All the Things I Should Have Said Today, But Didn’t

So who’s going to sign up for the “drag Heather back to California kicking and screaming” team? Because the way things are going, I don’t feel like it’s going to be easy to come home from our vacation, which begins in T-minus two days. The only saving grace is that my husband and all my things are here. Otherwise I would be so disillusioned with California culture at this point that you’d have to put me in a  straight jacket and mouthguard to force me back.

Today I went to a kid’s party. Seems normal, although I went on my own for once since we have been getting over a cold and the last thing I want is for everyone to get worse just before we leave for my sweet, home:  Chicago. It was the third birthday party of the daughter of one of my long-time California friends. She and I have known each other since I worked on her mother’s campaign for United States Congress – I was at her wedding, at the hospital three years ago when her daughter was born, and managed to keep in contact with her even though we haven’t seen much of each other in the past few years. Since we moved out of Los Angeles and back into the ‘burbs recently, though, it seemed only natural I would go to her daughter’s party.

Let me start this by saying, though, that I don’t like some of their friends. She and her husband are awesome, their families are equally as wonderful of people; but some of their friends leave me scratching my head. I’m sure by the end of these “things I said” and their companion “things I should have said,” you will be scratching yours too. Or drinking heavily, which is what I did when I got home.

Things I said:

When I walked up, they had one of those Jolly Jumper things set up in the front and kids were jumping and screaming in it with a few adults standing outside of it. I recognized all of them immediately – some of whom were these friends. One of the women I will never forget because (1) she squirted breast milk on me accidentally one time during a UFC party while she breastfed her infant; and, (2) they recently moved down the block from my father and I see them while driving all the time. I kindly said “hello” and she didn’t recognize me. Then she sort of did, then she didn’t, then it got awkward and she said “you must be who I am thinking of, but your hair is different.” I smiled and said “yes.”

Things I should have said: “Yeah, I do look a lot different now. You don’t though. You’re still a borderline obese cow in sweatpants squirting her breast milk at everyone – could never forget that! Don’t worry, I’d forget me too.”

Things I said:

I tried to walk into the actual house to see my friend, drop off the gift, and converse with the sane family members I knew would be there. As I made my way in, though, someone else saw me and this time I was recognized. The woman was sitting down breastfeeding at the time and flagged me over; when I walked over she talked a little and then said “don’t you look cute today! A little overdressed for a kid’s party, but to each his own!” I was wearing a short black spring dress, a white and black striped shirt underneath, a sweater, a pair of leggings, and my black Uggs. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t overdressed – I wear this outfit at least once every few weeks. Nonetheless, I defended myself with an “oh, you know … I never have an excuse to get out of yoga pants most of the time, so I thought I’d at least look nice!”

Things I should have said: “Oh, you think I’m overdressed? That’s funny because even though it’s a kid’s party, I’m fairly certain cheap Kmart sweat pants and an oversized t-shirt is inappropriate. You should probably go change, now.”

Things I said (or rather did):

I walked in the door, but was again accosted, this time by a man. He and I had a great conversation a few years ago at a birthday party. He was engaged to this girl my age that dressed something like my mother. She was there today, wearing a knitted vest with a snowman on it. Anyway, so he and I had a great conversation at a birthday party a while ago. I was dressed down, looking sort of crappy, and just talking to him about philosophy because he asked what I did and I was in school at the time. Apparently afterwards, the squirting cow from earlier started a huge rumor about how “Heather the whore” was always flirting with all of their men. Some big rumor drama started and the guy’s fiancé was just horrified by the whole ordeal. I learned this shortly afterwards because we were at another party and the guy and his sweater vest-wearing-woman didn’t even come, which I guess was because she was afraid he’d flirt with me “back.”

So they were there today and the guy said “hello” and started talking to me. In the three years since I’ve last seen him, he’s aged about thirty. His fiancé is now his wife and while I spoke with him, she walked by staring. She just paced back and forth, glaring; and a minute later when I said “hello” to her as well, she turned around and walked off. Politely, I concluded the conversation and said it was nice to see him, and went about my way.

Things I should have said (or should have done): After the second or third time that bitch paced back and forth, glaring at me, I should have shouted “I’ve been wanting to do this for years!!” and then planted one on him, not forgetting to grab his balls briefly at the end.

Things I said:

Finally, I made it in. I was greeted briefly by my friend and her husband. I spoke with her mother, his father, and got some food. I didn’t want to eat much so had a chicken leg and some crackers. While getting myself a Diet Coke from their drink stash, someone else came up to me. This woman really roasts my ass. At my friend’s wedding, her husband referred to my father as “the help” and yelled at him – that’s the kind of person we’re talking about, here. Anyway, so she is something like 60, acts 150, and she walked up to me, grabbed my unequivocally not-baby-filled-gut and started screaming “ooooooooooohhhhhhhhh, you’re preeeeeegggggnanttttttttt!!!!!!!” Now I can admit that I could shed a few pounds here and there, but I most certainly did not look pregnant. I laughed, said “no… I’m not pregnant … so how are you doing?” Then excused myself quietly as people still stared, about five minutes later.

Things I should have said: “Yeah, you know I am. Hope they don’t mind but I just peed on the couch inside – the baby was pressing on my bladder. So I guess the rest of these breast milk squirting cows are all carrying, like, quintuplets or something, huh? And you’ve got a baby under that senior discounted Walmart moo moo too I see! You’re preeeeeeeeggggnantttttttttt!!!!!”

Shortly after, I left the party. Said my goodbyes, hugs and such. Then I went to my car with my head held high, only to feel completely demoralized by the time I got home. Wine and cheese made everything better, as well as the reminder that in just a couple days now I will be on my way home for the first time in over a decade. California will be lucky if I return.

Advertisements

The Five Types of Interruptors

Time for another Pet Peeve … this one is really high up on my list, I would say about #3.  This Pet Peeve, though, is a real blood pressure buster for me.  It’s nothing compared to the “space between exclamatory sentence and exclamation point”-thing; and gossipers ‘aint got nothing on it either.  What could be so bad, you ask?  People who excessively interrupt.

I’m not referring to people that accidentally walk into a room while you are putting the moves on your girlfriend in hopes that she will finally put out.  I’m also not talking about a person who has to stop a conversation for a bathroom break or to let their wife know they’re going to be home late.  Nope, I’m just talking about people who in the course of conversation cannot stop themselves from cutting in with their own, random bullshit.

In my mind, there are five major types of interruptors.  With the exception of the first, they are all enough to make me need a blood pressure cuff to make sure I’m not about to stroke out; although, each have their own subtle nuances to the craft of being an arrogant asshole.

#1  The occasional, harmless interrupter.  This person doesn’t actually realize that they are interrupting, and if they do they usually stop and apologize for it.  This happens to me once in a while and it’s usually when I have been around people that interrupt a lot – I just get used to feeling like I need to get my word in before someone else talks me out of the room.  While interruptions of all kinds are pretty damn annoying, this one is probably the least abominable.

#2  On the lower end of the annoyance spectrum, there is also the person who just plain interrupts.  This person was very likely raised in a barn, or a family of uneducated and impolite hillbillies, because they really believe it is just an Okay thing to do.  Very likely, there is nothing behind their interruptions except for the fact that they have absolutely no manners or common sense.  I don’t have much to say about these people except for the fact that they need to get some formal training in social etiquette.

#3  The corporate executive who always has to cut you off to take a phone call.  This interruptor may or may not actually be a corporate executive, but they sure as hell think they are.  While I get that sometimes people do have important phone calls to take, nothing is more annoying than getting that “one second” finger held up in your face while a phone call is taken.  Every time this has happened to me, the phone call could have waited, reminding me of how little importance I and our conversation was to the interruptor.  The thing these interruptors can never seem to grasp is that just because you have a cell phone does not mean you always have to answer it.

#4  That asshole who is clearly not paying attention to you and then interrupts you.  This person is horrible on two levels:  first, they are not paying attention to you; second, they then interrupt you.  You can always tell this is happening because prior to interrupting you to talk about their own bull shit, they’ll periodically go “uh huh” .. “yeah,” while looking at something else (like a cell phone or television).  This is particularly frustrating simply because an interruption, alone, says that what you have to say is not important, but to precede that by clearly not paying attention – well, I have to ask why are we talking if I am that uninteresting to you?

#5  The worst of all interrupters is that complete douche that not only interrupts you, but often finishes your sentences and/or pays absolutely no attention to what you have to say the entire time while finishing what you have to say.  This is so goddamned annoying:  when people interrupt me and then finish my sentence for me.  The other day I was talking to someone about our plans in a few weeks and he kept interrupting me and finishing my sentence.  By the end of the fifteen minutes of this back and forth process rife with frustration, our plans were no more set in stone than they had been before the conversation even began – simply because he kept interrupting me and finishing my sentences with the opposite of what I was actually saying.  To this interruptor, it is not only a matter of “why are we talking if I am that uninteresting to you?,” but also a matter of “if you already know the answer, why the fuck did you ask?”

If you are a friend or family member of me, it is very possible that I am referring to you in this post, simply because so many of you do these things all the time.  To you:  please stop.  There are even a few of you that fall under #s 4 and 5, which begs I ask myself the question:  why the hell am I hanging around you?  I’m not suggesting that we all go out and tell the interruptors of the world that they are stark-raving douche bags – that would be uncouth.  I’m simply suggesting that we all consider whether we are doing one of these five interruptions and mend our ways.