I left kiss-and-ride this morning feeling a bit more positive about the whole experience. It wasn’t necessarily a better experience than yesterday’s – drier, to be sure, but still the same hot mess that kiss-and-ride will always be. No, the thing that made the morning drop-off just a little better was saying hi to Mrs. L. She’s worked with all of my kids, but especially with the Son and the Youngest. She’s made their lives so much easier and we always know they’re safe when they are with her.
She always has a smile for us, but today she looked a little flustered too. She confessed that she drew a blank for a moment and forgot my last name. I laughed and told her that her brain was probobly just frozen from standing out in the cold and that we loved her always. It was a funny exchange that made the morning seem a bit brighter. Thank goodness for people who make us smile and laugh. It makes such a difference in a day.
Cranky Pants – yep, that’s me. ‘Tis the season to be jolly and all that, but how the heck am I supposed to be merry when people keep pissing me off?
Someone declared today to be “pay-it-forward’ day. I suppose that in the spirit of things in general I could’ve let the lady cutting in line for kiss-and-ride go in front of me. But I just couldn’t do it. How hard is it to follow the rules and get in line like everyone else?
Here we are, in front of the school where our kids are learning, among other things, how to get in line and cooperate with each other. Yet some of their parents can’t seem to figure out how to behave. It isn’t just kiss-and-ride either.
A few years ago, we attended a strings concert for the Eldest. We got there on time, dropped off a plate of cookies for the reception afterwards, and took our seats. It was a fantastic performance – those kids worked really hard. After the performance, the director asked that the audience to help gather chairs and put them away. No problem – it’s easy to pitch in and give a hand. Many hands make light work, etc., etc., right?
Apparently not. By the time we finished helping put away the chairs and made our way to the cafeteria for the reception, most of the dessert plates had been cleared. We and several other families were shocked to see that we were mostly out of luck. Only a few sad little cookies remained. That wouldn’t have been an issue except for one not-so-tiny problem. Many of the adults and children who had already gone through the line seemed to be either stocking up for the winter or were using the reception food for their own personal cookie plate supply. Several people were walking around with plates overflowing with cookies and other desserts – more than they could reasonably eat that night, much less at the reception. There’s no words to describe how utterly rude their behavior was. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What a terrible example to provide for their kids!
Unsurprisingly, there was no reception after the Spring strings concert. I guess the staff had learned their lesson. Some people can’t be trusted to act politely and share. In this case, several rotten apples spoiled it for the rest of the group. It’s hard to feel charitable in the face of greed – perhaps that’s more the reason I should try harder in the future.
Aren’t holiday songs supposed to be cheerful? With lyrics like “If you caught pneumonia and died,” “Baby it’s Cold Outside” doesn’t quite fit the bill for me. It’s usually a favorite. Perhaps if my Bestest and our youngest didn’t have pneumonia it wouldn’t irk me so much this year. Amazing what perspective can do to holiday enjoyment.
By now, you’ve probably read the story of the mom who let her son dress up as a female cartoon character for Halloween. She handled negative comments about his outfit wonderfully and made an excellent point:
If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.
I love her. She’s such a fantastic mom to her son. Her response to the concept of what can “make” someone gay reminded me of how someone I met addressed the idea and how I could’ve responded better.
Several years ago, we gave away our train table. We listed it for free on Craigslist; first come, first served. As it happened, the person who came to get it was a father who wanted it for his son. As he told us, noting that his wife wouldn’t want him to say that, he wanted to get his son a train table so that his son would play with “boy” toys and not end up gay. What we said to him was, yeah, good luck with that, have fun with the table. What I should have said was this:
“Look, you ignorant fuckwit – what toys your child plays with will not determine his or her sexuality. If you think that’s the case, please get a time machine, go back to the time before you had kids, and get yourself a vasectomy. You are not fit to raise a child. Kindly get yourself out of my house now. I’m sure we can find some sane family who wants a well-loved train table. Or wait – maybe you should take it. Playing with trains on this table may be the only fun your son ever has, growing up in a house with a dolt like you for a father. Just to warn you, though, our liberal cooties have already infected the table. After all, our son and his sisters ALL played with trains. Lord only knows how the girls may have been affected by engaging in this male-centric activity. And oh, by the way – they make GIRL trains now. Also, if you look around enough on the Internet you’ll find Thomas the Tank Engine slash fic. You never know what those trains have been up to in the engine shed. Just sayin’.”
Every time I try to be proper, it ends badly. Either I mess up the format, ignore the niceties, or simply die of boredom. It’s not that I don’t try, exactly, it’s that it just never seems to work out for me. Feel free to insert a mental image of that kid in The Polar Express here if you must – I certainly did.
Eventually I decided – why bother trying so hard? Either it was going to work out or it wasn’t. It’s not for me to decide how people are going to react to me. I just have to be happy with me. So if being inappropriate works, then que sera, sera. Like it or leave it. Or even love it.