I confess, I am sometimes a surly old lady. Granted, I’m not old, but if you read a transcript of some of the grumpy things I say and do, you would surely think Patty and Selma Bouvier are my kindred spirits. If you have met me on one of my SOL day’s I apologize. Despite my friends’ assurances that I am not a jerk, I have certainly caught myself displaying jerky behavior and to my everlasting shame, I have behaved this way in front of witnesses.
I was at the movie theater yesterday, and my friend and I were seated in a row where there was a railing in front of us, instead of seats. It’s a special row, with pairs of seats spaced apart providing space for wheelchair access, and like every other patron at this theatre, my friend and I had our feet up on the bar. A man walked up–past several empty seats and at least half a dozen other people with their feet up–and stopped at a seat next to our railing told him to move his feet, and then proceeded to sit in the seat near the bar. Although this man did not say please (or even ask for that matter, really, he barked out a command) my friend gently smiled and moved his feet to a lower bar on the railing and further away from the man’s seat. After several minutes, the man got up called my friend an a$$hole and moved to a different seat.
I was stunned at the completely random and unprovoked display. Plenty of rhetorical questions abound. Why my friend? Why that seat? But finally, How often do I behave that way? The man was indeed beastly, and I am proud to say that my friend was unruffled by the encounter. It left me wondering how often I exhibit the same attitude. Sadly, more often that is ever warranted.
Not too long ago, I walked into the new Chili’s restaurant near my office. It was a busy day, right at lunchtime, and I was meeting friends. I asked if they just seated three gals, who were waiting for one more person (myself) and the multiple, cute little blond hostesses just looked at me in confusion, and then pointed to a very large group to my right. “Do you mean that party of seven?” Um, no. About then I noticed my friends to the back and pointed “oh there they are”. Perfectly reasonable exchange, right? Except that as I took a step away “how hard is that?” (or something else totally catty) came flying out of my mouth. I didn’t even think the thought before it came shooting out of my mouth. I didn’t say it directly to any of them, and so perhaps the din of the busy restaurant kept a few of them from hearing it. But I’m sure at least one of them did. What I said was uncalled for and I have no idea why I said it.
So to those unfortunate witnesses who’ve seen my Surly Old Lady behavior I officially apologize, and hope that you see her less and less frequently. I’m working on the old bat.
Have you ever encountered your own surly old lady or surly old man?