As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t the norm for me to write about things that drive me absolutely insane. Well, I have on a couple of occasions, but I don’t believe ranting is my ‘thing’ either. But the other evening, I was caused to become so irate about a certain matter that a scathing blog post began to form in my bitter, belligerent little mind. So let me tell you all about it…
I am ANYTHING but a ‘soccer mom’ (please insert English equivalent here because I can’t think of one). I actively encourage my kids to participate in extracurricular clubs, but my heart always sinks a little when they decide to take me up on it. Because I know it’s going to be ‘Billy Muggins’, as my mum would say (i.e. me), who ends up playing taxi for all these activities. It’s not that I’m lazy, as such. Well no, it is absolutely that. I am lazy. There, I said it. Anyway, I take it on the chin. If my children are brave enough to get involved in something new, exciting, sporty, or sociable, I am not going to be the one to stand in their way. I did bugger-all in the way of clubs when I was a kid, so I try to encourage my children not to be like their anti-social mother.
Luckily for me, though, I dodged a bullet with my youngest daughter’s obsession with becoming a gymnast. The club fell on a Monday night which was my long day at work, but coincidentally my husband’s day off (oh, shame). So for a long time, he did the gymnastics run. Whoop-whoop *congas around the room*. However, my ‘day in the sun’ came to an unfortunate end when my husband changed his days at work and could no longer do the ferrying to and from gym club. So therefore, the baton has now been handed over to Billy Muggins. God damn it! *abruptly stops conga*
So, from seven to eight o’clock every Monday evening, I am to be found sitting in the freezing-in-winter, boiling-in-summer parents’ viewing area of the gym. This viewing area is furnished with a number of chairs, a few coffee tables, and two windows that look down on your little darlings doing gymnastics. Forget about standing at one of said windows to actually look at your child, though. Not unless you’re prepared to elbow twelve mothers and five fathers in the ribs to shove them out of the way for a peek. They may as well black those windows out, because you have no sodding hope of getting to ‘view’ anything from one. So I don’t even bother trying anymore. I just sit on one of the chairs and get my laptop out; try to fill my hour with a bit of editing, writing, or social media.
‘Try’ being the operative word. There is this one mother who, week after week, causes my blood pressure to rise to alarming levels. So, four-hundred-and-eighty-five words into this blog, THIS is what I want to complain about. Now, bear in mind, this parents’ viewing area houses about twenty parents each week, either clogging up the window space or sitting on the chairs with a laptop, phone, or iPad (like I do). But this room is largely quiet but for the odd annoying kid running in and disturbing the peace. However, this woman (let’s call her Flossy, for argument’s sake [plus, I don’t know her name, I hope never to find myself on speaking terms with her to find out]) week-in-week-out always decides to make a telephone call from her mobile phone. In a completely silent room.
I have a thing about people making or receiving telephone calls in silent public spaces – mainly in quiet train carriages; that gets right on my chimes. Unless it’s a matter of life and death and it’s your sick mother calling, you don’t answer that phone. Actually, my mother did call me on a train once and I refused to answer it. She wasn’t sick, though. But that’s how I roll. You go out into the corridor to take the call, or don’t take the call at all but call the person back the moment you get off the train. Or send a text (they’re underrated, folks, you don’t have to talk to anyone. Yay!). No harm done, no feelings hurt. But I swear Flossy actively saves up her ‘important’ telephone calls throughout the day just so she can make them at gym club on a Monday night in front of me and numerous other people.
To date, Flossy has telephoned ‘Chiquito’s’ to book her child’s birthday party (making specific enquires as to how much of a fuss is made over children, and whether the child’s name can be written in chocolate on the edge of the birthday-cake-plate). She has also telephoned a company to enquire when her ‘beautiful’ holiday-rental property would be cleared of raw sewage which had leaked in over the weekend. Then she proceeded to ring a friend and repeated the entire ‘raw-sewage’ story in intricate detail, going on to arrange a dinner date with said friend; Flossy constantly and condescendingly insisting that she would be paying as she wanted to ‘treat her’. There are other instances too boring for me to list. When Flossy can’t think of any other telephone calls to make, she engages other ‘gym mums’ in conversation. Last week (I kid you not) I overheard her chat with another mother about which secondary school to send her child to, and how she had a £300,000 trust fund for the child, so ‘money was no object’. The unlucky recipient of the conversation tried on occasion to ‘be involved’ and ‘engage’ and ‘give opinions’ of her own. But Flossy wasn’t having any of that (Flossy sure likes the sound of her own voice). Flossy then proceeded to advise the poor woman (and nineteen other completely silent people who were occupying the room), that her daughter was conceived outside her marriage because her husband was infertile. Then said husband tried to divorce her and ‘take her for all she was worth’ (quite a lot, from her accounts), but “he came out from court empty-handed,” she gloated. It only transpired at the end of this conversation that the hapless lady to whom Flossy was speaking had never spoken to Flossy before in her entire life! I’d been under the impression they vaguely knew each other! And to divulge personal, sensitive information like that in front of a crowded room of deathly quiet people??!!
I mean, who does that? Is it just me and my sniffy, overly-English rules of behaviour? You – dear reader – wouldn’t do a thing like that, would you? No, of course you wouldn’t. Because you have more than an ounce of decorum and weren’t raised by wolves! Whatever happened to ‘not airing your dirty laundry in public’? What ever happened to basic common decency? Perhaps it’s a small thing and perhaps it wouldn’t make you at all mad. But me? I’m proper livid.
Don’t worry, I keep myself to myself at gym so Flossy will never read this post. She probably doesn’t even know I’m alive. I don’t think she knows anybody is alive, other than her. So anyway, I’m off to have a nice lie down and psyche myself up for next Monday evening. All I want is a bit of peace and quiet to do a spot of editing or read a few blogs. But alas, I think I might have to sit in my freezing-cold car if I want any chance of that happening.
PS: This blog got too long, but once Flossy left, another chap decided to spark up a face-time conversation on his mobile with his friend. So I then had to endure fifteen more minutes of a conversation heavily littered with expletives between he and his mate. In a quiet, crowded room. Inbred.
PPS: Update, my daughter has requested that she no longer go to gym. Hazaarr! I promise I didn’t coerce her into this decision. She wants to replace gymnastics with drama classes, which coincidentally, also happen to run on a Monday evening. And that could be a whole different animal. ‘Drama Mums!!!’ OMG! Watch this space…