I Am a Curmudgeon!

I struggle with my inner asshole ALL THE TIME it seems. Those of you who know me, and have already started laughing, TRY to give me some credit. I know at least 2 people that could vouch for me, I swear. I really try to understand that everyone is doing their best. I try to take into account that people are struggling with some blabadeebla or something horrible, or stressful. I am well aware that my threshold for annoyance is low, no thanks to high expectations, experience, and an education that really serves no purpose other than irritate me further. 

I struggle with it enough that in my endeavor to be less of a jerk, Mason, in all his helpfulness, tried to find me better synonyms for the word so I didn’t have to keep saying “I’m an asshole”. He is so sweet he offered “curmudgeon” and then used the Google to find synonyms, then said, “Oh, no, none of the words I found can be repeated, even for you. 

Best friend forever, Nina, was with me at Dunkin Donuts the other day when my inner curmudgeon slipped out, as I called the cashier a dip shit, I promise by accident, until I meant it on purpose. We ordered at the drive through, asked for 2 glazed, and 2 Oreo glazed. We were informed that they were out of glazed. No big deal, we’ll take a chocolate donut. The kid tells us we’ll get our total at the window. When we get to the window, the kid is staring at us like a slack jawed yokel. Just staring. I look at him, too, just a blank well Botoxed stare. He gives me a slight look and shrug as if to say, “well?” so I ask how much. He points far below the window where the total is blaring at me from what I only assume is 3 feet below Hades it is THAT far down. Any of you that have been to Taco Bell, or Panera know that is right next to the window. Not at DD! Nope! That’s UNDER the window, ½ in the gutter. I go for my wallet and mutter, “Dip shit”, in the direction of my purse, but audibly. Not the kind of audible utterance you give when you want them to hear you either. It was the thought in my head that came out of my mouth. I immediately felt horribly for it. This kid didn’t deserve that. Dunkin Donuts is just a high school gig for this kid, he’s here to (hopefully) learn some skills that will take him on to bigger, and better things. He doesn’t make enough to be called names. He really didn’t deserve it. I looked at him sheepishly as I handed over the money, hoping he didn’t hear me. I took the donuts, already waiting for us before I acted like a jerk, and was grateful he didn’t have a chance to spit on them. When I opened the box, it had glazed donuts in them (surprise!), none of the Oreo donuts I asked for, and a vanilla something. I immediately wanted to turn around and call him a dip shit three times to his face but did not. I really DO try to curtail my inner a-hole. They are only donuts! 

I have to try to be better than an a-hole for the sake of my daughter. I do not want to raise another me, expecting people to, I don’t know, know what a glazed donut is, know to tell you a total, things like that. If the little things upset her, how will she get though life’s horrible crisis? Wait, we already have! Never mind! What is WRONG with people? 

Today we were at dinner and as soon as we sat down I was looking for a way out of the booth we were put in. Two tables over was “Hover Mom”. We’ve all seen a HM, we’ve all been one. This lady was on my last, and only nerve from the second I sat down. She was hunched over “Bubala” yelling, “big bites, BIG BITES, BIIIG BIIITES” at him, and he was fighting her to the death. I might be exaggerating. I half expected this kid to go all Gladiator on her and start fighting her with his fork or something. I might be exaggerating again. She remained FOCUSED and INSISANT with Bubala. In all honesty the kid was doing nothing, that’s what annoyed me. He was well behaved and minding his coloring and she couldn’t let him alone.  She was sitting with another family that I can only describe as shell shocked by her raised, and forceful voice. “The Dad” that was with “The Wife” and “The Other Little Kid The Same Age But Not Being Traumatized” all had bug eyes were looking at her, watching her force Bubala to take his, “BIG BIIIITES! BIIIIG BIIIITES!” of food. They all looked frazzled and she was intent on Bubala. After approximately thirty seconds of this I ordered a martini and regretted it because my friend Sara told me there was a drink called the Painkiller on the menu. Apparently this lady had dined here with Bubala before. I did have my drink in two really long “as ladylike as I could muster” swigs when the waitress brought it. Gwen was sitting across from me and kindly reminded me to stop staring. I had a moment of motherly pride that my ten year old was telling me not to stare, then I was immediately embarrassed because she was ten and I was the one staring. “The Dad” was giving me dirty looks now. Sara thought it was because he wasn’t at the drinking table, and the waitress had just brought her a fish bowl full of sangria and margarita; I thought it was because that was just his face. I’d have that face too if I was stuck listening to that, right in my ear. The WHOLE time the lady was forcing Hot Wheels, or applesauce on this kid and the WHOLE time he was pushing her off. She really wanted him to have “Chucky Trucky” and “BIG BITES!” Bubala was trying to color, mind his own business, and she was doing the best she could to make him do what she wanted. I promise you all I had NOTHING better to think about this entire time.

Bubala didn’t make a sound once while they were at dinner. HM was in various volumes throughout dinner, mostly raising her voice to get through to Bubala that he HAD to take BIG BITES of applesauce. I kind of wish she would have raised her voice to talk about interesting stuff. I was forced to fill in the gaps for her. Every time she leaned over to talk to “The Dad” I had to make up stories for her.  By the time dinner was over she had a rare disease that was eating her appendix, her husband was philandering with three Thai hookers, it was causing them to go broke, and at this rate, she’d never afford to get her kitchen redone! It was better than focusing on eating my dry chicken, overcooked shrimp, all of it drowning in too spicy sauce that was intended to cover up the dry chicken and overcooked shrimp. Gwen had face planted about two minutes into sitting down because she couldn’t stand the noise either. I tried to talk about anything but Chucky Trucky or Big Bites but it was overwhelming. I need a hobby.

During the course of dinner the manager came by, the chef, his cousin Tommy, and his childhood sweetheart, all wanting to know how we were doing and I’m pretty sure by we they meant they. I couldn’t tell them I was irate because I’m an asshole, it wasn’t their fault. I was at a mediocre establishment, and it wouldn’t be fair to blame them for things that weren’t their fault. They also didn’t care that I might be a tad uptight because I quit smoking and was lacking coping skills to deal with that (cough drops are a poor substitute my friends, who knew? Don’t ask). I’m pretty sure they don’t want to hear my rant on perimenopause either. I’m having a hot flash just thinking about it. I’m always trying to keep the a-hole in check, no matter what I think my excuse is. I probably would have been annoyed had no one come to the table and cared how mediocrely they were doing.  Why is mediocrely a word? My life is a paradox. Hot-flash-sigh-non-smoking-deep-cleansing-exhale.

Do I even have a point to all of this? Probably. I don’t want to raise Gwen to be uptight. I’d like her to just not care that much. I want her to have coping skills, and tune out too loud ladies that are just doing the best they can and obviously care for their children without passing judgment. I’d like that for myself too while I’m at it, I’d also like a unicorn/Pegasus hybrid, I want to know where to put commas, and I’d REALLY love for autocorrect to be a mind reader. Hashtag letitgo! Sigh.


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