Grumps

So…a storm came through, dropped the temperature about 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) and I am currently drinking a glass of Merlot. And now…I’m falling a tiny bit for Parfums de Marly Athalia. It still smells like baby powder but the orange blossom note is more discernible this time (and fairly beautiful) and that saccharine quality has become more movie-theater-popcorn-fake-butter. It is indeed oddly growing on me… Although, I’m still unlikely to purchase a bottle. But, I do need to try it in the fall or winter.

And now for something disturbing. And all too familiar…

…The other day I was having a manicure and pedicure when the lady and I started talking. We got on the topic of bullying and she said that she still feels bullied as an adult sometimes.

Then things got weird.

We started talking about health and getting enough exercise. Then she said that she often goes swimming at the YMCA and gets a great workout. And, she went on to say that once when she was stopping at a coffee shop to buy a drink another patron randomly asked her why her hair was wet. So, she told them about how she had just come from the gym.

This other customer then decided to tell her all about their brand new exercise equipment for their own personal gym. The nail technician said that she stood there and cringed. And while I thought she was going to go on to tell me that she found them competitive and annoying she instead said, “I mean, these freaks spent like $25,000.00 on a stupid, trashy basement exercise room. Who does that?!”

I didn’t feel comfortable asking her what made it so “trashy” from her perspective. And that’s when I realized I was in trouble.

“Where do you live?” she asked. I told her. “Oh.” she made a weird facial expression and things grew quiet for a moment. “So is it like a big old house?” she asked in a strangely (in hindsight fake) dim sounding tone.

I replied.

“My boyfriend bought a house like that. It needed a ton of repairs.” she responded in a very sincere way. I felt trapped though because something really felt off. Having been in many almost identical conversations to this one on Instagram for years I thought I’d try something new so I just remained silent. But…she wouldn’t let go that easily.

“So, I’m not like you. I like new houses and I really love gardening!” and she went on to lecture me on all the finer points of gardening big gardens (like her supposed garden) concluding with, “I’m sure you’ll make your property nice eventually. Just hang in there.” (read patronizing tone) “And in the meantime, you’ll be saving a lot of money living in an old house because you can always make it nicer as the years go by and increase your property value. You know? We can’t all start out with what’s easiest.” Then she made a stuffy expression.

That’s when I lost my temper a little and decided that no matter what the hell she was up to, I needed to say something.

“Well, actually our house already is nice.”

She nodded blankly and then added in a dead voice, “So you have like a nice yard and kitchen?”

“Yes. And actually I have decent sized antique gardens.”

“Aww. So you’re in your dream house! Oh sweetie. That’s so cute.” She then paused and patted my arm.

I thought we were done with the very bizarre and unacknowledged tension so I breathed a sigh of relief. Little did I know that my toes looked terrible. When I got home I noticed that the paint was streaky on my left foot, one toenail hadn’t been trimmed and another toenail was trimmed crooked. I’d almost have wondered if she was drunk, high or just very bad at her profession except for the fact that the other foot was impeccable and the left foot was done after I had tried to politely correct her narrative about my own damn life.

I kinda think she knew the whole time, given our neighborhood, what sort of house we own. And, actually, given something else she had said earlier about having nothing to do on Friday nights and being close to her Chihuahua named Pete, I even question her story about having a boyfriend. No, I think that woman enjoys trolling people. And I gave her a good tip too. *rolling eyes* I usually do unless I can see something amiss and she was clever…

So… You know, I think as much as it’s easy to see the clear cases of evil deeds or words in our world right now, it’s not just a simple equation these days. People have gotten meaner in the last five years (it’s been documented and discussed in fairly scholarly sources). And it’s not just “angry white men” or “angry Muslims” or “angry Jews” or “angry blacks.” It’s not just, “Those stupid Americans.” Or, how about, “Those stupid rich people.” People just find excuse after excuse to demean and dehumanize anyone (literally) but themselves. It’s scary.

But…I have to think it’s going somewhere. And I think it’s off a metaphorical cliff. What that means, I don’t know, but it’ll be silencing. And I bet you that a lot of that vile energy will be extracted from us via some sort of pain or shock or…who knows. Maybe, if God smiles on us, we’ll just find ourselves happier in some undeserved way.

But in the meantime, I have to do my own nails and hair. Or find someone who is in a much better state of mind.

And gosh, Athalia is lovely after all.

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