Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I'm gonna show you how to ball, middle finger to the law.

So the weekend exploded into far more activity than I was hoping for. What with birthdays and graduations coming up, we had a lot of errands to run.

Then, Saturday evening was my cousin’s 17th birthday party. That was just delightful, and I’m so glad I have the luxury of being so close to my extended family. I’ve been fortunate in that I get to watch my cousins turn into real people, and neat people as well. There were some awkward moments there, so I’ll share. (Because that’s what I do.)

Awkward Moment number 1:
The two preggos (me and my newlywed aunt) were chatting when a family friend wandered by and joined in the conversation. I’ve known this woman for years and years, but only casually. She started putting both hands on the bellies and kind of palpating, like trying to see where the baby was at that moment. For a few minutes she was kind of groping my abdomen, alternating between my belly and my aunt’s. It was really kind of odd. I mean, I don’t mind people close to me, who ask, touching the belly. But this was not just touching; this was two steps from a pap smear. Weird. (And to stem the questions, no this women is not a medical professional.)

Awkward Moment number 2:
The adult women were all kind of clustered together chatting about the wedding, specifically about the groom’s sister. (you know, the one who went into labor with what I found out was her SEVENTH child during the wedding). This woman is in her late twenties, has SEVEN children and doesn’t seem to really give a shit about parenting any of them. One of the women (not related to me) engaged me in a one on one conversation wherein she regaled me of tales of the so-called Welfare Queens in her town. According to her, 90% of all people receiving welfare or food stamps are all churning out new kids each year to get more money.
First off, like any stereotype/urban legend, I know there’s a nugget of truth. Yes, some people do take advantage of the systems meant to take care of those who need help. But I do not believe that this is the majority of those receiving help. Secondly, how the fuck would she know? She does not work for social services; she works for a grocery store. Her only experience is the people she comes into contact with, I daresay, NOT every single person on welfare in her county.

So, this kind of ruffled my feathers, but she’s a friend of one of my family members and clearly this upsets her, so I just kind of made noncommittal sounds while she complained about old neighbors of hers who were “paid to come to this country, NONE of them work, they party all night long, and drive brand new cars that I can’t afford. That must be nice.” This is when we get to the heart of it. She is upset that other people have things that she does not. She does NOT know these people’s situation, because she’s never spoken with them. She is angry that she does not have more. This is a person who will never be happy with what she has, but does a nice song and dance about how “I don’t let it bother me. I’m happy with my life.” But clearly, since this is the conversation I’m stuck in, it does bother her. Enough that she’s proselytizing to someone who was trying desperately to get out of this conversation. I was openly looking around trying to find someone to get me out of there. She wouldn’t let me walk away. Sheesh. Finally my cousin rescued me, and I spent hours avoiding this woman. If I may use a quote brought to my attention by the glorious Sarah, “A fanatic is someone who can not change their mind, and WILL NOT change the subject.” I think we hit the nail on the head with that one.

Awkward Moment number 3:
I was walking out of the bathroom (you know because peeing is my new favorite hobby these days), and I was corner by my Step Grandmother. I’d chatted with her a little earlier in the evening, did a little post mortem on the wedding etc. So, I was confused when after finding me walking out of the bathroom, she immediately whined, “So you didn’t like the wedding?”

I had said nothing but positive things about the wedding in every conversation I’d had with her and everyone else. Hell, how could I not like the wedding, I MADE THE WEDDING. I can stand back and realize that this is her sick way of asking for affirmation and reassurance. Anyone else with any level of social skills would fish for compliments by saying, “So, how’d you like the wedding?” But it’s SG, so it must be couched negatively. Just fantastic.
Once again, I will thank my mother for reminding me that this is a person who is bound and determined to be unhappy. So, I mumbled about how the ceremony was great the wedding went well etc and ran the hell out of there.

Why is it all the wackos decide to vent their Crazy on me? I mean, I know that I’m often described as easy to talk to and I try to be kind and open-minded with everyone I meet. But this is just taking advantage of someone who is too polite to say, “YOU ARE FUCKING NUTS. PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON’T WANT WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING.” For serious.
Anyone, got anything they use to defuse situations with nutbags like those illustrated above? (Aside from the aforementioned, “FUCK OFF!”?)

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