Thursday, June 17, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Sweet Justice

Tajia, Tajia Bussert, my wonderful friend and colleague. She can make any situation hysterical. Tajia and I are going to "co-blog" this summer and see how things go. Tajia has 3 sweet, beautiful girls who are 8, 7 and 3. Tajia and I have discovered that enough moronic things happen to our families that people find it amusing and entertaining. Check back each week for a new update! Leave us a comment if you have an extra minute! And now for..........


SWEET JUSTICE

Timing is everything. That is what is so hard for me...usually. I have no sense of direction or time, and my shortcomings get me into a world of trouble. Sometimes, just sometimes, timing does work out to my advantage, if only to amuse me. I savor these moments.
Several months ago, I was drowning in dates. Not like, "go out on a date" dates, but just dates rolling around in my head. Be here at this time on this dates, dates. Don't ask me why I can't just be normal and use a calendar. I just don't. I can't keep up with keys either. My husband, Berry, has had to install a keypunch lock to accommodate my dysfunction. Berry says that I wallow in dysfunction. I embrace it. Not on purpose, I say...it is just who I am now. Anyway, one of the dates I was to remember was for my three year old, Bethany, to attend a schoolmate's birthday celebration at the Little Gym in Columbia. I carried that invitation around in my car for weeks until it mysteriously disappeared, but I didn't worry, because I was pretty sure of what it said.
The day of the party arrived, and I was excited to take Brittany to the party. I didn't know many of her schoolmate's parents since Berry was the one who did most of the dropping off and picking up of Bethany, so I felt a little out of touch, but that didn't scare me. It was pouring down rain that day, and I wasn't exactly sure where the Little Gym was, but that wasn't a problem. I just called up the Little Gym and got directions. Me and my problem solving self, snap. On the way I started to panic just a little because it occurred to me that the party may have started at two and it was going to be just a little bit after three when I would get there. Bethany fell asleep in the car, but that was okay. I just woke her up, grabbed the gift, and carried her on in. I signed in at the reception desk and asked what time the party started. "It just got started at three...you are right on time!" was the response. WHEW! What a relief! I am the BOMB! So we went on in to the party in progress.

Bethany was a little shy, but that was normal for her. Plus, she had just woken up. The hostess had to lure her over to her friends with promises of good times and good food. As Bethany sat down with her friends for a little "circle time", I scanned the room for just one familiar face and saw none. "This is weird," I thought. "You would think I would recognize at least somebody." So I turned my attention to the party people. They were all big boys, well, relatively big compared to Bethany. No girls. Hmmm. When the hostess announced that the birthday BOY was turning SIX, my heart fell to my stomach. OMG. What was this? The Twilight Zone??? I was sure I was in the right place, and I was almost on time, or was I? I crept back out to the receptionist and asked about Bethany's friend, a GIRL, who was about to turn FOUR. "Oh, her party is NEXT Saturday." YOU ARE KIDDING ME! I discretely retrieved the gift (a cute little doll) and Bethany walked, red faced, back to my car. Here I was, worried I was an hour late to the party, and I was a WEEK EARLY.

Fairly amusing, I admit, but truly, I am used to this sort of thing. Just another day in the life, really. I didn't even think it was newsworthy, but casually mentioned it to a friend on Facebook. By the following week, about everybody knew the story. I don't know why everyone was surprised. Everyone knows I am notoriously late for everything and I am constantly losing stuff. This is just par for the course. I don't think anyone was more amused than my boss, Mrs. Catoe. She asked to hear the story repeatedly, and would ask me to retell it to colleagues if she suspected someone hadn't heard it. She never tired of that story.

Let me tell you a little about Mrs. Catoe, so you'll understand. Mrs. Catoe is so close to superhuman as anyone I've ever met alive. The woman doesn't sleep. I know because I can see that some of her e-mails are sent at four am. I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a response to an e-mail. She is at all the work related functions and she seems to know the news before it happens. She is a runner and she does the P90X or Insanity or whatever program daily. "Oh, she must not have kids," you are thinking. WRONG. She has two wonderful boys and she takes care of them when they are sick. She wakes up extra early to cook supper in the morning because she does not have time at night. I am totally intimidated by this woman. Not in a bad way, just in a "healthy fear your boss" way. She is completely likeable, despite her "I've got my ducks in a row and in my spare time I also taught them Pig Latin" ness.

Anyway, I guess that's why she found my story so amusing. This kind of insanity would never, ever happen to Mrs. Catoe. It was so foreign to her, it was like something from a sitcom. Mrs. Catoe does keep calendars. I know, because I have seen them. But I don't think she NEEDS to. I think she just really has it all stored up in her superbrain. Man I wish I could be like her.
Timing is everything, though. Last weekend, I took my girls to Skateland for some skating fun, and who did I see but Mrs. Catoe and her little rising first grade son. How sweet! She was getting him all fitted up with skates and it was so neat to see her being a Mommy. I was kind of panicked, because my girls don't know how to act and they really have problems handling frustration, which is ever present when they are doing anything that involves coordination. I just knew Mrs. Catoe was going to witness things that would make her wonder if I really was qualified to manage a classroom full of children when I couldn't even manage my own children. My heart rate increased immediately,and I began to sweat as I ordered skates for my girls. "Please don't start pitching fits until I can hide in a corner," I prayed.

We started making small talk. "You girls having a nice summer?" she asked my girls. "Sure, sure." She then announced that she was there for a birthday party. As she fastened Zane's skates, she looked up and around. She had that "deer in the headlights" look and asked, "Wait a minute...I HOPE the party is today. What's the date??" I wish I could say I knew-that would beat all-but I didn't, so I said, "Well, it must be around the 8th or 9th or 10th by now, I would think..." (I am such an idiot)- but why am I worried about being an idiot? MRS. CATOE didn't know the date either...what was going on here? It took me a minute to realize...Mrs. Catoe was experiencing the same panic I felt when I realized I was at the wrong birthday party. Zane was the only party kid in that place. Ha ha ha. Mrs. Catoe looked me square in the eye and asked me if I had set her up. "I mean why are you here to see this? Did YOU send me that invitation?" I was stunned at the accusation and I very cooly replied, "Well, I haven't the cunning nor the time, Mrs. Catoe." Truthfully, I wish I HAD thought of it. I do, somewhere in the recesses of my mind have the cunning, I know. There was this one time in college, when I pranked called my computer science professor all night in hopes he would oversleep and wouldn't show up for the final exam in the morning. It seemed easier to stay up all night prank calling then to actually study. That WAS pretty slick. So I guess it wasn't the cunning I was lacking , but the organizational skills and the time. Inviting Mrs. Catoe to a FAKE birthday party WOULD have been a brilliant act, but alas, it wasn't me.

She stormed off to the front desk, I guess to ask for the date since neither of us knew. I should have been amused, but I was really hoping for he best. I looked over at her sweet boy, trying to stand up on those skates. He was so excited about this party. I said a little prayer for her. About that time, the birthday boy showed up. It was over. Mrs. Catoe's nightmare was over just five minutes after it began. If I had just showed up ten minutes later than I did, I would have missed the whole thing, and I would still think Mrs. Catoe was unshakable. I am glad it all worked out, definitely, but that doesn't mean she knew for sure when that party was. Heck, she didn't even know the DATE! She just got lucky, really.

I am so glad I was there to witness her episode, and I am anxious for school to start back up so I can act out the whole scenario for our friends...Cause you really had to be there like I was...with my (when it really matters) perfect timing.

5 comments:

Amanda Cook said...

LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!! This soooooo Tajia! God, to have been a fly on the wall...by the way Tajia, did you begin to burp when you ran into Ginger?!?!?!? HA!!! Keep'em comming girl~!

Andrea Derrick said...

You are a natural storyteller, Tajia. I think I am your biggest fan! Thanks for sharing -- I had not heard "part 2" of this one yet. So funny!

Tajia said...

I did, as a matter of fact, start burping at Skateland. I had to work hard to keep "Part 2" a secret til I had permission to retell the story. I knew it would be better in writing and I didn't want to spoil the surprise!

duncadadutch said...

Tajia, I love your stories. This is SO funny. I am looking forward to working across the hall from you this year. Hope you and the girls are having a great summer. Give me a call... I feel special when I see "Tajia calling" come up on my phone. Miss you!

Kevin said...

Now THAT is a great blog post! Awesome!

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Tina S.
I am a transplant Yankee mom who moved down to South Cakalacky and married a true Southern boy. A few years ago we have moved to what I consider the "boonies" and now I live in my own private wildlife preserve, or at least it feels like it! The puppy you see is now a full grown beast. Enjoy our tales of livin' in the good ole' South.
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