The other night I ran past a house just in time to randomly overhear - mostly because she was screaming like a banshee - a woman yelling at (what I estimated to be) her 3-year-old son that he "messed up the entire back seat-EXPLETIVE!"
As I approached, I could see her yanking him by the arm to show him just how much damage he'd done to the precious car.
I couldn't help but think; um, lady, he's 3 - that's kind of his job at this point.
Before I knew it, I'd locked eyes with Mommy, who was clearly mortified at having her rant heard by another adult.
I chugged along smugly, thinking, "Ha! Serves her right; I'm glad she knows someone caught that!"
And, as I kept going up "Good Patty Hill," I further thought, 'No one would ever hear me talking to MY son like that; not to mention, I'm not a hitter; though I will flick you when it's unavoidable. Either way, I'm such a good Mommy!'"
OR AM I?
What I mean to say is: If a Mommy freaks out on a kid in her driveway but nobody hears it; did she really freak out?
Let's face it people, we all say things to our children, spouses and perhaps others that would cause us to curl up into the fetal position in disgrace had someone else been a fly on the wall listening.
Even yours truly.
I mean, as much as I was mentally bashing the "Mean Evil Woman" up the road, in all honesty, I, too, sometimes reside on "For Shame Lane."
For instance, do I really want the world to see me in all my irate glory flipping my lid on Kyle because he left a trail of clothing leading from the family room, up the stairs and into the second floor hallway or on Kerry because he's handling raw chicken on the countertop. OK, he deserves the rage for the bacteria-riddled chicken juice, but still.
Or, do I really want an audio recorder to capture my very vocal and in-need-of-considerable-censoring response to the nimrod who juts out in front of me in the middle of traffic WHEN THERE'S NO ONE BEHIND ME FOR 15 MILES, then slams on the brakes for a red light - nearly causing a 40-car pileup - when I'm driving solo?
Uh, no - no I don't.
Heck, I know some people not only wouldn't mind having a streaming live video feed monitoring their every move; they welcome it!
I'm thinking here of the overabundance of reality shows that have made grumpy, angry, bitter people superstars in today's pop culture.
You know who I'm talking about; the hot-headed "Real Housewives New Jersey," the mad-as-a-wet-hen "Bridezillas," the whacky families who agree to a "Wife Swap."
Although I do like the "Cake Boss." For some reason, I identify deeply to big-hearted Buddy Valastro and his loud, annoying, overbearing sisters. I'll leave it to you do decide if I'm Buddy or bothersome. But, I digress.
The point is, I guess we're all a little hypocritical, aren't we? Just because we wouldn't act a certain way in front of our parents, children, bosses or priests doesn't mean we would want them peeking in the windows when we don't know they're out there.
I'm of the mind that the footage of our lives is somehow in some way played back to us at the very end.
The question is: will we like what we see?
Ok, OK, I'm sorry, "Mean Evil Woman" - I may have judged you a little harshly.
Let's both try a little harder to keep our brooms in the closet and use our powers for good.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at pkimerer@