Last evening Hubby and I took Child to see Wall-E.
I was a bit worried. When I'd seen the preview and read all the glowing reviews, my primary thought had been, "Wow, this may be the first Pixar movie I don't want to see."
See, I'm a contrarian, deep down. I hate to be manipulated, and I hate doing things that everybody wants me to do. So when I saw that Wall-E had such a strong "message" AND that everybody and their bastard stepchild wanted me to GO ALREADY, I didn't wanna.
But I've loved every other Pixar movie--they've never been schmaltzy or messagy--so I sucked it up and went. And yes,
And then an Old Gold cigarette pack landed at my feet.
Sitting in the car parked next to us were three girls in their late teens or early twenties, already with that hard look, eyebrows plucked and hair scraped back into rumpled, greasy ponytails. The one in the back was lighting a cigarette--clearly the last one from the pack she'd just tossed out the window--with a baby in a carseat sitting next to her. She looked at me, realized I'd seen her do that, and quickly looked away.
I was astounded. Hadn't they SEEN Wall-E? Didn't they know how trash would pile up if we all did that? Didn't she KNOW about the horribleness of second-hand smoke, especially to a baby? Did she not have a brain?
My six-year-old was with me, and she'd seen it too. I had to do something to reset the balance. But what should I do? Toss the pack back in the girl's window? Give her a tongue-lashing? Tell my child, loudly, how littering was wrong?
I did none of the above. I calmly walked around the pack, opened the door, and let Child into the backseat. Then I turned, stooped, picked up the empty pack, and took it with me.
I didn't look at the girl again, but I know she saw me, watched me take her trash away to put it where it belongs. I know my daughter saw me too. I figured that was better, if either of them thought about it, than rubbing her nose in it. It was a better lesson by example, without being lesson-ish.
And isn't that what Wall-E would have done?