Walking Man

Walking Man

“What is wrong with people,” I exclaimed as my husband, Marc, and I were walking on the boardwalk. I pointed to a lady walking in front us I asked him, “Did you see that?”


“See what?”


Still pointing, I replied, “That lady over there… She just dumped her cup on the bench!”


“Really? Are you sure?”


I turned to him while pulling down my sunglasses real slow, so he wouldn’t miss me rolling my eyes at him, “Yes. I am sure. I just saw it.”


Moments later, we reached the bench and there was the cup. “See, I am not crazy!” I told Marc.


“Which lady was it?” he asked, now getting upset.


“The one over there, in the pink shirt,” I answered as Marc bent down and picked up the cup.


Without saying a word, we both picked up our pace, and quickly fell in step with the woman. “Excuse me,” Marc called out to get her attention.


“Um, yes?” puzzled, she answered.


“I think you misplaced something,” he replied. As he handed her the empty cup, he continued, “I believe this is yours.”


Dumbfounded, she reached for the cup and muttered, “Oh, it was empty. I didn’t see any garbage pails.”


“So, you mistook a bench for a garbage pail?” Marc asked.


“Um, well, um, uh,” she stammered, not sure how to reply.


“Yeah, I can see how you could get mixed up. But, just for future reference, there are pails at the end of the boardwalk.”


Marc and I continued walking, but I kept my eye on the lady. As she exited the boardwalk, she threw out her garbage in a proper receptacle. I was so proud of Marc for approaching her, and doing the right thing. I am sure, she will think twice before littering again.


When you see something wrong, do you take a stand, or do you just walk away?



Yesterday, I got a BIG surprise.  I was visited by the Fairy Hobmother, who saw my comment on Brian’s blog.   Besides selling appliances in the UK, The Fairy Hobmother spreads joy around the blogoshere as well as bestowing gifts!  She sent me a $40 gift certificate to amazon!  I can’t wait to go shopping…. And the best part, not only did she send me a gift, she told me that if any of my readers leave a comment on this post, and make a wish, they too could be visited by her…..


Wish away my friends, wish away….

42 thoughts on “Walking Man

  1. My two biggest “take a stand” moments involve dog owners and a big pet peeve (pun intended). At our local dog park, poop bags are provided for free but there are still lots of people who don’t clean up after their dog. They turn their back and pretend they don’t see what their dog is doing or they make the excuse, “I don’t have a bag”. I always am ready to point and say “Excuse me, your dog is . . .” or I pull out the extra bags I put in my pocket and stand there until they use it. And in our neighborhood, there was somebody who was using poop bags while they walked their dog but then tossing the bags into the bushes along the sidewalk. Like there’s a poop bag fairy who comes along and collects the bags?!? I finally caught the person in action, picked up the bag she tossed and ran down the sidwalk after her and told her she dropped something. Haven’t seen any more bags lately.

    1. Denny – I think I love you! I let out a whoopee as I read about you putting “i think there is a poop fairy” in their place! Good for you!!! I agree, people who don’t clean up after their dogs are the worst…. Growing up the man across the street from me NEVER cleaned up after his dog. He would walk around with plastic bags in his pocket and always come back with them empty (unless someone happened to be outside their house). Drove me crazy!

  2. I have to admit that mostly I just get angry and walk away in a huff. Not very constructive!
    The only thing that I will not let pass and will take a stand on, no matter the circumstances, is any kind of discrimination. I’m originally from South Africa and I believe that large-scale discrimination (e.g. apartheid) happens because common sense, moderate people don’t speak up. I will absolutely not let any kind of discrimination pass without saying something. Admittedly sometimes it gets me in trouble, since sometimes it involves people in positions of power over me, but I cannot let it pass.

    1. Madness, Trouble & Squish – while it might not be constructive, sometimes it is the safer / smarter way… There are a lot of crazy people out there… I didn’t know you were originally from South Africa… my neighbor’s daughter just spent the summer there, and told us tons of stories.. sounds beautiful! I can totally understand why discrimination bothers you, and I think it is wonderful that you stand up when you see it. You may “get in trouble” but you did the right thing and helped (or at least tried to)

  3. I really like today’s post, Hilary. I ride the train to and from work every day, and am always amazed (maybe “disgusted” might be a better word) by people who just leave their empty coffee cups, food wrappers and already read newspapers on the floor of the train. On more than one occasion, I’ve tapped the person on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, but I think you’ve forgotten something,” or “don’t forget your newspaper.” I guess some people feel like someone else will clean it up, but really … I’m not sure what’s so hard about using the multiple trash cans on the platform.

    That’s really cool about the Fairy Hobmother granting you that wish. We’d love to win a donation to PAWS (the shelter where we volunteer in Norwalk, CT), and or to a group like Alley Cats and Angels of North Carolina. 🙂

    We hope you, Marc and Alex have a great weekend!

    Kevin (meowmeowmans)

    1. Meowmeowmans – Thanks… I liked it too 🙂 But seriously, I am always amazed too at how rude and inconsiderate people can be. I also wonder if they treat their homes the way they do public places… I LOVE that you tapped the person on the shoulder and told them they forgot something. I can just imagine the blank stares you receive…. I hope the fairy hobmother heads your way and helps you support those great causes! Have a great weekend too!

  4. Good for you guys! There’s absolutely no excuse for littering our lovely planet anymore. I hate it when people just throw their cigarette butts on the ground. Especially parent smokers at the playground: great thanks, just what I wanted my toddler to dig up in the sand. It’s considered littering here, so technically against the law. I take my children over to the park across from our house a couple of times per year (like Earth Day), with gloves on and garbage bags in hand and we do a big Clean up of the park.

    Happy Shopping!

    1. RoryBore – I hear you.. cigarette butts are the worst. Not only are they gross, and who wants their kids digging them up, but they can be dangerous. I always expect one to start a fire…. But, it is amazing what people just are so careless and inconsiderate. You don’t even want to know what I almost stepped on (barefoot) while walking on the beach the other morning….Thank God, I didn’t step in the used condom someone just left their… YUCK!

      I think it is so wonderful that you and your kids do a park clean up. What a great way to show your kids how wrong it is to litter….Too bad more mom’s aren’t like you…..

  5. Way to go! I can only think of one “take a stand” moment but I’m not so sure it had a positive impact. Back on Long Island I worked at a Blockbuster video and we had a trash can out in front of the store that we were responsible for. It got to be a real pain because people kept unloading their vehicle trash in it (imagine tons of McDonald’s bags, ash trays, etc) and even if it was full, they’d keep on stuffing. We’d have to lug their stuff to the dumpster and talk about a stinky mess! Anyway, we finally decided to get rid of the trash can – we threw it out. You’d think this would cause a litter problem in the parking lot, but it didn’t, probably just in their cars. Anyway, a guy came into the store (yes, into the store) with his bag of car trash and asked if I could throw it out for him. Being the nice person I am, I started to take it and then I said, “NO.” He was dumbfounded (he went to high school with my sisters and thought he was a fantastic specimen and no one had probably ever told him no before) and said “you used to have a trash can out front but it’s not there anymore.” I said, “you’re right, we got rid of it because people kept throwing their car trash out in it. There is a dumpster around back if you’d like to put it there.” He left the store and my co-manager practically applauded me for saying that to him. I wasn’t rude, just told the truth in a way he couldn’t exactly argue.

    1. Jennifer – like your co-manager, I am applauding… If I was there, I would have let out a whoop of a cheer. I think this is a wonderful stand, and I am sure, to some extend, it did have an impact on him…. especially if he never was told no… way to go girl!

  6. Good job for taking a stand! I don’t know if I would have said something or not. I would have picked the cup up and thrown it away though. When we go to the playground, I often find myself picking up the litter. Thank goodness for hand sanitizer. I don’t know what is wrong with people that they act like that. Ignorance.

    I have to admit, I’d never heard of the Fairy Hobmother but she must be very nice to be so generous. The only wish I have right now is for something new to wear when I go to Bloggy Boot Camp in October. I always spend my money on my son, so I haven’t had anything really new in a long time. Such is the life of a mama though, huh?

    1. Sarah – Truth be told, I don’t know if I would have said anything either, if I was alone. Many times I do, but I try to size up who I am confronting – there are a lot of crazies out there… I don’t know if it is ignorance or just inconsideration. But, whatever it is, a lot of people suffer from it… I just hope there are more good ones out there like you….

      I never heard of the Fairy Hobmother either until I saw her reference on Brian’s blog… But, she really is cool (and not only does she give gifts, she reads your blog too…) Good luck on your wish… I am a sucker for new clothes!

  7. I have to give Marc a high five for calling that lady on leaving her trash on the bench, but in this day and age you never know what in the world someone will do. It’s terrible to have to be so careful but you hear too many stories where someone takes extreme measures to extract revenge (i.e. road rage).
    That was wonderful you got a lovely visit from the Fairy Hobmother.
    If we were to get our wish we would love to donate some pet food to Daily Dose of Dog and Cats who run a one person rescue. Chrystal is just fabulous!

    1. Abby – I know what you mean…. There are a lot of crazies out there. I once had an unfortunate issue with one…. with my mom when I was in my early 20’s. We were driving, I don’t remember the details, but some guy did something stupid & we opened up our mouth. At the next light, he got out of his car and started banging on our hood. I was so scared… Fortunately, another motorist saw it and came to our rescue….

      Good luck on your wish… what a nice gesture!

  8. Yay to Walking Man for telling that lady the world is not her garbage can! We see peoples do stuff like this all the time, but we don’t always get the chance to call them on it. Our mom’s biggest pet peeve is peoples who smoke and throw their cigarette butt out the window! The world is not their ashtray!!

    Congrats on your visit from the Fairy Hobmother! She sure is spreading a lot of joy around the blogosphere. She visited us and granted our wish…and gave a donation to one of our favorite rescue groups!!

    1. Island cats – I agree with your mom! Not only is the world not their ashtray, their dirty, stinky habbit can cause a fire… I once was drving behind a smoker who chucked his butt out his window, and somehow the way he threw it made me think it was heading right into my sunroof. I was so scared….

      Isn’t the fairy hobmother great! what a wonderful thing you using your gift as a donation!

  9. I have to admit that’s impressive that you guys called her on the carpet! I don’t understand why people just leave litter wherever they feel like it, rather than finding a trash can.

    Congrats on your amazon.com gift certificate! I, too, have never heard of the Fairy Hobmother…sounds like a pretty awesome lady! My wish would be that furniture didn’t have to cost so much money!

    1. Jess – I was impressed that Marc called her out too… I don’t know if I would have done it if I was alone…. I didn’t hear about the fairy hobmother until last weekend, but I tend to agree, she is pretty awesome. Good luck with the furniture hunt & Happy ICLW

  10. I am so glad he did that. Give him a thumbs up from me! I can’t stand when people are so lazy and careless. I still pull things out of our trash at home to tell my daughter “this can be recycled!”

    1. Debby – thumbs up, done! I can’t stand when people are lazy and careless either…. good for you with the recycle lessons…. that is so important too!

    1. silver – that is a good way to handle too, especially since you never know if someone is crazy. I don’t know what I would have done if I was alone. Sometimes I say something, others I don’t. I try to size up the person & the place…

  11. Whooo Hooooo, good for you and Marc!! Taking pride in your community! And she couldn’t hold onto that cup til she found a place to dispose of it? Was it THAT heavy! I can’t tell you how much garbage I have in my pocketbook sometimes because I couldn’t find a proper receptacle . I mean we hear DAILY pollution rates, tainted water, fouled dirt..etc. You would think by now EVERYONE would GET THE PICTURE! There’s always someone who is more than willing to let someone else throw their garbage away because they couldn’t be bothered. I SO hope she remembers her embarrassment and will think twice before she discards something carelessly!

    1. irene – I don’t know.. I guess that cup “could have” weighed a ton… although, it didn’t feel too heavy for me… I am the same way with my pocketbook too. When I clean it out, i find so much garbage in it because I didn’t have a proper place to toss it before… I hope she remembers this day too, but sadly, I think she was too fargone to care. I bet she did something so lazy & careless either later that day or the next…. so sad… it is her planet too!

  12. Yay for you and Marc!!

    I do recall one time while travelling in the London Underground, a silly woman dumped her empty crisp packet on her seat as she rose to leave, the guy next to her did “a Marc” – told her she left something (he was most polite to her) except this woman started to swear and yell at him and got most aggressive. I was sitting opposite her and said something like “there’s no need for that” but she then turned to me and was about to start -luckily the train doors opened and she got out still yelling and swearing.

    Me and the guy had a good chat afterwards so all was not lost! 🙂

    Take care

    1. Old Kitty – I love it… I am so no surprised… How many times does that happen. Someone does the wrong thing, and they when they are called on it, rather than look at their actions, and take responsibility they become aggressive to the person who brought their fault to their attention… People! I can only imagine the laughs you and the guy shared… love it… oh, and I love the expression “did a marc” I am so going to use it!

  13. I never have understood why people do that… Yay for you guys for taking a stand! I wish I was a little more outspoken when it comes to things like that! 🙂

    1. Jenni – I don’t understand some people either…. I am proud that we took a stand, but I don’t know if I would have if I was alone… Sometimes it is wise not to be so outspoken – there are a lot of crazies out there…

  14. I agree with the comment above. I probably wouldn’t say anything, but I probably would throw the cup away myself. I’m not good at confrontation.

    I wish…so many things…but I’ll go with I wish I could sleep soundly through the night without medication.

    1. Janet – I think just throwing the cup away would have been a great move – after all, sometimes confrontation isn’t so smart….

      Sleep soundly through the night.. that is a good wish…. why when we get older, does that become so hard? I stopped being able to sleep through the night exactly on my 35th b-day!

  15. I tend to just undo the wrongs of others if I can…
    and who is the fairy hobmother and how do I get in on that? My dryer needs repairing and I have been limping along…..
    Other wishes would really be for others — not for me.

    1. Brenda – I have no idea how the fairy hobmother spreads her magic…. but when she visits, it is great! She visited me after I commented on Brian’s blog after he was visited…. Good luck with that dryer…

  16. I so admire Marc!!

    I’m a weanie. I can’t do confrontation and the few times I’ve worked up my courage or been with someone that has confronted someone in a similar situation – it hasn’t gone well. At. All. So basically I just fume and fuss and I let it ruin my day. But when I hear of those who are able to handle a confrontation well – it makes me smile all day long!!

    Yea Marc!

    1. Donna – I say Yeah Marc too! You are not a weanie… some of us are better at confrontation than others… And sometimes it just takes time. I rememeber when I was in college having my first real confrontation with someone I worked with. I broke out into hives after… but, somehow, over time, I got much better at it!

      I am glad Marc & I could give you a smile – after all, you give me so many…

  17. Stopping in from ICLW. Awesome that he said something. I always want to say stuff to people who do ridiculous stuff, but I never have the nerve. Nice! 🙂

    1. Liv – Happy ICLW! It is awesome that he spoke up, but I think most people, especially ladies, think twice about saying something, and considering the world we live in, that is probably the smart move….

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