When a soccer mom meets a soccer mom coming through the rye bread…

Standard

Mornin’ all.

I am being hounded by an elderly Jehovah’s Witness.

She came to the door last week to offer me a magazine. Not “Watchtower.” Apparently folks have wised up to that title. Now the magazines are called “Awake!”. She offered, I said, “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in any way. Have a nice day.” I closed the door, but I didn’t slam it in her face or anything. I get that in her mind, she’s doing what she feels is required of her. I made it clear to her that I did not want to share that mindset, and I thought that was the end of it.

That was not the end of it.

A few days later, she came back. I said, “I told you I’m not interested, and I meant it. There is no way I’m going to join your religion. Please stop coming.” I shut the door with a little more enthusiasm, just enough for her to get the point.

She did not get the point.

Tuesday, she kicked it up a notch. She knocked again. I opened the door, shook my head, then shut it with gusto. Do you think that stopped her? No! She opened my screen door and stuck a copy of “Awake!” in the door crack!

I think I need a new tactic. The hubby said I should threaten to call the police. That would probably be effective, but in no way enjoyable. I read the magazine. Holy shit. Or, unholy, depending on your personal beliefs.

Fun fact, I love learning about religions. Love it. I am not, however, religious. I just think religions are fascinating.

I read the magazine, a magazine filled with advice on avoiding ebola, tips for a successful marriage, and a detailed explanation of the byssus strands on mussels. On the back page of the magazine, they list their other magazines for the year and what “real life issues” are addressed in each. I got “Awake!” #6. I wish I had gotten “Awake!” #5. The main topic? “How to discuss sex with your children.” Man I bet that one was good. All I got was some hack shit about making sure to appreciate your wife not only for her looks, but her ability to clean your house (like any swell husband would) and how the perfectly perfect byssus is so perfectly perfected it couldn’t possibly be the result of evolution because science is a tool of Satan. Or something. That’s what I got out of the article.

I need to get this old lady to leave me alone, and I’ve got an idea. I think I’m going to make my own magazine.

“Oh, Bethie.”

I could fill it with articles that are almost the same as the articles in “Awake!”, with the key difference of applying logic and morals.

“No.”

I’ll tweak the little things, like saying, “Isn’t the wonder of evolution amazing?” instead of “Isn’t the glory of God’s creation amazing?” and “A husband should respect his wife because she is a human being with same rights and responsibilities as him.”

“Bethie, you can’t do that.”

I’ll have these printed up and leave them in the basket by the door, and when Grandma Pushy Pants comes back, I’ll say, “Oh, you’ve got a magazine for me? Thanks! I have one for you, too.”

“Please, do not do this!”

Why not?

Honestly. WHY NOT?

“She’s just trying to spread her religion!”

TO SOMEONE WHO HAS ALREADY TOLD HER NOT TO.

Look, she has a right to her beliefs. But, so do I. I have made it abundantly clear that I am not interested, that I do not now, nor will I ever subscribe to her religion. I have asked her to leave me alone. She has chosen not to. Why shouldn’t I present a counter argument at this point?

“Because you have to respect her religion.”

NO. That is something people get wrong all the time. Freedom of religion does NOT mean you must respect all religions. Or any, for that matter.

I don’t have to respect her religion. I respect her right to believe in any religion she chooses. That’s a huge and important difference. I don’t have to respect any religious doctrine itself. I think what she believes in is utter bullshit. But, as a human being with a firm stance on personal freedoms, I totally and absolutely respect her right to be part of that religion if she wants.

That’s not really the point here, though. I’d be willing to keep that opinion to myself if she’d let me, a stance I’ve proven through the course of my entire life when I have never once tried to foist my beliefs on anyone else. I am perfectly happy to keep my thoughts and let her have hers. She’s the one that came to preach at me, not the other way around.

SHE is the one that has a problem with MY right to be left alone with MY beliefs.

I don’t know. It’s like the King of Passive Aggressive Plans, isn’t it? A slow play, too, since it relies on her coming back again. And it would be time consuming. Hmm.

“*resigned sigh* You’re going to do it anyway, aren’t you?”

I’ll keep you posted.

It’s been a week of odd interactions, not just at home, but at work, too.

We get a wide variety of customers at the bakery; some good, some bad, some noteworthy and some forgettable…and some noteworthy because they’re SO forgettable that I stop and think, “Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever met a more beige person in my life!”

Usually my interaction determines whether or not I will remember a customer. However, once in awhile I get a scene. I get to watch as customers act out their personal vignettes in front of my counter all on their own without involving me in any way. It’s not really “dinner theater,” because I can’t count a sample of the bread of a the day as “dinner”. It’s more like “snack-time soap opera.”

The other day, one such episode happened. I was icing red velvet cakes (on sale this week for the low, low price of $4.99! Come on down! Hurry while supplies last! Offer void in Guam.), which is a pretty boring task. Ice, crumb the sides, do red criss-crossy lines, shell the border, repeat. It’s mundane, and my mind was wandering.

I think that’s why I noticed the ladies at all. One soccer mom espied another familiar soccer mom, and they met in the empty space between the rye bread and the muffin table. There was a toddler in tow, one of those that an elderly aunt would have called “well turned out.” Perfect little hair cut, crisp, ironed OshKoshes, not a smear of snot anywhere on his face. His shoes were still tied, he had both socks on, and I bet his hands weren’t even sticky. I never had one of those kinds of kids, myself. I’m not really sure where you’d get them. Babies ‘R Us?

The mum of the Perfect Lad was, herself, a vision in carefully groomed perfection. Her hair was in a pin straight pony tail, her ironed Nike sweatshirt matched her ironed Nike t-shirt. Not any t-shirt. Not MY kind of t-shirt. It wasn’t a two dollar has-been pulled off the Walmart clearance rack with glee. I bet that t-shirt was cashmere just pretending to be casual. She was in yoga pants, of course. When I was a kid, capris were the pants of choice for soccer moms. Now, it’s yoga pants. Her socks were folded in half (I didn’t know anyone even did that anymore) and her shoes didn’t have a speck of dirt on them.

The one who approached was almost a carbon copy. Different brands. Soccer Mom #2 was repping Rebok AND Addidas with her sweathshirt and t combo. I think she won. Most name brands worn at one time is the winner, right? Or does she get points off for not matching? She had yoga pants, too, and again with the folded socks. I guess that is a thing. Damned hispsters and their unwanted influences.

“Hi, I haven’t seen you since the kids’ playdate!” said SM#2.Of course the convo would start like that. How could you POSSIBLY expect any different with that stage setting??

Soccer Mom #1, the mum of the Ironed Tot, began talking about how she and her husband spent their holiday season. She started with Thanksgiving, when they went to Mexico. She said, “Fortunately his mother took the kids, because girl.” She dragged out “girl.” “Girrrrrrllllll.” She is not a person who should do that.

Soccer Mom #2 said, “I hear you.” Apparently “girrrrrllllll” is soccer mom short hand. She understood what was meant. Thankfully, she also clarified. “Trust me, I’ve got two myself. It’s too much sometimes.”

SM#1 continued with joy that someone else understood the trials and tribulations of a rich, white, suburban mother of two whole children. “Riiiight?”

Quick aside: I’m thinking that dragging the words out might be like a verbal secret handshake of the Moms of Soccer. It’s my current working theory. I need more data, or some external corroboration. Please feel free to leave your assessment of the evidence, or any anecdotal studies you’ve personally conducted.

Anyway, she riiiiight?s and then talks about her holiday season in detail. After they got back from a week in Mexico, they decided to “low key” Christmas, because “we really needed time to decompress after the trip.” Don’t worry, guys, she was totally able to con her hubby’s mum into taking the kids again for New Year’s, which was good since childless holidays in Mexican resorts are real “stressors on a marriage.”

SM#2 was nodding and riiiiight-ing the whole time until SM#1 took a breath. This was the break SM#2 was eagerly awaiting, because she started talking about her own holidays, and how she and her husband decided to spend all three, T-day, C-day, and NY-eve, with their kids this year. “We were looking to keep it reaaaaallllly low key and reaaaaalllly classic.”

SM#1 took that as the jab it was meant to be. I may not have been sporting name brand apparel, but even I picked up on the subverted snarkiness. SM#1 could not allow such a thing to pass without firing her own salvo. “Did I hear that you are looking at downsizing? Someone said your house might have to go up on the market?”

OH SNAP.

SM#2 pinched. Her face pinched, her muscles pinched. I mean, everything about her pulled in to prepare for warrior mode, and I honestly thought she was building up a “Hadouken” to slam into opponent.

*gamer fistbump* *damnit guys…could you at least wipe the Cheeto dust off before I fistbump you next time?*

SM#2 said that her husband took a new career path.

“I heard there were layoffs. I’m sorry,” meowed SM#1, not at ALL sorry.

“Oh, no,” SM #2 corrected. “He wasn’t laid off. He started in a new division, one that will give him much more time at home with the kids. They won’t be young forever, and if he just works the entire time, he’ll miss it. He doesn’t want to miss it.” The “he” was said with the arch of an eyebrow and the twist of a knife, clearly indicating some not-so-secret rumblings among the soccer mom community about the state of involvement of SM#1’s husband in the lives of his perfectly presented progeny.

Now it was SM#1’s turn to assume the fighting stance. “That sounds…rustic.”

And with that, it was really on. A half hour. They went at it for a solid half hour. Smiles on their faces the whole time as they held their verbal sword fight, the toddler standing there with a level of patient sadness I have never before seen in one so young. He didn’t cry. He didn’t fuss. He was simply resigned. 2 years old, and already resigned to a life of dealing with his mother’s bullshit.

It wasn’t pretty.

I can’t relate to these people in any way. Take away the expensive clothes. I really don’t give a shit what they’re wearing. The snark about that was just for comedy. It was everything else, all the intangible things that made these two women not only unrelatable, but thoroughly unlikable.

I would never, ever see someone I knew in a grocery store and think, “Hey, there’s Sally. She looks like she’s having a nice day, that bitch. Let’s ruin it.”

And it went beyond the vicious verbal volley. It was what they were saying, the lives they described between the hissing and meowing and implied clawing. Just in another realm entirely. Real Housewives of NH.

Oooh. Now there’s an idea. It would be kind of like Duck Dynasty meets Desperate Housewives. Throw in the Jehovah’s grandma to attract a religious crowd and all the bases would be covered. We’ve already cast three members to having a show that would totally own the autumn line up.

I’ll take ten percent for coming up with the idea. The rest is up to you, Bravo.

Thus concludes the first truly long-winded Muse of the year for January 19, 2017. I got a new keyboard. My old one shit the bed with the help of some coffee the hubby spilled and I’ve been using a donor from Teen 2.0 that was tiny and straight and overall unappealing to my hands. But the new ergo. one arrived, so it’s smooth typin’…until the man kills another. I either have to get some kind of keyboard cover, or he needs a sippy cup. Gotta start carving notches in the desk for all he’s killed. I think we’re up to 11 now…

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