The other night I was standing at the shore of Brenton Point, Newport waiting for a young couple to show up for an engagement photo session with me. It was going to be a surprise proposal from the guy to his girlfriend so it was pretty exciting. I was at my designated spot on the side of the road looking out at the water so the future groom would see me and know to walk in my direction when he arrived. It was a gorgeous evening; the sun was low and the air warm. I was taking a few shots of flowers, the water and some fishermen and women when all of a sudden a family of moped riders came down the road.
I could hear some yelling from a man. "You're getting a flat tire, pull over, you're getting a flat."
As I looked over my shoulder the family pulled to the ocean side of the road and stopped. There were three mopeds. One had two teens on it; a boy and a girl. The other had the mom and a young girl of about 8 and then the dad and a young son of about 13 or so. They were stopped about five feet from me.
"Great," the dad yells. "How did you get a flat for Christ's sake?"
"I don't know, how should I know? She was wiggling all over the place back here and touching everything." she yelled as she pointed to the young girl as if her wiggling had caused the flat.
"Well, our night is freakin' ruined. We can't get to our destination now and we have no God damn way to get these bikes back. You are going to have to go to a gas station or something and fill that up. God, our night is ruined." The dad was raging.
I couldn't believe how this man was talking to his wife. The poor young girl was now off Mom's moped looking out at the water. It was a spectacular evening. She had the right idea. Meanwhile, the Mom is now yelling at Dad, "Well, what do you want me to do?"
"You ride back and go to the gas station! What do you think?" He mine as well have added dumb bitch to the end of the answer based on his tone of voice.
By this time I was feeling anxious. Their energy was so negative and I just couldn't believe how mean they were to each other. It looked like they were on vacation or at the least were spending an evening together as a family. I have no idea where they were going but where they broke down sure was nice. If they had taken one moment to even notice the scenery I think they would have calmed right down. I mean really, how could the mom even have been at fault for the flat tire? The Dad didn't even seemed concerned for their safety. He was just mad and wanted to get where they were going. He could have offered some kind words of "Wow, let's get this fixed so you and my daughter will be sure to be safe."
So as the Mom decides to zoom off she "dumps" the daughter off as the Dad suggests she ride with him (and with the other boy who was already on the same moped).
"She can't ride with you. She is too wiggly and touches everything." she yelled. "Good luck with that."
The poor girl looked beaten down. I got the impression she was blamed for more things than this on a regular basis.
The Mom zoomed off as the young girl climbed in front of the Dad, Dad in the middle and the third rider, the boy, on the back of the moped. Not safe. Off they went, anger a blaze. The two teens on the third moped who had been rolling their eyes the whole time and wisely staying quiet, tried to start their moped. It took them a couple tries and I thought, " Oh man, what an ending to this whole thing. Now Dad will yell at them for not keeping up."
This is what could have happened if you ask me and it would not have been ruined at all.
"Honey, you are getting a flat. You better pull over so you don't get hurt."
"Oh, man thanks." says Mom. "Sweetie, hop off while we look at the tire." (to the daughter.)
Dad then could say, "You guys alright? Ok, so we may not make it to our destination but look where we luckily stopped. Check out the amazing view."
Mom to the daughter, "Hey, when we get back on the mopeds, try to stay as still as you can so that the bike is steady. When you wiggle it is hard for me to steer. Too bad we got the flat but let's check out the water view."
All of them could have taken a moment to look at the water while Dad or Mom made a call for help or suggested that one of them zoom back to get some air and join them later while they relaxed. The night was only ruined because their attitude ruined it. Sometimes stuff doesn't go as you plan it but if you have time to spend with your family, friends or loved ones than make it good no matter what by being kind and thoughtful towards each other. No evening could be ruined if that happens, even if you do get a flat tire.
OH, and the girlfriend said yes to the proposal. The evening was a success.
Moped family, may you be happy, may you be healthy and may you live with ease.