Don't get me wrong, I liked the Quill and Press in Acton, Massachusetts. I like the Woolpack Yarn Shop, too. I even liked (most) of the parents and children in the Starbucks around the corner.
But I am wondering about how much entitlement there is in this particular town.
But within the space of 30 minutes, I was impinged upon by two ineffective parents (mothers, in these cases) and their entitled, bratty, noisy, rude and disrespectful children.
Case 1. (Downstairs in the well-supplied art department). Boy about 9 years old sets his sights on a quill pen, ink well and indelible ink. I have no idea whether he is a budding calligrapher or not, but I am pretty sure that his mother did not want indelible ink in her house, that she believed she would be required to hover over him while he used any of those components, and even more sure that she hadn't planned on paying the cost of those three items. She let him know that they were too expensive and he would have to be satisfied with something different, at which point he whined about the unfairness of not getting something more than his sister. Mom (rising to the bait) argued with him. He actually jumped up and stomped the floor with both feet, increasing the volume at the same time. His mother threatened (bluffed as it turned out) to go home without buying him anything (which seemed appropriate and educative to me)... but he played a winning card by lowering his voice and inquiring, "May I ask you a question?" Mom was TOTALLY TAKEN IN by this manipulative little kid. He will be a great litigator sometime by just wearing others down. Of course, after she listened to his totally rhetorical question (having to do with what he was going to get compared to his sister), she ignored him (which I think was disrespectful on its face) and which had the effect of increasing his decibel level again.
Moms: When you act this way you just train the child to whine louder, longer and disrespect you MORE.
After he stomped upstairs, I was able to think clearly enough to find a set of markers I wanted.
Case 2. Upstairs at the cash register surrounded by shelves of markers and glitter pens. Mom with two pre-teen daughters. Daughters don't know what they want, (let alone NEED) but want something. Mom isn't sure what she wants either, but seems to need it to be bigger, better, and more expensive than whatever the girls are going to get. Huge ego-involved debate ensues. Girls whine, make arguments, complain, and talk back. Mom ignores them. Doesn't nip it in the bud, but DOES reinforce it by buying them pens.
Moms: When you act this way, you teach the child that what they say doesn't matter, that they might as well say whatever they want, that not only is life not fair, but neither are you.
This building was across from the Quill and Press.
In real life it is mostly yellow. After LOTS of photoshop, and trying to make it look like Edward Hopper, this is as good as it got.
This was the "art" that surfaced based on a photograph of some pretty nifty rain clouds on our way to Nashua.