IT’S PRETTY MUCH a good-news-bad-news tale, but a North Carolina blogger caught a scene at work that wound up ending with a heart-warming twist.
A 20-year-old blogger named Kristen, who lives “somewhere off the coast of North Carolina,” according to her website’s bio, works at a video game store and had a boy come in recently with his older brother looking for a game featuring a female player. He also wanted a purple game controller, according to her post — found here.
The boy was accompanied by his older brother, whom Kristen described as “tall, stocky and handsome.” She also added that he was a wrestler at a local high school. The boys, according to the post, had taken a while to pick out a game. Perhaps tired of waiting, the father came into the store looking for them.
Upon seeing the selection — a game called Mirror’s Edge — and the purple controller, the blogger writes that the father urged the boy to pick “something more manly. Something with guns and fighting, and certainly not a purple controller,” Kristen writes in a post that was also featured on Huffington Post — found here. (I first saw it when fellow Facebook news junkie Matthew Keys posted that link — find him on Facebook and/or Twitter.)
What happened next is both shocking and encouraging.
Kristen writes that the dad then picked out a zombie-killing game called Dead Island, and eventually threatened to “whoop his son” if he didn’t pick a more manly game. That’s when the big brother made his move (I’ll let you read it in Kristen’s words):
That’s when big brother stepped in. He said to his Dad “It’s my money, it’s my gift to him, if it’s what he wants I’m getting it for him, and if your going to hit anyone for it, it’s going to be me.” Dad just gives his oldest son a strong stern stare down, and then leaves the store.
In the end, the kid got the game he wanted along with a bit more encouragement from his brother and from blogger Kristen.
MY TAKE: You might wonder how a man with an attitude like that father’s could raise a boy as upstanding as the older brother while still being the kind of asshole that would treat his younger son the way he did in that gaming store. I sure did, but then I thought a bit more about it. The older boy is obviously everything that man wanted in a son — strapping, athletic, “manly.” It’s probably very easy for that dad to raise a son that turns out exactly like he wanted. But being a real parent means supporting your kids even if they don’t turn out exactly like you’d planned, hoped, etc. Based on how his older son acted, hopefully that chauvinistic and probably homophobic mentality won’t be passed down to the next generation of his family. It’s not 1950 anymore. Boys can play with dolls and girls can play with trucks. This blog is about being manly … about being manly in a modern way. Some key characteristics I try to tout — and I’m also still working on — are tolerance, compassion and understanding. I’m sure this man isn’t a terrible father, and I’m not writing this with the purpose of verbally beating him up. But it appears as if he does have some things to work on. Hopefully, for the sake of his relationship with his sons, he will.
MY OTHER TAKE: I used to play Tomb Raider when I was a kid because I thought Lara Croft was hot. Hey dad, ever think your kid just doesn’t want to stare at a dude’s ass running around on the screen for hours at a time while playing his game? And even if that’s not the reason, who cares. It’s a video game, let him play what he wants.
MY OTHER OTHER TAKE: Maybe he’s just their stepdad?
Kristen’s blog post: http://j.mp/xHaLoc
Huffington Post feature: http://j.mp/yKHyRi