Monday, February 9, 2009

Perils of the Inane Giggle

So you know how there are some differences in the way (some) women of the boomer generation go about life in comparison to the way (some) women of gen x go about life?

Some women, many years ago, were brought up to serve. They were brought up to smile, take care of others and do as they were told. Men are more important and when you get married your job then becomes to take care of your husband, children, and home. You are wife, hear you gag choke and smother. You are not just last, you are not a factor.

When I was growing up, I had one grandmother tell me to quit acting smart, I would never get a boyfriend that way (she also said I was lucky I could 'test drive' a man first since that wasn't allowed in her day LOL). At the other grandmothers home we would go as a family and my dad would park his butt next to his fathers butt on the recliners parked in front of the tv and snap at my sister and I to go help grandma in the kitchen. I resented the hell out of that, so much so that to this day I remember and am blogging about it. I never understood, still don't, how you could marinate your ass in la- Z- boy lovin' and have the nerve to tell someone else to go do all the work. Get up and do it yourself idiot.

I may not be shocking anyone here at this point, when I confess that I did not sit quietly agreeing with those attitudes. I was lucky, I think, to grow up in the era where men and women are equal. We were able to have opinions as girls, and express them (to a point). It was taught in schools, on PBS, and reflected in my parents home (to a point), girls can do anything boys can do and boys can do anything girls can do. My mom definitely had the opinion that boys and girls may be equal, but secretly girls are better.

Unfortunately, this sort of assertiveness with opinions never did win me any friends with the older set. I remember 2 jobs ago, I was in charge of my own department. It was a grant position that I put together from start to finish and it made gobs of money for the agency. Our office manager, an older woman named Dorothy, was the type to refer to people such as "that colored girl" or "the big one" and other charming little terms. She was very strict and uptight and more than one person was afraid of her. She HATED me. Oh my goodness, she hated the sight and sound of me. However, she would have never dreamed of actually confronting or saying anything to me. To her, and to many otherly aged women I have noticed, if you have to say something "unpleasant" you say it with a smile and an inane little giggle in your voice. Like, *SMILE* "I would love to slap you, *inane giggle* you rude little shit " *SMILE*. But she never even did that. HOoo Noooo, she spent her days doing little passive aggressive things to work my nerves. Like, she would make a change in my department with the program manager, and I would say No and put it all back. Just, No. My department. She could not believe someone would do that. One day I was chewing in the front office and I overheard her telling someone else how rude I was to have food in my mouth and chew it, I pointedly finished chewing and said," isn't it more rude to gossip about people? Because I am pretty sure that is a sin." I know she blew out a few hemorrhoids that day. Cuz really, you know, some people have great talents they can sing or what have you. Me, I can't sing but I can out- snotty comment a lot of people. And from that day on, it was war. She was a bit of a germ-o- phobe. Now, I admit this is desperately immature. Terrible of me. I would go into her office and make a point of leaning a butt cheek on her desk. Or sneezing by her keyboard. I know, it is awful. I was horrible and mean.( If you can't wear the panties, don't expect to play with the big girls). I would cough into my hand then hold her door knob. She would (try to) change my filing system. I would hum music from The Wizard of OZ when I passed her, you know the wicked witch song. She would print up reams of crap for me to sign and acknowledge to be "liable" for. On and on. Fun, really. I have opinions. I express them. But we all know they are like assholes, everyone has one.

Now, this lengthy story is background. I am establishing history of low tolerance for pissy folk who try to annoy me. I admit to my part of having a hair trigger reaction to what I may perceive as being ruded upon. This lengthy story is my little way of announcing to the world that in recent days, despite all else, I have been successfully holding myself back from a tirade. Stuffing my frustrations down like shrimp at a Vegas buffet. If it weren't for the whole part about 3 miracles and virtuous behavior like, always, I might even suggest someone nominate me as a low-ranking saint. I have held my mouth shut forcibly. My phony smile has crumbled and cracked like a busted out windshield, but it has held, although with a sort of constipated hint to it. It has very nearly come to the point of calling Home Depot to come and install hardware to keep me from exploding. I put up with my children's clothes being changed. I said nothing when their hair was re- coiffed. Letting Teena eat an entire bucket of movie theater popcorn and calling it nutritious. I have been patient. I have had nerves of steel. I threw out 3 empty bottles of Xanax. I have been to my happy place with a bottle of tequila, a funnel cake cart, and my second husband (the one I haven't met yet) over and over. I have smiled and nodded until my face cheeks splintered and butt cheeks actually froze stuck. Until last night.

We were all going to take a little trip, to the South of Wisconsin. My children, myself, my first husband and his mother. For this a car was rented so that 2 cars were not needed to fit everyone.
A decision was made, by the person in charge of this decision, that when it comes to comfort, mine is expendable. My husbands is first or second, his mothers is second or first, and when it comes to me, well, stuffed into the back seat of a Pontiac with 2 children in car seats should be okay with me because I should be respecting my elders and respecting my husband and making sure I am making them and everyone else happy without consideration for any part of my 5 foot 10 inch bod. (And by the way I HAVE a Pontiac!) Nosiree, I was supposed to clench my butt and be quiet. Again. While the ahem, bigger people, sat in the comfortable seats. Because this has happened before with other family members from that part of the family tree. And though I made apparent my opinion, I allowed The Husband to beg and plead and promise me a new handbag to let it go back then. But yesterday, when I mentioned that this arrangement was tight, the response was, "well I figured it is not that long of a drive to be a little uncomfortable". People, the ride was 3 hours. Each way. SIX hours total. And it occurred to me, as I was elevated 2 inches above the seat by virtue of my highly stiffened butt that the person speaking had decided that a little discomfort would be ok because that person had no intention of sitting in the back with 2 children in car seats, or anywhere else that might be uncomfortable. And had such person thought for one second that her beloved son might have to sit there torqued inhumanely, things would have been dramatically different. We would be in a Hummer. And so I realized that said person made her decision about things that suck and things that would be just fine for a short 6 hour trip based on the fact that the one person that would be stuck with the shit that sucks, would be me. And that was okay. With her.

It was not. Okay. With me.

And, I have to say, if you insist on emitting an little giggle after everything you say AND after everything everyone else says, no matter what the hell it is, I cannot and will not be responsible for your meltdown because I have been living with the high priestess of the manipulative meltdown for a year and a half and I am immune. And next time I am driving my own car.


  1. My husband would never put me in the back seat, and luckily my other mother wouldn't let him. Of course I also had a first always helps to remind them that he's only having sex with one of you and it should be his priority to keep that one happy.


  2. Well I have to confess that he offered me to sit in the front passenger seat on the way, but I declined as that seat is responsible for conversating with the driver who yammered the whole way. He was actually innocent on that one. I probably should have mentioned that. Oops

  3. Oh yeah...I'd be taking my own car next time.

    This is probably one of the reasons G & I are still together after over 25 years.

  4. oh dear, what a nightmare. How did you cope with the girls in the car for that long? i hope that they slept!
    I hate this giggling thing, her "girls" my own age do that, it's annoying.
    I hope that the mil will be gone soon. good luck!

  5. wow you are quick to read my blog, i hadn't even edited it yet! sorry as there where copy paste errors! and yes it's a mammoth blog session!

  6. The girls slept in the car mostly. Well, Genea did anyway, which was good because she did not get motion sickness while sleeping.

  7. Man, I would be pissed too! Solution...have another kid, and then she will have to rent a bigger vehicle! haha


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