Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Lady, I Swear

If my blog were a book--I mean, if it were a novel composed by me, not if I turned my blog into a nonfiction book--there would be people I just couldn't put into the story, because the sketch of them would be too broad, not subtle enough; they wouldn't make good fictional characters because some of their character traits are too obviously ridiculous. Like, you wouldn't write a novel in which an evil villain twirled his mustache.

Take my neighbor (please)! I've mentioned her before? I think? I don't have a blog epithet for her, yet. She's one who wouldn't speak to me at the pool the whole summer I was bald from chemo, even if she'd been standing three feet away from me, but then would say to Pretty Neighbor, "I saw Becky the other day but didn't get to say hi."

But whatever, people deal with illness in different ways, and sometimes not well. My leading with that tidbit makes it sound like I harbor some bitterness towards her, but I truly don't. I never cared for her. She will talk the legs right off a donkey, but it's all about her and her things and her kids, she really doesn't want to hear about anything else. She's oblivious to social cues. She's loud. And calling her boring is a disservice to things that are just honestly boring. No shame in being boring.

Once she had Pretty Neighbor hostage, talking to her in the driveway, and PN slowly worked her way into her car to leave, murmuring her goodbyes all the while, but Gift of Gab wasn't finished with her and put her hand on the hood of PN's car to keep her in place so she could finish sucking what was left of her soul away.

It goes without saying that whatever your kids are doing, her kids are doing it just a little bit better? And ahead of developmental schedule? Or just a hair more wonderfully than your kids. You've just got to hear how baby Fletcher did at swim lessons, the teacher said she'd never seen a baby put its face in the water so quickly and willingly!

Naturally social media makes all this into an absolute nonstop farce. My own social media history with her is that I friended her, reluctantly, at her request, only to unfriend her when she posted some thing about how Obama had a bunch of relatives in this country illegally, whatever, and then she sent me another friend request, who does that? I accepted and put her on some status like, "Only show me this person's updates never," or something, but still they come through. And part of me would miss the entertainment.

She's very active on a facebook page for fanciers of tiny, ornamental dogs.

You see? You would never make this person up.

She is fond of using facebook to "check in" everywhere. Like, I kid you not, her couch or her bed. Because that's clever, huh huh huh ha ha....I'm dead.

But her favorite places to check in are 1) Church, every Sunday that she attends, so she'll receive full credit; and 2) Restaurants, where she eats every meal. One day recently, she ate four meals out. Her friends comment on her status, "Do you ever cook?" It's a culinary Grand Tour of Taco Mac, Dunkin Donuts, and frozen yogurt places.

And the irony is that she is a sales rep for one of those cookware/bakeware companies where the stuff is sold at parties.

Anyway, I can't even remember all the things that have made me go, "Oh my GOOD GOD," and roll my eyes back into my head while simultaneously texting Pretty Neighbor at the speed of light, but tonight the thing that set me off was her announcement that her middle schooler brought home her report card, having received straight 'A's for the third quarter in a row.

We were at that moment marveling at how Hank, on his report card today, earned a 2 out of a possible 4 in "Conventions of Standard English." Proud!

I was venting to Matt about the insufferable and gassy puffery of this person and how one time she said something like, "So glad my family is up early serving the Lord" or some such. I mean honestly.

Matt goes, "Well honey, you are blessed with the talent of being able to toot that horn more subtly."

Hmmmph! I say again, hmmmph!


Melissa B. said...

Perfect! Perfect description, perfect analogies. I mean really, you can't make this s%*t up!!

Becky said...

Thank you Melissa, you are my witness!

AmandaSN said...

I love it! But again, how in the world do you get away with this dishing?? Doesn't she read your blog?

Becky said...

Amanda, no, I don't advertise this blog. And in any case, the truth is my shield, forever and ever amen.

AmandaSN said...

Well I advertise your blog and many of my friends now read you. Keep on dishing!

Elizabeth said...

I know people like that and it always provokes me into a reactionary thing. Like if they order a salad with no cheese and no bacon and no dressing, I'll order the cheeseburger with fries and extra dressing tossed in the salad. Or if they're bragging about their kids' grades, I'll say with a tiny bit of pride in my voice that Henry or Oliver purposely failed math because they realized they'd rather pursue the humanities.

I wonder if your neighbor writes a Christmas letter? That would be a perfect blog post.

Amy said...

Matt's line is awesome! And he may have a point but never mind that.

Next time she says something about everyone being up early to serve The Lord, you should quote the scripture about how when we brag about our good feeds on earth, we've already received our reward in full. Oh, SNAP.

Amy said...

Good deeds! But she seems to do the other thing too.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't process a bunch of this because I was hung up & delighted way back at, "I'm not bitter, I have, in fact, never liked her." It was such a perfectly vituperative upper-Midwestern relationship schematic. You have no idea & it's a little scary that you could strike that chord. Ahahaha! I am still reeling!

I'm with Amy. As you well know, any time someone gets Lordy around me, I am quick to take that bait & shove it right down their throats. People start all this God yap & then can't keep up with chapters & verses. Chicago Catholics, represent!

Pam said...

Whoa. I was thinking it's nice you have such a healthy outlet, so you are not carrying around resentments about people who don't deserve any space in your head, then I read Elle's comment.... " It was such a perfectly vituperative upper-Midwestern relationship schematic."
I am going to have to dwell on that one for a while. with my dictionary. please keep on writing about what you are up to... so much more interesting than what's going on around here!

Patience said...

I love your blog. It doesn't matter what the subject is; you write it so well. You have a real talent in writing.

Erika W said...

A flat character, indeed. But still hilarious.
And "Conventions of Standard English," that's just beyond. I think I got a 2 out of 4 for "Conventions of Middle English" in my Chaucer class in college.

KristerT said...

Thank you for validating my hypothesis that parents who name their children after medieval professions are to be avoided at all costs. Fletcher, indeed!

Steve said...

"She will talk the legs right off a donkey..."


Cassie said...

This is so, so awesome.

PS: I think Facebook should allow people to be voted off, Survivor style.

Christian said...

Finally. Some dish and sash again.

Christian said...

Finally. Some dish and sash again.