Saturday, December 21, 2013

don't disturb the rototiller

I went to lunch today at a frou-frou pizza place near the office with a bunch of coworkers who wanted to go out before the holiday. We had made the reservation for 10 people at 11:30 a.m. under our company name, which also happens to be a man's first name (for our purposes, let's say it is BillyBob).

My cubicle-neighbor and I got there right at 11:30 and there was no one in the foyer. The hostess said they were setting up our table, and we could sit down when it was ready, even though the rest of our party had yet to arrive. I was relieved because most of us had 1 p.m. meetings, one of which was with the Director. Cube-neighbor and I were talking about how nice Lutherans are, when we looked up and there were 60 people surrounding us in the foyer. But our party was straggling in. We looked at our watches and each other and then heard a different host-person call out, "Party of ten for 'BillyBob!" As we struggled to make our way to the front, I saw some jackwagon say, "That's us!" parade his group over, and proceed to take our table.

Cube-neighbor and I just looked at each other. Our party wasn't even all there yet, so really what was the point in complaining? But then suddenly, there they all were. The girl who had made the reservation demanded to know why we hadn't been seated, and the manager tried to pull some word trickery about how they were waiting for our entire party to show up. My coworker gave him an earful and the six of us sat down. It was after noon.

***

Two of the people in our lunch party have 14-year-old sons. Over frou-frou pizza they were saying (and those with older kids agreed) that 14-year-olds are the worst. My mother has always said that I have been a wonderful child my entire life, "Oh except when you were 14. That year you were kind of a brat."

One of the girls with the 14-year-old was really teed off at her kid because he had made a plan that involved walking somewhere after finals, but that didn't work out so he and his little friends were stranded outside a locked building in the freezing rain with no plan because they didn't think ahead and they weren't being very considerate. She was frantically trying to call him to figure out how to have him picked up out of the freezing rain, but he did not answer any of her seven phone calls in a row, nor did he respond to her text messages. When he finally answered, she discovered that someone had walked by and they had been talking. And apparently this former teacher was more important than repeated, and increasingly urgent, calls from his mother.

She very sternly but not-yellingly told him that she was angry now and just because he didn't make a plan doesn't mean she was going to be irresponsible at work and drop everything to pick him up. There was a lot more said, but I was in awe of how clearly she expressed her disappointment yet kept her voice even and conversational. But firm. Had I been in her position, I would have been screaming like a rototiller, probably to the point where the kid couldn't make out the words. At the end, she was like, "Do you understand what you need to do right now? Ok, then I will pick you up from so-and-so's house and then we will discuss this."

***

Our Christmas cards and Christmas gifts are going to be late. This had been stressing me out, as I took a day off to try and get everything done but overscheduled myself and didn't get ANYthing done. I have now returned more gifts than I have in my possession to give, and it is T-minus five days to the main event. This week I've come home from work at or after 9 p.m. every day because SHOPPING.

***

It has been three and a half months of living in this house and I still don't feel comfortable here. I wake up, get ready and go to work, come home (usually late), eat something quick and get in bed. Any free time is spent picking up or cleaning. I keep wondering when we will go back to that one-bedroom apartment that seemed cozy from the first week we were there. Or if I won't feel at home until we move to a different house.

***

Jon and I are pilers. Take any surface in our abode; we will inevitably stack things on top of it. Sometimes they will be in really neat piles, but still. I do not enjoy that about us. Both of us are trying to create a designated place for everything, but this process pains me. I am pushing through it.

***

I am just like my mom, and I am also just like my dad--yet they are not the same as each other, if that makes any sense--in the way that little things annoy them, irritate them and poke them in the ribs until one day when someone goes to a friend's house without calling to say they'll be four hours late instead of dead somewhere in a ditch or a book of stamps clearly has been stolen but really has just fallen behind the drawer. Suddenly there is a rototiller going off and making a prolonged ruckus all over the place.

The problem with this habit the three of us have, is that the sometimes-not-so-innocent bystander thinks that we are so high-strung, oversensitive or ridiculous that such a small thing will make us blow up. What the bystanders always miss is that pile of misdeeds underneath it all that had been steadily growing for some time.

***

I have learned:

1) 14-year-olds are the worst. Mainly because they are self-absorbed and inconsiderate.
2) I surround myself with assertive, strong ladies because I find that to be lacking in myself.
3) Stressors are piling up to exacerbate the ulcer I developed when I took too much Motrin after the Baby.
4) Frou-frou pizza is overrated.
5) People who are not 14 years old can be the worst when they are self-absorbed and inconsiderate.
6) Something needs to be done to make me feel at home.

1 comment:

Guyana-Gyal said...

Haha, I remember my sister screaming on the phone at first born, 15 years old. I dare not tell her how he did not listen on the phone and she was not there to see. hee hee.

Roto...what? I tell my parent she watches too many Bollywood films and is therefore very dramatic. Sez me, right now enjoying songs from Parineeta.