You are at your seven year old’s soccer game, and it’s about halfway through the season. All the parents seem friendly. Some sit and drink coffee, looking at their phones, randomly calling out there child’s name. Others pace the sidelines, clapping, cheering, and speaking in soccer lingo. And then there’s the majority of the parents who pay attention, somewhat. They are careful not to miss when their child is on the field, because it’s a long ride home when you miss a little tyke’s big goal. These parents tend to be open to conversations with other similar behaving parents. And you and your spouse are in this category.
It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and just a few minutes into the game. You make eye contact with a couple you’ve seen for almost three years now. Your kids always end up on the same team together. You usually just wave hello and goodbye, mention the weather, and make a quick comment about the game. You feel like you know each other, yet for some reason, you’ve never taken the time to formally meet, until today.
You grab your spouse’s hand and head over for proper introductions. All four of you shake hands, exchange names, and begin an hour long courtship. The conversation goes all over the place. You talk about where you live, what you do, where you grew up, what kind of food you like, etc. It’s speed dating for married couples with children. Time flies by, and everyone seems to be enjoying the conversation. You could foresee play dates, birthday parties, barbecues, and even an occasional adult night out.
Just then, one of the other couple comments on the soccer action. A child from the opposing team has scored another of multiple goals. At that level, the gameplay is hardly competitive, so it’s obvious when a child is significantly more skilled than the rest. Instead of acknowledging the child’s unique talent, the parent makes a derogatory statement about the child’s ethnicity. It rolled so easily off their tongue, and since the other spouse didn’t flinch, it must be ingrained in their beliefs.
You are completely surprised and utterly disappointed. It’s the kind of remark that goes against everything you and your spouse believe, and everything you’ve taught your child. You almost commit to Callemonit immediately, but you decide against it, probably because the ignorant parent appears completely oblivious to you and your spouses raised eyebrows. You need a moment to regroup.
Thankfully the game ends about the same time. However, there’s no real chance to get away. The children are heading towards you. Now all six of you are standing together. You and your spouse are hiding your awkwardness for the sake of the kids. You make fake smiles and tell them what a great game it was. They say thanks, but what they really want is money for the snack bar. They run off. Now it’s going to be a long walk to the parking lot.
You and your spouse have gone quiet, but the other couple doesn’t seem to notice. Hopefully, it will all end with “Ok, see you next game.” Totally not true of course, because you and your spouse will be avoiding them like the plague. But today’s not your lucky day for a quick goodbye.
In the parking lot, with kids out of earshot, one of the couple says, “This was really nice. I am so glad we finally met. The kids seem to really get along well. Maybe we can meet up outside of soccer. Do you want to exchange numbers?” The silence is deafening. You and your spouse have no response. You haven’t even had time to talk in private about the incident. You feel anxious. You look at your spouse, then towards the other couple. You figure you could give them your number but never call or pick up or reply to texts. Maybe you’ll just deal with it later.
But then you think about yourself. This would be the perfect Callemonit opportunity. You basically just met. You aren’t invested in the relationship. The kids won’t really be affected. With all the stress life gives you, is it necessary to add this one? Avoiding them will become a hassle, and pretending you weren’t offended is not an option.
So, you look them in the eyes and say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s a good idea becoming friends. What you said back there about that child is completely unacceptable. We are teaching our child better, and we hope you do the same… Let’s go Honey.” Turning and walking, without waiting for a rebuttal, shows how serious you are about your convictions. It’s another Callemonit success. Goodbye unwanted stress!
Do you tend to ignore racism? Do you think Callemonit would be a waste of time?