When no other category fits the
- Jun 2003 Archive
My parents recently attended a dance with a group of friends.
They brought along a tray of party sandwiches, as everyone was asked to bring
finger food. My mother was disappointed that the sandwiches were a bit stale,
since she paid $18 for them from a local deli, and while that's not an
outrageous price, you'd expect the bread to be fresh, at least.
Anyway, when the dance was almost over, one of her friends,
Mona, walked around from table to table, asking if anyone wanted to contribute
their leftover food to her "party" she was having the following week.
You see, she and her husband were throwing themselves a 40th wedding anniversary
When my mother told Mona she could have the tray of leftover
sandwiches, she also asked her how they would keep till the following week, when
they were slightly stale already. "No problem," Mona said, "I'll
freeze them". By the end of the night, she felt she had enough leftovers
from the dance to cater her own 40th anniversary party. Oh, and BTW, the couple
has plenty of money. The husband is a successful attorney, and they had just
returned from a European vacation.
Many of the people at the dance would be attending next week's
party, and would see their own leftover food being served to them. My parents
will see what's left of their $18 thawed out, stale sandwich tray. These hosts
are cheap, cheap, cheap!
I was on vacation with my University roommates in Chicago this
past summer. While one roommate was off enjoying some festivities, my other
roommate, "Erin" and I went downtown to see the sights.
We were standing on a bridge, chatting while Erin had a
cigarette when we were approached by a middle-aged man. He took a glance at Erin
and her cigarette and asked her if she was pregnant.
Erin is by no means overweight, but is sensitive about
her stomach, while I stared at the man in disbelief she chose to respond with a
great deal of class and politely told him that no, she was not pregnant. The man
nodded his head and explained that that was good, because if she was he was
about to lecture her about smoking. I told him that what he was saying was
extremely rude and disrespectful; lecturing a total stranger about smoking is
rude enough, but to ask a young girl if she was pregnant without knowing her is
an extremely risky move! It is a question I feel no one should
ever ask unless they are familiar with the person and are 100% sure they are
The man walked away and Erin and I were able to laugh about it
later, but to this day my mind is still blown by how nosy and inconsiderate he
A few months ago our family celebrated my niece's Bat Mitzvah.
Besides a lot of extended family, many of my niece's school and temple friends
were in attendance. So, I have to ask their parents:
On what planet is it acceptable to walk into any house of
worship wearing shiny metal micro mini skirts, split-paneled chiffon
dresses, or high heeled slides? Oh, yes, they were actually dressed for
the party, where dressing like a little prostitute is very chic. Ever
think of having them change into their party dresses after the
My story takes place in a local discount store I love and
frequent. Please keep in mind that I have the dubious advantage
of looking younger than my age and that two of my biggest pet peeves are as
follows: being called "honey," "dear," "sweetie,"
etc. from people who don't know me (or don't know me well) and being touched by
strangers. One afternoon I was standing in line at said discount
store about to buy a single item. I was third or fourth in
line; around me were mostly elderly ladies and young mothers. I had
my purse open and was looking through my wallet. (This purse was not
the zip-up kind, but the fold-over or "envelope" kind that
snaps shut.) All of a sudden, a woman I had never seen before in my life
enters the store and breezes by me. As she does so, she taps me on the
shoulder -- quite hard -- and says, loudly enough for everyone around
me to hear, "Close your purse, dear."
I was so surprised that I never got to shoot
back, "I appreciate the advice, but don't touch me and I'm not your
I received an invitation to celebrate the 1st birthday of an
acquaintance's daughter. It requested that guests bring their own
lawn chairs and alcohol. Classy.
I commute into London on a very busy line. On the way
home once I offered my seat to a little girl I saw standing. She was sweet
and said thank you, but as she went to sit her strapping father thrust her into
the tiniest corner and took the seat himself. Then he actually gives me a triumphant
glare, deliberately sticks his legs out so I can't hold onto a pole (I'm a small
girl), and scowls at me. Nice. Before I can say anything,
the train goes round a bend at speed & without the pole I'm sent flying.
Much to his horror, right into his lap. He turns absolutely scarlet
as I'm apologizing like mad, but I can't actually get off him for the train
rocking, and everyone is staring. Luckily two nice Cityboys help me up.
Even more luckily, I miss his daughter. He hid behind a newspaper for the
rest of the trip with only his bright red ears showing, but his daughter
was still giggling when I got off.
Miss Jeanne, I received an email invitation from a friend for
a party (quite a nice friend, actually)! This is how it goes.
Hi everyone! "Niki" and "Jane" are organizing
a party to celebrate post-exams! We both really hope you can all come =D The
cost is $10 per person to cover costs such as food and damages. Please RSVP by
Tuesday 11th September, so that we can organize catering, etc.
I'm not too concerned about chipping in for food, since we're
poor students, but presuming that their hosts will be causing damage to the
house is going a bit overboard!
My cousin Tami is a thief in every sense of the word. She
steals from her own family and what she can’t get from them she ‘buys’ at
the store with worthless checks for which she’s been to jail. She also lies to
social services to steal money from the government to send her children to
daycare free, get healthcare free and food stamps. Don’t get me wrong,
there’s absolutely nothing wrong with receiving help when you really have a
need because you’ve fallen on hard times, not because you’re a bottom feeder
like my cousin.
Anyway this is just one incident I picked from many: Not long
ago Tami had a cookout at her parent’s house. She had the party there because
this is where she and her children live – rent free I might ad. She treated
everyone to shrimp, oysters and other expensive goodies. When my Grandmother
asked where she got the money for the food, because everyone knows she receives
‘assistance’, she proudly told my Grandmother and several other people that
she had used her food stamps to fund the party.
Talk about tacky. This is a 31 year old woman for goodness
sake! Needless to say this is one event I did NOT attend!
A few years ago my sister Kass came home crying. When I asked
her what was wrong she told me a story that should land this lady in e-hell forever! My
sister decided that she wanted to do something special for my birthday. Being a
high school student with not a lot of money she decided she would bake cookies.
Being my birthday falls close to Halloween, my sister and her friend Jay decided
they would make ghost cookies. My sister packed up all the ingredients from my
parent's house and took them over to Jay's dad's house. When they were finished
with the cookies they packed them up when Kathy came over. After asking and
being told several times by both girls that the cookies were for my birthday,
Kathy took the cookies. She then gave them to Jay's dad and told him how hard
she had worked to make the cookies just for him. She later confessed to Jay that
she said she felt a little tacky for taking the credit. After all of that I took
my sister and her friend out to eat. I couldn't let such hard work go
unrewarded. Plus it floors me that she called herself tacky. That wasn't tacky,
that was just plain mean!
A few years ago, my boss' daughter had a bat mitzvah. As
employees, we weren't really encouraged to go to the thing, and only the boss'
secretary attended, but an invitation was posted on the bulletin board for us
all -- it was pretty clear that this was a hint that we should chip in on a gift
so chip in we did. I think we ended up getting her a savings bond for like
$200 or something close to that. Months went by and no word from the girl
till finally a thank you note landed on the bulletin board as follows:
"Dear Employees of ---------------: My
father said I should write you people a thank you note for the savings
A few weeks ago, my son's preschool had a tag sale, and
parents were encouraged to donate items for the school to sell. I was bringing
donations to the drop-off site at the school, and was carrying a large, heavy
box toward a gate when I saw a nicely dressed older woman coming out. The gate
has a complicated mechanism in place to prevent the preschool children from
getting it open, so to save us both some time - for her to get it in place, and
for me to undo it 5 seconds later - I called out, "Excuse me, do you mind
not locking that gate so I can get through?" I expected her to say,
"Sure," push the gate back open, and go on her merry way. Although it
would have been nice, I wasn't expecting her stick around long enough to lock
the gate behind me. What I really wasn't expecting was to get a lecture about
how she would hold the gate open but she was NOT going to stay and lock the gate
behind me because she was in a BIG HURRY, she had a VERY BUSY DAY. By the time
she finished talking and flounced off to her car, I had already walked through
the gate, set the box down and was locking the gate myself. I was left alone to
ponder the notion that people are willing to sacrifice the good will of a fellow
human being for a few precious seconds, time that could easily be eaten up
waiting for a car to pass as you turn out of the parking lot.
I carried the box up a flight of stairs, dropped it off in the
donation room, and went into the office to pick up a donation receipt. As I was
walking back down the stairs toward the gate (so we're talking at least a minute
and a half after the lecture), I saw the same woman get out of her car, walk
back over to the gate and look at the lock, I guess to make sure that I'd
understood I was supposed to lock it myself. Good thing she saved all that time
for her busy day!
Both my boyfriend and I are Performing Arts majors in college,
and just this fall my boyfriend auditioned and got into a community production
of the musical Grease. I wanted to audition, but as I don't drive the
rehearsals would've been too hard to get to, but I heard all about the wonderful
director and his wife, and though the performance turned out wonderful, I'm glad
to have missed the backstage drama.
The director is a very nice man, but more than a little biased
in casting. Now the traditional way to cast a show (especially in
community theater) is to have one main cast with understudies for the leads (who
then get to play a night or two during the run) or to completely double cast
every part and have two sets of leads. Deviations from this practice is
acceptable, but the casting this director used was more than a little biased in
my opinion, and rehearsals were not conducted in a very professional manner.
-All the boys parts were single cast, with the exception of
Eugene (the nerdy kid and a fairly small part), and there was an swing
understudy for the three T-birds who got to play each character once. A
little hectic for the understudy to learn three leads and his ensemble part, but
they made it work.-All the girls parts were single cast except for Marty (one of
ladies) was double cast. Now I know from experience,
when all the roles are single cast except your own, you can't help but feel a
little blow to the ego.-Sandy (the leading female) was also double cast, and one
of the girls was the directors own daughter. Now if she were an amazing
actress, that'd be one thing; same if all the parts were double cast. But
in a cast where almost all the parts are single cast, and the other Sandy was
the much stronger actress (I saw both perform and I've inquired the opinions of
other audience members), one starts to suspect that the directors daughter was
cast as a lead because she is his daughter. (The director's son was also
cast as one of the T-birds, but in most people's opinions this was fair as he
was quite suited to the part. I still think you tread on thin ice when
casting your own children though.)
-An understudy was created for the part of Rizzo when the
actress learned she was going to have to miss three rehearsals. The
actress was not informed of her new counterpart, then the understudy was
unceremoniously dismissed from the duty and never got to play the part.
The actress playing Rizzo only played for one weekend, and was then dismissed
for adding her personal interpretation to the character. The former
understudy was forgotten and another actress was brought in for a one week cram
session to learn the part from scratch (thankfully she's a wonderful actress and
is well liked by the rest of the cast).
-Rehearsal schedules were changed at the last minute and the
director's wife would often call up those who were unaware of changes and yell
at them for not being mind readers. She'd also haul in ensemble members,
rehearse a single scene with them (a matter that sometimes took only 20 minutes)
then send them home.
The show ended up being really great, but I hesitate to
audition for this theater in the future.
My stepmother and I were at the hospital while my dad was
undergoing major surgery that would decide whether he lived or died. There was a
special waiting room, separate from the regular waiting areas, just for the
people whose loved ones were undergoing major surgery. The waiting room was very
full, but very quiet because everyone there was very worried and stressed.
Everyone was unfailingly polite to one another and the loudest noise heard was
someone sobbing softly once in a while.
Until this one huge family came in. Most of the surgery
patients had between 1 and 3 family members waiting and they’d talk amongst
themselves in hushed tones. This family came in as a group of at least 10
people. They took over a large section of the waiting room and were very very
loud. Ok, we thought that they’d get quieter once they settled in. They
didn’t – they got louder. They started telling jokes and coarse stories to
one another, at the top of their lungs and cackled and hooted even louder. We
all were forced to hear about private details of their lives and their
families’ lives that we would have rather not heard, in addition to a full
report on the health and the minor surgery their relative was having.
The Worst Offender was a middle-aged lady who was the most
talkative and loudest of them all. And whenever she said something that she
thought was particularly amusing, she would actually stand up and get out of her
chair, and start stamping one foot on the floor several times, like a trained
donkey learning to count. And she did this with all her strength and as loudly
as possible. I was sitting about 10 ft away and I could feel the floor shake
every time she did this.
After a while, they actually set up a portable DVD player so
some of them could watch a video of someone’s daughter’s dance recital. Of
course they had to turn up the volume as loud as it would go. One member of the
herd wandered over to the other side of the room to look at something. Then she
carried on a conversation by shouting to the people on the other side of the
room. Some of them decided to take over all the computer terminals that were
there for everybody to use. You were supposed to only use them for 30 minutes at
a time to give everyone a chance. They of course hogged every computer in the
room for hours.
The Worst Offender continued her previous bad behaviors, and
in addition started to ask her Uncle Bob to do her minor favors. She would do
this by literally shouting:
you turn my laptop on for me?” or
time is it?” She sounded like nothing so much as a spoiled
child demanding attention. So eventually they had a noisy laptop playing
something, a loud DVD player playing something else, and were still all talking
to one another at the top of their lungs. Plus the stamping on the floor like a
Eventually, every other person in the room was looking daggers
at the Worst Offender, staring at her with looks of utter loathing. One of her
family members nudged her and said that maybe she was being a little loud. She
replied (and I quote), “These people, they just done need some HAPPINESS in
they’s lives.” Ok, I could agree with her on that point. However, any
happiness in my life was going to come from hearing the news my dad was going to
get better, not from a bunch of loud, ignorant people behaving like barnyard
animals. No matter what, it was going to be a difficult day, but they made it an
utterly miserable day for us and for every other person who had loved ones
fighting for their lives.
My friend, "Joanne" and her husband
"David" are - in spite of many years of trying to conceive -
childless. Surrogacy is an impossibly expensive dream, and they have also
recently been refused the opportunity to adopt or foster on medical grounds.
(Under UK law this means that they would not be able to adopt from abroad
either.) Now most people at this point would be trying IVF, however,
Joanne and David decided not to pursue this route. Firstly, they would be unable
to fund it themselves and, secondly, they believe that it would be unfair to try
and have such expensive non-essential treatment on the overstretched National
Health Service. When they told me, my reaction was one of amazement at their
quiet generosity. Others, however, have taken a different point of view...
Joanne and David recently invited me to a small pre-Christmas party at their
house. Some of David's family were also there, including his pregnant sister,
"Rachel". Rachel seems incapable of talking about anything other than
babies at the minute. Joanne, although happy to be becoming an aunt, can find
such discussions exceptionally painful. Therefore, whilst Joanne was out of the
room, David cautioned Rachel to ease up on the baby-talk.
Unfortunately, this warning just turned the conversation to
talk of infertility instead. Joanne had just walked into the room when Rachel
half bellowed at David; "Well, all I can say is that you can't REALLY want
a child if you're not willing to try IVF." The whole room was silent.
Joanne turned so pale that I seriously thought she was going to faint. David
took her outside, and they returned - both somewhat tearstained - a few minutes
later to be the perfect hosts for the rest of the evening. I still
don't know what I am more astonished by! Rachel's callous comment, or Joanne and
Page Last Updated September 18, 2008