One of those people

Heaven help me, I’m becoming one of those people. You know the kind. The women who obnoxiously extol the virtues of their children to anyone with ears.

“My Richard is so wonderful!  Straight A’s again and, of course, captain of the varsity basketball team. As a freshman! Well, it’s no surprise really; he did walk at four months, and was reading Dostoyevsky by three.”

Gag. As a direct result of listening to this annoying jibber-jabber, I’ve made a conscientious effort to dwell on the shortcomings of my family rather than their achievements whenever I’m with family or neighbors . . . body odor, a trip to the principal’s office, maybe a snaggle tooth or two. They’re all better conversation pieces than the latest accomplishment or surpassed milestone.  Even my annual holiday letter only briefly touches on their outstanding-ness, because let’s face it, perfection is Boring with a capital B.

People with their pets are even worse. As if I give a rat’s tail about your precious Mister Pickleknuckle, and how his antics in your lavender-scented bubble bath almost cost him Best in Show. First of all, who has time for a bath? And secondly, DOGS ARE NOT PEOPLE.

But the other day, I found myself waxing poetically about our cat, of all things! Granted, I came nowhere close to the aforementioned dog owners, who I think might actually be saving for pet college (in case their pedigree scholarship falls through), but still. I was deplorable. “Ginger is the best! She lets us know when she’s hungry or needs new litter; she meows when she wants to go outside; and she absolutely loves to be around people. Did you know she can open doors? Seriously! You should see how she hurls her body against a swing handle! Truly amazing!” Blah, blah, blah… “And even sounded the alarm when little Timmy fell down the well!”

The person I was talking to wasn’t even looking at me anymore, and yet I continued to bombard her with the details of an animal she could care less about. Did I inquire about her pets? Her children? Nope. I just went right on flappin’ my gums like I was the most important person on earth, and she surely had nothing better to do than to hear about my life with a tabby. What is happening to me?

No worries. I discovered a giant pile of Ginger poo in the carpeted family room earlier this morning, just before I’d had my ritual coffee and after I’d yelled at my eleven-year-old to lower the volume on the stupid Xbox.  Had he been playing all night?

Whew! I’m back to my normal real self. Peace out.

Danielle Wilson

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the same year Dick Nixon was elected. Along with my twin sister and three younger sisters, I attended Catholic schools for thirteen years. (Holy Mother, pray for me.) I spent two years as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado until I wised up and transferred to a more normal school, Indiana University, where I received a B.A. in history and a teaching license just for funsies. In 2001, I officially entered the ranks of stay-at-home moms to care for my two-year old son and newborn twins. I have mentally blocked all of 2002 and most of 2003. In 2004, I received a Master’s degree in U.S. History from I.U.P.U.I. and a fourth child from my should-have-had-that-vasectomy-sooner husband. From 2005 until mid-2010, I played Super Mom in the yet-to-be released indie film "Provide Daycare for Your Sister-in-Law's Children Because You Don't Have Enough to Do Already." I returned to teaching this fall at an undisclosed Indianapolis school where thankfully very few parents know who I am. I am considering developing a bad habit.

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