Monday, July 2, 2007

I Am That Old Lady


Remember camping in your youth? I do. Gangs of us – not street gangs – more like hordes of us – but not like Huns – more like bunches of us – but not like grapes. [Right, overkill.] We would go down to Myrtle Beach for a week at a time. We’d go to the Jersey shore. We’d go to the Appalachians. We’d go and drink and party and be loud and be obnoxious and have a blast.

And we’d make fun of the true adults at the campgrounds – usually covertly but once or twice openly – who would look at us with disdain. Because they were so lame. Because they were so boring. Because they were so dull. And we were anything but.

Fast forward oh so many years, and I am lame and boring and dull. I mentioned yesterday that I’ve got a special edition of the Weekly Wonderings for Saturday. In just two days, I’ve got a week’s worth of wonderment. And then some.

And here’s more of the “and then some.”

There’s a pool at the campground. It’s Friday about 6 p.m., and Pete is setting up the camper while I’m hanging with the kids. It’s just the four of us, another two kids with their father, and a six-year-old girl with her older brother. He’s probably about 19 or 20. Let’s call him Dumb-ass because I don’t know his name and he was a dumb-ass.

Big “No Diving” signs all over the place. You can’t really miss them. Unless, of course, you don’t read or you don’t read English. That doesn’t appear to be Dumb-ass’s problem. He encourages his sister to dive in, not because he doesn’t understand the signs but because he’s a dumb-ass.

I don’t say anything at first. She dives once, twice, three times. And then he says, “Why don’t you try a backward dive?”

And that does it for me. I have a saying, “If you’re not going to parent your kid, I will.” Granted, he’s not her parent, but you get the gist of it.

I speak up. I tell him not to have her do that. He argues with the brilliant statement of, “She doesn’t even know how to do it.” Hey, cool, let’s tell a kid who doesn’t know how to backward dive to do just that in less than 5 feet of water.

She stops diving. He’s pissed. It turns out that he calls his parents on the phone. I’m across the pool from them when they arrive five minutes later. He starts telling them the story, pointing at me and making facial gestures of a disapproving pissy bitch – impersonating yours truly.

I do what any disapproving pissy bitch would do: I walk up saying, “I’m sorry but I couldn’t possibly have him encouraging her to dive backwards into the pool. I’m sorry my good conscience got in the way.” What can the parents possibly say but, “Thank you. Thank you so much. That’s all right.”

Screw you, Dumb-ass.

5 comments:

Patience said...

and you're such a good old lady!! That little girl could have really gotten hurt! The brother? An idiot.

jenica said...

i just love that you have a blog category of, "horrible people."

what a dork. what did her parents say to you after?...

kailani said...

I think those parents owe you their gratitude! It's great that you spoke up. Can you imagine how you would have felt if she got hurt?

Jolene said...

What a dweeb. I hope his parents told him what a dweeb he was for suggesting something like that.

I'm "That Old Lady" now too. I'm always having to censure some kid at the park. I didn't like to do it in the beginning, but now I'm a pro at it.

Bubba's Sis said...

Good for you! You did the right thing! I'm that old lady now, too.

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