A sense of perspective isn't something I have in droves, so in light of all of the actual real life important stuff that's happening in the world right now, I hope that you'll forgive an idiot spinster for spending a few moments rambling about her own silly little drama of a life.
On Wednesday, I was driving down the street talking to my Jersey boy on the hands-free telephone contraption, when I noticed a gentleman approaching the intersecting corner. As I glanced over at him, I saw him clutch his chest, double over, and then fall to the ground. "I think that man is having a heart attack", I said to my Jersey boy. "I'll call you back". So I turned my little red tin can around, pulled over, grabbed my telephone contraption and called 9-1-1. The gentleman on the ground was alert and conscious and breathing, and told me he thought he was having a heart attack. I didn't have to perform CPR, so I guess it was my job to make polite conversation with both the 9-1-1 dispatcher and the gentleman having the heart attack, because all I could seem to do was chatter like a circus monkey, give the gentleman having a heart attack a continual thumbs up/you're doing a good job staying alive, Brother gesture, and promising the 9-1-1 dispatcher that I would, under no circumstances jump on this gentleman's chest and holler "Bring me the paddles! Charge to 500! Stat!"
Two South Bend police cruisers were there within a matter of seconds, followed by what I presume to be a South Bend Fire Department ambulance, since all of the people in said ambulance had stuff written all over themselves that said "South Bend Fire". I managed to shut the hell up long enough for everybody to do their job, put Bob on a stretcher, and send him off to the hospital, where I am hoping and praying he enjoyed a full and speedy recovery.
(And yes, in case you were wondering, I was perfectly calm, composed, and semi-professional right up until the point that the South Bend police officer asked the gentleman having a heart attach what his name was, and when he replied "Bob", I burst into the ugly cry and said "That was my dad's name! And he had TWO heart attacks! He's dead now, but I loved him very much and my sister and I miss he and my mother every single day of our rotten little lives because nobody should have to go through life without their parents, especially when they are ill equipped to handle all that comes at them in the course of a normal, yet hectic week here on the planet Earth!")
(Or something like that, anyway. All I know is that the officer patted my on the shoulder and made sure I was sufficiently OK to drive and get the hell out of the chaos and on to my destination without revealing too much more of my inner messed-up mechanisms.)
Fast forward to yesterday, when I was at the downtown post office. A young mother and her little daughter came in after what I can only assume was a very very long day of doing a whole lot of crap that the little daughter had absolutely no interest in doing whatsoever. She managed to stand in line for a full seven seconds before she went into full on melt-down mode, and it was all any of us could do to protect our eardrums. This kid was m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e and she wasn't going to stop until everybody within an eight mile radius knew this, so I decided to be "helpful" and engage the child in what I thought was appropriate conversation with someone in the midst of a nervous breakdown. "I'm Butterfly McTootie Ladybug pants", I said while bending over to eye height with the kid. "What's your name?"
This might have worked at the Target a few years ago with a little boy named Ethan, but THIS particular child was having absolutely none of it. I could swear I heard her tell me to go "f" myself, but that might have been the poor exasperated mother, who was, by this point, looking up in-patient mental health facilities on her iPhone. I'm pretty sure that she would have slapped a stamp on her daughter's forehead and mailed her off to Montana if it would have meant that she could have gotten out of there with a shred of sanity and/or dignity in tact.
But I was not to be deterred by this.
"I'm Princess Tulip Buttercup Pansypants", I tried again. "What's your name?"
This time the kid stopped hollering long enough to turn to her mother and say (loud enough for every single freaking person in the whole entire post office to hear her) "MOMMY! WHY IS THE STUPID FAT LADY TALKING TO MEEEE???!!!!! I DON'T LIKE THE STUPID FAT LADY!!! I WANNA GO HOOOOOOMMMMMEEEEEE!!!!!"
It was at this point that I heard the mother say "Oh, screw it", and she grabbed the kid and hauled her (still screaming, by the way) back out to the minivan.
I could have been humiliated, sure. And, if I would have had an ounce of self respect, I would have quietly made my own exit so as not to have to endure the quizzical looks of all of the other post office patrons, but I decided to stand there instead, shrugging my shoulders while offering a rather weak (yet effective), "What can I say? I've put a little water weight on this week."
All in all it was one of those weeks in which I wonder why I tried leaving the friendly confines of my Happy Chair. To remedy that, I've decided to turn OFF the damn TeeVee, turn ON the You've Got Mail, and get my fingers busy with some stitching.
So how's things in YOUR neck of the woods?