Monday, May 5, 2014

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

I was at a vort of a relative when what Bad4 would refer to as a "Woman in Black" attacked. In her defense, the hues of her outfit were purple and gray, but she gets the honorary title. 

It began innocently enough. 

"I have just the guy for you," she gushed. "But he is"—she sighed in dramatic sorrow—"amazing." 

I was a little confused. "Is that a problem?" 

"Well, er, I guess not . . . what is this?" she pounced, snatching my hand and peering at the nails. "No manicure?" she accused, with gleeful exasperation. 

"I do my nails for Shabbos, but they crack if I don't take off the polish after a few days," I explained calmly yet firmly, as though comforting a grief-stricken toddler. I don't overthink my nails in general. I felt as though I had given the occasion due consideration with my carefully applied layers of face paint; my ensemble was certainly sharp enough; my hair managed to somewhat survive the ravages of the torrential downpour banging away outdoors. I think my nails will make it through such unglamorous trauma unscathed.

She tsk-tsked in delight, believing the balance of power had shifted back in her favor. 

Oh, I can wait. 

I didn't have to wait long. 

"So," she purred companionably, after steering me into a chair to talk business. "How old are you?" 


"28? That's it?"

Hello. Her dream guy must be many, many years my senior: Strike one.

"You look older!" she snapped. 

Considering how five women this evening couldn't comprehend I was so elderly, I guessed she is a pretty sore loser.

"When is your birthday?" she continued hopefully. 

"Not for another eight months." 

"Hmph. I can still make you older, though . . . so, are you on Facebook?" 

Thinking she wanted to acquire me as a "friend"—"Yes." 

"Great! Can he see all your information?" 

"Um, no. I'm kinda paranoid about identity theft. He can see my name and my picture, that's it. I don't really have much more information than that anyway." 

"But—but—how am I going to get the two of you together?" 

I blinked. Lady, you have made shidduchim before, old style. Let's see . . . 

"Maybe, you could . . .," I said slowly, "redt it?" 

She had the decency to look sheepish. "Well—er—he's—um—"(cough)" . . . picky," she lamely confessed.

Strike two.

"He lives on Dagobah. Do you ever go to Dagobah?" 

"Not really. I'm not a fan of the climate."

"You're not? It's so charming! But anyway, would you fly out there to meet him?" 

A picky senior citizen? Not likely. 

"Doesn't he ever come here?" 

"Uh, no, not really." 

"Not even to date?" 

The resultant hemming and hawing was quite entertaining. I leaned back, now thoroughly enjoying myself. 

Desperate to veer this discourse back into her control, her eyes narrowed on the beaming kallah across the room: Fresh meat. She made a snide comment about her. 

Floored at her cruelty, I adapted my well-established tactic when dealing with unpleasant people: I smiled genially, remaining silent, allowing the audacity of her observations to echo harshly in her own ears. And they did.

"I'm a nice person, you know," she said hurriedly. 

I made sarcastic soothing noises, my eyes maintaining what I hoped was a knowing gaze. 

"I really am," she protested fervently. 

My smile remained omniscient. I know what you said. 

"These are my grandchildren!" she finally gasped in desperation, shoving the phone in my face.

Goodbye, harpy of the night.  


nachliele said...

Hah! My last night in NY, that was! What a way to bid me farewell! I couldn't believe I had to go out to a tenoyim in that rain, with all my suitcases in various stages of being packed. If I would have had a similar experience, I would not have been able to control myself- heads would have rolled. Literally. I think I would have mistakenly dropped the Zigelman cake on her face, and then dragged her outside so she could wash up in the rain...

Nechama said...

You have such a way with the pen, PL...

Princess Lea said...

nachliele: Ha! Except it would such a luscious waste of margarine. I kept thinking, "Is this really happening?"

Nechama: I was up half the night trying to figure out the best adverbs.

Sarah said...

I can't tell you how hard I laughed at this. Thanks for making my day :)

(Oh, and I'll have to try your advice for dealing with nasties -- I usually run away.)

Princess Lea said...

It TOTALLY works. I would have liked to run away, but the room was too dang small.

Tovah11 said...

Having a bad day and I thought: what to do, what to do...oh yeah, PL is always great writing.

A picky senior citizen? Not likely.

LOL. I don't know how long I laughed at that and my husband is significantly older than me.

Princess Lea said...

But I'm sure he's perfectly reasonable! (This isn't the first time this guy's name was mentioned to me and pfffffft.)