Today was “Have Lunch with a Loved One Day” at The Good One’s school. Really, they should call it what it is: “It’s Book Fair Week, And We Needed A Way To Get You To Come Up To The School, So We’re Going To Guilt You Into Having Lunch With Your Kid By Suggesting That If You Don’t Have Lunch With Him That You Don’t Love Him, And Then We’re Going To Force You To Leave The School Via The Book Fair So That When Your Kid Starts Whining About Wanting Star Wars Books, You’ll Have No Choice But To Buy Him Some Books So That He’ll Shut Up And You Won’t Look Like A Crappy Parent Who Wants Your Kid To Be Illiterate Day.”
But that’s kind of long to put on a flyer.
So Virginia Slims Man and I decided that since The Beast was at preschool, we’d go have lunch with The Good One.
I stopped by Subway on the way there to pick up some sandwiches, and there must have been some sort of AARP meeting or gardening club meeting or a “This Country is Going to Hell and Get Off My Lawn” meeting, because when I walked in the door, there were 15 elderly people in line ordering sandwiches.
Now, I’m just sharing an observation, so don’t squeeze so hard you suck your panties up into your crack thinking, “What does she have against old people? Why is she assuming all old people garden? And not all old people hate the government and tell people to get off their lawns. She’s so mean.”
First, I have nothing against old people. I hope to be one someday. Secondly, all old people do garden. It’s a requirement for AARP membership. Thirdly, do you know an old person who doesn’t hate the government? Fourthly, all old people will tell you to get off of their lawn because that’s where the garden is. And fifthly, I am mean. You should know this by now, so I really don’t have any idea why it’s surprising you.
Actually, in person, I’m probably one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
My parents drilled it into my skull that we should always be kind and grateful and never cause inconvenience to anyone. And as long as I don’t know you well, I’ll do just that. Once we’re close friends or married, then I’m going to inconvenience the hell out of you.
Okay. Back to my story. It is all related. I just got a little off course.
So, after standing in line behind the cast of Cocoon at Subway, I got our lunch and headed to the school. They had a room set up so that parents could eat with their kids without having to go to the cafetorium. Auditeria?
I was earlier than VSM, so I grabbed The Good One from his class and headed to the room to start eating. When we first got there, the room was really crowded so The Good One and I found a table that had three open chairs and sat down, leaving one open chair for VSM.
Shortly after we sat down, two people left the table so there were now three empty chairs at our table. We were sitting with a mother, Ms. Condescend-a-twit (I wanted to call her Ms. Condescend-a-bitch, but she appears frequently in my story and it became a bit bitch-heavy), and her son.
Then Ms. Condescend-a-twit’s friends, a family of three, walked in. There was the dad, Mr. McStickUpMyButt; the mom, Ms. I Play Tennis And That Makes Me Better Than You McStickUpMyButt; and the daughter, MyVoiceWillMakeYourEarsHemorrhage. [Actual name on her name tag. I’m assuming her last name was also McStickUpMyButt.]
This family will heretofore be known as the McSticks.
The way the chairs were situated, one member of the McStick family wouldn’t have been able to sit with the rest of the family and would have had to sit by The Good One and me. Faced with the seating dilemma, I expected them to get another chair or sit at the table next to ours since it was now completely empty, but Ms. I Play Tennis urgently needed to talk to Ms. Condescend-a-twit about her new tennis skirt, and the thought of getting another chair was too complicated for them to come up with on their own, so Ms. Condescend-a-twit and Ms. I Play Tennis looked at each other, turned to me, cocked their heads to the side, said, “Umm,” and then gave me a look that suggested that since I was the one that was unwanted at the table, that I should pack up my already unpacked and partially eaten sandwiches and move to a different table.
And do you know what I did?
I flipping offered to move! And I didn’t just offer to move. I acted like nothing in the world would make me happier than putting all of my partially eaten food back into its container, gathering up all of my stuff and shifting to a new location so that they weren’t inconvenienced.
What the hell is wrong with me? Why should I be the nice one? I didn’t know these people, and yet I was willing to move for them! We had already started eating. Why didn’t they offer to move? They could have sat at the table right next to our table and still had their coma-inducing conversation about tennis skirts and manicures. But, no, I offered to move.
At that point, Mr. McStick had the genius idea to get another chair, so I re-unpacked my repacked lunch and sat back down.
Now, at this point there was still one open chair next to me that I figured VSM would sit in when he got there. But then Ms. I Play Tennis told MyVoiceWillMakeYourEarsHemorrhage that she was being annoying, which was true, and made her go sit next to Ms. Condescend-a-twit’s son in the chair next to me that I had hoped would remain open for VSM. Then Ms. I Play Tennis moved into the seat next to The Good One, leaving the only open seat at the table next to Mr. McStick and as far from The Good One and me as possible.
Now, at this point I contemplated leaving the table, but do you want to know why I didn’t?
Because I didn’t want to seem rude.
That’s got to be a sign of mental illness.
So I sat next to MyVoiceWillMakeYourEarsHemorrhage and I attempted to hide the fact that every time she opened her mouth, my brain cells were committing suicide en masse because of the wretched cacophony that was her affected baby voice. I could almost feel by brain cells lining up on the cliff of my medulla oblongata and diving head first into the sea of my spinal fluid. (I’m not in any way science-y, so my apologies for butchering the anatomy of the brain.) And I pretended not to notice when she coughed mustard and tomatoes all over my food. And I ignored her when she started loudly playing what I believe was a theremin on some hideous iPhone app.
And all the while, Mr. and Mrs. McStick did nothing to curtail their daughter’s behavior. Mr. McStick was busy hoovering up his lunch. And Ms. I Play Tennis was busy telling an absolutely riveting story about how she chose the nail color for her last manicure, so I sat there and tried to make an umbrella with my napkin to deflect her daughter’s phlegm.
The Good One, who doesn’t tolerate annoying people, rolled his eyes in disgust every time the girl next to me opened her mouth. And I threw my sandwich away because you cannot wash sputum off of bread. And when VSM arrived, he saw the seating situation and immediately pulled up an extra chair so as not to inconvenience anyone, like normal human beings do.
Okay. So what’s the point of this story?
I honestly don’t know. Maybe it’s a request that rude people stop being so rude. If what you are doing or are about to do is going to inconvenience someone, don’t do it. And if you are annoyed by your own kid, you can safely assume that the stranger who is now feasting on a roast beef and mucus sandwich is even more annoyed.
Or maybe the point is that I’m not really nice because here I am talking all kinds of crap about these women behind their backs.
Regardless, today The Good One learned that his mother believes it’s better to be polite to strangers and say nothing when they spit on your lunch than it is to seem rude.
And honestly, I’m not sure that’s a good thing.