A funny thing happened to me on the way to the club…..
Well, not so funny actually, more like comical and borderline pathetic.
I wasn’t going to write about this incident that happened to me last week as I considered it ridiculous and too humorous to be believed but it happened again to me yesterday that I decided it’s just too good NOT to share! I swear i can NOT make this stuff up…..
The club house card room here has all kinds of snacks, fruit and beverages set up all day for the club members. Needless to say, being a good JEWISH mother – I take FULL advantage of this FREE service, as I justify that after all – it IS part of the dues that each of us pay and wouldn’t it be wasteful NOT to partake in some treats? (Did I mention they are gratis? Sweet – n – lows anyone ????)
I often enjoy running in first thing in the morning before work for a quick, convenient, two minute grab and go of iced tea or handful of almonds and cashews or – if I’m being diligent- just a cup of fruit. (She says and laughs to herself as if THAT ever happens!)
I don’t have time to sit and stay and – for the most part – the retired ladies who do, are preoccupied playing Canasta or Bridge and I don’t need to bother them with my busy work/kids lifestyle- so I go in, grab and scoot!
While doing this the other day, I noticed the young waitress- my friend- standing in a very uncomfortable position and looking at me- as if for help- wincing, while an older woman was clearly balling her out. Lord knows why I bothered- but deep in my heart I just KNEW this lady was talking about ME (aren’t they always??)
We went through this already- I just have a sense for these things – like the Bionic Woman my ears perk up when I suspect someone is gossiping about MOI- YAY! …..a challenge!!!(I gotta get out more 😦
So- god knows why, but I stepped in to defend her and mouthed to the waitress:
“ Is the woman talking about ME???”
The answer was – as always- a simple nod that meant a resounding YES!
Now, I was left with two choices: I could ignore her the way I did last week and dismiss her as one of those cranky old ladies who take it upon themselves to complain about everything – you know the kind- the woman who walks into the same air conditioned room and complains it’s too cold- neglecting to bring a sweater even though she’s there every day with the same air conditioner and same temperature- she’s ALSO the etiquette police whose favorite hobby in life is to dictate the RULES to other patrons in a scolding school teacher manner.
– OR –
I could confront her and try and rectify the situation.
Now, let me just say that I was raised never to speak badly to your elders. ELDERS are to be treated with RESPECT.
I take that lesson a step further and try to treat EVERYONE with respect- at least initially…..
Last week, because of my upbringing, I chose the former- I simply had no time, patience or energy to deal with old lady brain.
This time, however, I felt the need to say something in my defense…..after all, she was chewing out my favorite waitress and if she had a bone to pick with me- it had better be TO ME.
So I rolled up my sleeves as I would in preparation for ANY good bar fight, cranked my neck from side to side, cracked my knuckles and put my face right up into her bifocals and asked:
“ Is there a problem?”
Flabbergasted that I had the nerve to confront her directly and not through the “HELP” as she described my waitress friend, (sorry – i did not realize we were filming the 1960’s movie with Sissy Spacek??) whose “job” is to deal with the card room protocol, she explained that she has a problem with me taking fruit out.
Now, it was difficult to determine exactly WHAT her issue was with me….So I asked her:
Was it that I was not sitting down playing canasta with her while enjoying my fruit plate? (My mama always taught us not to stand while eating- so maybe she did have a good point – sit, and eat like a lady???? I would love to have the time to sit with her , and as I state often- not enough wine in the world to handle THAT.
OR was it the actual ACT of TAKING the fruit OUT of the room that bothered her?
She really could not come up with a definitive answer to these very important LIFE THREATENING questions –
She simply replied:
“It’s just against the rules”.
Ahhh ha! I get it now! I was dealing with a JUDGE JUDY wanna be!!!
Now, I have always been a good girl when it comes
to the rules- i make up rules all the time!
Rule #1: Smile!
Rule # 2: Don’t gossip!
Rule #3: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is short.
Rule #4: Drink water!!
Therefore she had broken all of MY rules yet I was determined to get to the bottom of this and settle it once and for all.
I went on to commend her -GENUINELY- that she was, in fact, the luckiest person in the world to have the good fortune of having NO OTHER STRESS in life other than to be worried about my breaking the FRUIT RULE.
I went on to tell her that she should congratulate herself on a life well lived to have no other worries or cares in the world other than ME!
I felt so honored to be a part of her stress and daily concerns!!!
She seemed flustered by that explanation and simply retorted several times “ I’m a rule girl. I just follow the rules”.
I was reminded of the Larry David episode (doesn’t everything remind you of him???) when the lady told him he couldn’t bring the bottled water inside the auditorium because “those are the rules” and later he found out she didn’t even work there- she was simply pointing out the rules which – come on lets face it- is so incredulous and uncalled for that we ALL hated that RULE girl! Well, take that episode and exacerbate it like 10000 times and you will get a feel for this woman and my morning. She was that kid screaming out in the back of the class 2 minutes before dismissal….”Teacher! You forgot to give us our homework!”
She had nothing else to say other than she just follows the rules- so I simply smiled my best Julia Roberts ear to ear- and suggested that one day, when I have time, I would just LOVE to join her in a game of Canasta and SIT with her to EAT my fruit, but until that day comes – I am a busy working mama juggling a lot more on my little shoulders than she cares to hear about -and she should enjoy the rest of her day and not to let ME and MY FRUIT taking bother her. LIFE is simply TOO short to allow fruit snatching to stress her out. I went on to tell her that I know -unfortunately first hand- too many young women my age that have passed away too early in life- and I don’t take anything for granted- more so- life is too short to be taking FRUIT ABDUCTION SO SERIOUSLY.
I wished her all the HEALTH and HAPPINESS (sincerely) in the world, told her to enjoy the remainder of her day and with that- gave her a stiff hug (she was stiff, I was all bear hug )
Where do you go from there?
She had nothing more to say to that and walked away cursing under her breath.
Lesson Learned: Sometimes, even when you feel the strong desire to take your fist and punch someones lights out, it is EVEN MORE POWERFUL to just SMILE your widest grin and be done with it.
KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS.
Trust me, after years of fighting back and strong arming the oppressor until they backed down in cowardice fear…. I have learned that BULLYS ENJOY THE FIGHT….if you don’t give them the OPPORTUNITY to do so – and just simply smile and shrug them off- they will have no choice but to act like a scared little puppy and run off crying with pee streaming down their leg, or just leave you alone.
So, plaster that smile on your face and MOVE on with your day!!!!!!
Again, life is just TOOO damn short to be bothered by the fruit nazis!!!
Go on, smile!!