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Poor Kitty Can’t Handle This Monster

, , , , , | Related | November 27, 2022

We had two cats. The older one was pretty mellow. The younger one tended to startle really easily; the term “scaredy cat” could have been coined for him.

They both loved to crawl into bags and boxes, as all cats do, and if we had a paper shopping bag, we would often leave it on the floor for a day or two for them to indulge their “cave instinct”.

One day, I was in the kitchen when Scaredy Cat came tearing into the kitchen, followed closely by one of the paper bags we’d left out the day before. My first thought was that he and Mellow Cat had squabbled and Mellow Cat was chasing him, but I immediately realized that Mellow Cat could hardly be running while inside the bag.

Apparently, Scaredy Cat had been hanging out in the bag, tried to leave, and got a leg caught in the bag’s twine handle. As he moved, the bag moved, which, of course, terrorized him into running — and the bag chased him.

I was laughing too hard to even attempt to catch the cat (or the Bag From Hell). Scaredy Cat finally tore loose from the bag, ran into another room, and hid for hours. I’m surprised that the poor cat didn’t have a heart attack.

We never again left out a bag with a handle.

Sour Candies, Sour Stranger, Sweet Ending

, , , , , | Friendly | November 8, 2022

I used to work a schedule that was seven days on, four days off. My neighbor and best friend was a work-from-home mom. On my days off, if the weather cooperated, I would take my two little mutts and the neighbor’s three girls, ages five, seven, and eight, to the local dog park. It was perfect. The play area was right next to the dog park, so I would take my energetic fluffballs to the dog park section and keep my eyes on the kids while they played, and my neighbor got a couple of hours of kid-free time. (The dog park required that you stay in the fenced area with your pets, and the play area only required you were always within view of your kids.) I always handed the kids one coin purse each with enough change to get a snack and drink from the vending machines.

On one trip, I realized I had left one of the coin purses at home. I didn’t want to just hand one of the kids loose change; experience had taught me that loose coins always fell out of their pockets. I dug in my purse and found some lemon drops in a round tin with a pretty snug-fitting top. I only had a few candies left in the tin, so I popped one in my mouth and offered the others to a few people sitting on the bench next to me in the dog park. I then put one of the kids’ coins in the tin and sent her on her way. She immediately noticed the jingling noise the coins made in the tin and had almost as much fun playing with the tin as she did on the playground. Of course, the other two wanted tins, too, so I promised I’d buy another three-pack of the lemon drops and they could have the tins as soon as they were empty. 

We were out at the park another day, and I had just emptied a lemon drop tin for the third kid, who was ecstatic. Once they all had their coin tins, they ran off, jingling them at each other.

After about thirty or forty minutes, I watched a girl obviously older and bigger than my neighbor’s kids run up to them from across the playground and make several attempts to grab at the kids while they ran away from her. At first, I thought they might be playing some sort of game, but I heard the oldest kid start yelling, “KNOCK IT OFF!” She only does that when someone is doing something she really doesn’t like. The older girl backed off and ran out of the playground.

I called the kids over.

Oldest Girl: “She was trying to take our coin tins!”

Me: “If she comes back and causes any more problems, come straight to me.”

About an hour later, I saw the girl come back hauling a ticked-off-looking woman with her. The woman went right up to my neighbor’s kids and said something I couldn’t hear. All three of them ran straight to me.

The woman followed them into the dog park and stormed up to where I was sitting.

Woman: “Your kids have been teasing my daughter with their tins! You or one of the kids needs to give her a tin, and you should all apologize.”

Me: “I’ve been watching the kids the whole time, and there was no teasing involved. Your daughter ran clear across the playground and tried to take the kids’ tins without provocation.”

Obviously, the mom didn’t want to hear this.

Woman: “You’re lying! Give my daughter a tin!”

Me: *Looking her directly in the eye* “No.”

She looked so shocked you’d think I’d hauled off and slapped her. 

Mom: “No?! No?!

Me: “No.”

Mom: “You have to give her a tin!”

Me: “No.”

Mom: “Why the h*** not?!”

This is something I really hate: people who absolutely refuse to accept “no” as an answer. They want you to give them a reason for the answer so they can argue with your reasons since “no” all by itself is a declarative statement that doesn’t really leave room for arguing. I don’t play that game. 

Me: “I said no. Now, either get out of my face or I’m calling park security.”

The mom stood there staring at me until I started obviously looking at the sign with the security office number on it and dialing my phone. She then stormed off in the direction she had come from and her daughter went back to the park.

I watched the daughter and the kids like a hawk until it was time for us to leave. She looked my way a few times while moving toward the kids and backed off when I glared at her. 

On the way home, the oldest kid asked me if I even had any more tins. I told her truthfully that I still had one leftover, which was almost empty, and I would have given it to the girl had she asked nicely. All three kids piped up that the girl had never asked them; she just ran up and tried to take them. I explained that there are some people in this world who behave like that, and it’s important to avoid them if you can and stand up to them when you can’t, or they’ll never stop taking from you because they will never be satisfied with what they have. 

I tell this story now because the middle child just did a presentation for her senior class about people who positively influenced her life, and she told this story. She ended by shaking her tin in the air, and her sisters shook theirs from where we were sitting in the auditorium. Then, she pointed me out while I was ugly-crying, so posting this is my revenge.

They’re Redefining “Phoning It In”

, , , , , | Working | September 26, 2022

Our anniversary is coming up, and I decided to upgrade my husband’s and my cell phones, since our contract is up. We headed to the local store for our carrier to pick out new phones and get assistance migrating our data over. The last time we were there, the staff was super helpful. 

We went in and the lady at the front door huffed at us. 

Lady: “Yeah, just so you know, there’s a forty-five-minute wait for assistance.” 

We looked around. There were three salespeople in the store and there was only one other customer. 

Me: “Oh, that’s okay. We’re just going to look around for a bit.” 

Lady: “Fine.” 

My husband and I looked at the available phones and settled on the phones we wanted. We came back to the lady to get in the queue, sure that we’d be seen right away because we were literally the only customers in the store at that point. 

Me: “Okay, we’d like to upgrade our phones.” 

Lady: “Still going to be a forty-five-minute wait. I’ll put you in the queue.” 

Me: “Okay, we’re going to get some breakfast while we wait. We’ll be back.” 

Lady: “Well, if you’re not here when we call you up, you’ll have to be put back in the queue.” 

Wow, how rude! But we decided to still purchase from the store because we wanted to use the three-day weekend learning the ins and outs of the new phones and migrating everything over. 

Luckily, the guy that helped us when we came back was super-nice and we thought we were going to get some service. Until… 

Nice Guy: “Unfortunately… we don’t have any of that phone in stock. But I went ahead and ordered them for you. They’ll arrive Wednesday at your home! That will be $70 for the upgrade fee.” 

Me: “Um… if you were just going to order them online, why did we need to come out to the store and wait forty-five minutes? I could have done all this at home.” 

The nice guy was super apologetic and admitted he should have checked their inventory before doing anything else. We still proceeded with the sale, but in retrospect, should have walked out and denied them their commission.

In The Meantime, I’ll Be Saving For This Baby’s College Fund!

, , , , , , | Working | July 13, 2022

I have just come home from the hospital after having a baby. We’re both doing fine, but I’m still tired, sore, and cranky from pushing a human being out of my body. The phone rings after I get settled in and my husband hands me the phone.

Caller: “Hi! This is [Caller] with [My Alma Mater], and we’re reaching out to all our alumni for our annual donation drive. What can we put you down for?”

Me: “Look, [Caller]. This is a really bad time. I just came home from having a baby a couple of hours ago. Can you call back sometime next week after I’ve had time to recover?”

Caller: “Oh, congratulations! So, we have several options for donations…”

Me: “I don’t think you heard me. I had a baby yesterday. I got home from the hospital two hours ago. I’m not in the mood to talk about donations today.”

Caller: “I understand this may be a difficult time for you, but we use these donations for scholarships. I see here that you yourself benefitted from our scholarship program.”

Me: “Okay. Hon? I’m trying to be nice to you. But having a baby means medical bills. I’m not even sure I’ll have money to donate this year. Unless you’re personally going to help me out with those bills, don’t expect a donation from me this year.”

The caller hurriedly apologized and hung up. Was it something I said?

This Is Why I Refuse To Live Anywhere With Fewer Bathrooms Than People

, , , , , , , | Related | July 13, 2022

When I was still living at home, my brother and I shared a bathroom. We largely took turns, except in the mornings to get ready for school. Even then, I was only in there long enough to brush my teeth and wash my face before I did everything else in my room.

One morning, my brother decided that he didn’t want to share a bathroom anymore and started loudly demanding that I get out of the bathroom while he was using it. That’s when my mom intervened.

Mom: “[My Name], will you just let your brother have the bathroom to himself?”

Me: “I just need to brush my teeth and wash my face. I’m not even in there for five minutes. He’s being completely unfair.”

Mom: “But he really wants to be in the bathroom alone. Why don’t you do your stuff after he’s done?”

Me: “Because he’s in there for thirty minutes every morning. If I wait until he’s done to get in there, I’ll miss my bus.”

Mom: “Well, you’ll have to get up earlier and do your stuff.”

Me: “No. I shouldn’t have to rearrange my morning routine because he’s having a hissy fit.”

After a few more minutes of arguing, I decided to ignore them both, do my routine, and go to the bus stop.

My mom continued trying to get me to bend over backward to my brother’s demands. She’d say I could have the bathroom first, but the five minutes I was in there was “taking too long”. My stuff was in his way, so I moved them to a basket kept in a corner of the sink. That wasn’t good enough, and I had to keep it all in my room and carry the basket back and forth.

Finally, I got my license, which meant I could drive to school instead of getting up early to make the bus. And… I could get up an hour later and use the bathroom in peace after my mom left for work and my brother took the bus. 

But that was no good, either, because my mom thought I should get up when everyone else did. And it was now my job to make sure my brother got up and to the bus each morning. 

Now my family wonders why I’m in low contact with them.