Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Ram-bunctious Moment

The other day, I was at Safeway standing in line, my hands full and my patience thin. It was one of those days where my Megatron Attitude was prevailing and there was no telling who was going to get smacked in the face with a banana.

Naturally, I'd just run to the store for one or two things. We all know how this ends. Cut to me trying to balance forty two things in my arms while someone behind me gets WAY TOO CLOSE and suddenly the cashier needs fifteen price checks while the runner is on break.

In front of me was a man and his daughter, who was probably about four years old, and they were playing a game together.



The game was, apparently, Ram Passive Daddy in the Leg with the Shopping Cart While He Pretends it's not as Bad a Parenting Moment as We're all Judging Him For.

And I know it was, because I'm fairly certain I heard his ankle bone crack and the accompanying expression pretty much released any doubt in my mind. The girl was laughing and asking her dad if it hurt, then ramming him harder. When he asked her to stop, she screamed NO at him and continued her death-ram.

I watched this ridiculous situation unfold in front of me and then my recently partially-educated brain kicked in and started analyzing the exchange. (You know how when you buy a new car, suddenly all you notice is how many of the same make and model are out there? Yeah.) Textbook images flashed across my brain. My Mom-Sense spoke to me. It was all very awesome.

Passive Dad caught my eye and, apparently, misinterpreted my wrinkled lip curl as encouraging  because he smiled and made some much-too-long-for-my-personal-comfort eye contact.

That's also the exact moment when the little brat clued in to what Dad was up to and she looked up at me.

Lil B: [narrowing eyes] Hello.

Me: Hi. [narrowing back, only mine were more intimidating because I'm much larger than a four year old and also I knew I was stooping to her level but whatever. We all have moments of regret]

I gave that little fake smile that all females perfect by age six and nodded, knowing all the while that I was going to hell for engaging in a showdown with a child.

But seriously? I was in a rush. I needed to get home and slap dinner on the table, I had a list of To Do's a mile long and I had to pee.

Mostly, I was scared the kid was going to ram me next and I have very weak ankles. Seriously. Last night my leg fell asleep and when I stood up I rolled my ankle and fell. Three times. I'm aware of my inhibitions. Besides, if Lil B broke my ankle, I was pretty sure she would throw my carcass in that cart, haul me off and devour my soul. As a redhead, THAT'S MY JOB.

Lil B and I eyed each other for a brief moment. The kid looked into my eyes and I swear to Gawd I could see into her little black soul and I didn't like it.

She stared at me.

Normally, I am very friendly with kids (hello, my profession is what? Yeah.) and I can reciprocate an exchange with a child and it all goes very swimmingly. This one made me nervous. (Please know that during the Stare Down she was still ramming her dad in the leg with the cart. WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING. She was that good)

Lil B's dad chose that moment to speak up.

P Dad: She likes you.

I glanced up at him. Alright, random stranger. Plus, I don't think she did. I looked down at Lil B and she was staring at my midsection. Nobody likes it when anybody does that, but it's especially weird when a child does it.

I gave one of those half smiles that don't reach the eyes and mumbled something in a non-committal way.

P Dad: Maybe I could get your number and you two could get to know each other.

WHAT. Like. A play date with Satan? No thanks. I think what you're looking for is a priest.

Me: Um. I'm sorry. I just don't think so.

Lil B continued to stare at me. I began to feel more and more nervous. What if this whole thing turned out like Cape Fear and Lil B crawled up under my car and rode home with me? I'm not Catholic. I don't have any crosses in my house. We would all die.

The dad shrugged, most likely used to being turned down by fearful strangers.

He left. I left. Through the opposite door.

Just to be safe, when I drove home, I parked in Rawr's diveway.

What? Her 4 would take that kid out in two seconds flat.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Learning to keep my mouth shut

I spent Saturday trapped in a classroom with twenty other people. For eight hours, the rain poured down, the atmosphere gloomy enough for Eeyore to off himself and I'd been trying to liven things up during question/answer time with what I thought were entertaining comments. Until the last one.

Instructor: (to class) You've got be able to reach the point where you're comfortable taking risks..... a little like Lady Gaga. She lives on the edge.

Me: Of glory?

Chick next to me: *high five*

Instructor: See me after class.


In my defense, she just wanted to talk about something else, but I will admit I spent the last 45 min of class terrified I was going to get an F just for trying to be funny. There was a brief mention of how she'd noticed in the last class that I used humor as a defense mechanism and that during this particular class period, it was very obvious. Apparently, I am frigging transparent because she's not the first person to freak me out with that observation.

But she wasn't upset. She said it was okay. But, that she was curious as to why it was so very present in my character.



And then she stared at me, which made me uncomfortable because I was sort of hoping it was a rhetorical question.

So I smiled, shrugged and told her that I was mildly retarded.

She frowned.

I made it better, though, by telling her that I had a younger sister who was retarded so it was okay for me to use that term. She frowned harder, so I explained that my sister was dead, so really my sister couldn't be offended that I used her as an example and not to worry. Then I just got real with the teacher and explained that when I get nervous, all kinds of crap just comes out of my mouth and usually it's a train wreck and everyone wishes they were somewhere else. Especially me. Can you imagine how it is for me? I mean, being on the receiving end you can just walk away and be all like, that was weird. I probably won't talk to her again. But I can't exactly walk away from myself.

Well, I did walk with something from class that day. It was a referral to the school counselor.

Probably because they could use some help filing or something.

Monday, October 15, 2012



I know you guys are still here because I can review my traffic counter and I know that, even though I disappeared off the face of the earth, you guys still check back to see if I've died.

Faithful readers.

What's wrong with you? You should have run while you had the chance.

Guess what I did.

I went and registered for classes this fall.


WTF was I thinking?

I mean, college courses are so very obviously designed for young people in their twenties with functioning brains. For God's sake, I'm thirty-th... I'm not that young anymore.

But I did it. And I could describe the first three weeks of classes to you, but honestly? It wouldn't be funny. Oh, sure I could put a goofy twist on it. But I was a mess.

Inside my head. On the outside I'm sure I looked alright. I mean, I managed to shower every day and put my clothes on right-side out. I made a friend. Sort of.

That was about it, though.

Also, you find out weird things when there are people trying to educate others.


I'm taking a Human Development class that I am finding incredibly insightful. Only.... Apparently there's this thing we all have called an Inner Critic.

That voice that whispers in your ear Put down that super cute top marked 50% off because after that cookie you ate three days ago, your fat ass can't fit in anything other than a Mumu.

That may have been a little harsh, and it's just a generic example, but our inner critic is kind of a bitch. At least, mine is. Maybe yours is a little nicer and a bit more eloquent. I'll bet my Critic could learn a little something from yours. Don't get any ideas about getting those Critic's together for a mixer, though. The world could end.

Now that we know there's a bitch lurking in my head, allow me to introduce you to my other personality.

My Inner Defender.

Who is a giant pansy ass, by the way.

Also, I'm certain that personality is not the correct term, but you know what? Unless you're a licensed psychologist and can help me get rid of one and do a massive over-haul on the other, we'll just stick with the word personality. Because if we start referring to them as suppressed personas I will most likely freak out because I think that's some kind of actual condition that's different from what I'm complaining about. I'm not sure, but I think that the Critics aren't quite classified that way.

I could be wrong.

Anyway, who gives a rip.

And quit making me out to be the weird one because I learned that we all have this, so nice try. There are varying levels of crazy going on in all our heads. Some of us just hide it better than others.

Last Saturday, the instructor was going on about this Critic and how it's always bringing us down, man. She was explaining that we need to make sure we learn how to give our Inner Defender a voice in order to silence the Critic.

Hold on.

So there is this Red Devil Bitch Critic and she's mean. She yells rude things and tries to squash self-esteem.

And the Defender is supposedly MUTE? They chose the passive one to conquer the feelings?


Whomever wrote out this equation needs their ass kicked because it was doomed from the start.

Plus, my Critic and my Defender don't even speak directly to me. They already talk to each other. About me. When I can hear them.

I think they're both a-holes, anyway.

The Critic complains about my apparent failures, and the Defender is all like, "Yeah. I mean, you're right. But did you have to use that kind of language?" Which kind of makes her a Critic herself.

Nice going, Defender. You're going to want to update your resume.

Our homework before the next class is to write down everything our Critic says, then analyze it.

The instructor handed us a single sheet. With like, ten boxes. For two weeks.


My Critic will have that filled over the next day or so.

Less, if the Defender opens her mouth for an assist.