what I should have done. I really wanted to go over, pick up the trash, then comment… but I hate Wal-Mart and I really wanted to just get in and get out. Which I did. And as I walked back to my car my adrenaline started flowing again. I really didn’t want another encounter with the youngin’s but there was no way around it. But it wasn’t just the youngin’s this time. Their dads were already in the drivers seats, the moms had just finished putting the groceries in the back of their SUVs and were looking to return the carts, their brothers or sisters or whoever already in the back seats ready to go. Great. Just what I needed.
I was actually going to pick up their trash had their cars not been there and had they all not been there. I don’t like confrontation. Especially when it’s pointless. But that adrenaline got the best of me again and when I walked by the boy the conversation and drama went a little like this:
me: I hope you don’t treat the beach like you treat this parking lot.
boy: shut up and get in your car.
me: pick up your *ish and I wouldn’t have to say anything.
boy: you don’t have to cuss at me.
me: you’re right, pick up your trash.
boy: shut up b*tch. get over it. get in your car.
mom 1 to boy: just get in the car and shut your mouth.
dad 1 to me as he’s rolling down his window: shut up b*tch and get in your car. get over it b*tch. get over it.
me to both boy and dad: pick up your *ish and go home.
dad 1 to me with mom in background still telling her son to be quiet: get over it b*tch. clean it up yourself b*tch. get over it b*tch.
me to dad: seriously?! just pick up your trash.
dad to me as I’m getting in my car: b*tch clean it up yourself. that’s all that women are good for anyway so shut your f*in mouth, clean up my *ish and go home. get over it b*tch. go home b*tch.
um… wow. wow, wow, wow.
I called B while shaking and in tears and tried explaining to him what had just happened. He re-assured me that if he had been there, they wouldn’t have talked to me like that and that the boys and the dad were cowards. It took a little to calm me down and I agreed with him.
Yes, my actions were wrong. Yes, my words could have been chosen better. Yes, the Wal-Mart beast in me came out. I apologize. I really do. But throwing your trash on the ground isn’t right, no matter where you live. Did I tell you that a couple weeks ago I had to dig up and entire case of empty beer cans at the beach when there was a garbage can 20 feet away?! Yea, that was fun. Or how any time I go to the beach I pick up other peoples trash and throw it away for them. Or how we’ve actually dug up a broken beach chair. Seriously people… seriously?!
Again, I agree that what I did and what I said was not right. And again, it’s not right to throw your trash on the ground. But that’s not what really got to me. What got to me was what the dad had continued to call me and what he said about women.
I, sir, am not a bitch. Nor is it okay for you to call me or any other woman that.
I, sir, have so much more worth than picking up after you or your son. So does your wife. The way you treat your wife is the way your son will treat his so please set a better example to your son and treat your wife with respect.
I, sir, care about where I live and I, sir, am part of the reason the beach looks good for you and your family to come.
What if I would have left those beer cans for you to step on while you’re enjoying a nice relaxing walk on the beach, cut open your foot, and head to the hospital which is easily a 45 minute trip with the tourist traffic to ruin your vacation? What if the condo that you’re staying at decided they didn’t want to clean your room before you came because you could easily do that yourself? What if the restaurants you go to eat at didn’t feel like washing your plates, forks, cups?
You sir, are the reason that the locals here do not have a good relationship with many of the tourists.
For those of you who visit here often, and who do not behave like this… I appreciate you. Thank you for taking the extra 15 seconds to throw away your trash. To walk 20 steps and place it in the garbage. To bring a garbage bag with you and collect your trash instead of throwing it on the ground.
Thank you for caring about this beach like I do. Thank you for helping keep this a beautiful place with beautiful white sand. I thank you. My husband thanks you. My daughter thanks you. We all thank you!