December 19, 2009

Served Cold

I had to attend a Christmas cocktail party on 'the island' last night. I never enjoy those things. I don't identify with people raised by nannies, worrying about what to wear constantly, and having personal assistants to maintain their 'busy' schedules.

I don't identify and... I don't want to. I like my life with my crazy kids, out in the sticks, and laughter at the dinner table. I'm Ok with the handprints on my walls, the boys' socks on the bathroom floor, and snacks always on the kitchen table. (I'd like Bones to keep their bathroom cleaner... but that's another story.)

I'm very alright with our big worries about money... because I'd rather have what I have worrying about paycheck to paycheck than I would the other side where they live.

And so we went to this for business reasons and while the host and hostess were warm and gracious, I found some in attendance... not so much.

A couple in their mid-70s to early 80s were introduced to us. The woman looked at me and said, "Do I know you from somewhere? You are so familiar." I asked her if she was in some of the organizations I'm in, which do take me to 'the Island', and she wrinkled her nose as if it was nothing she could be bothered with.

That was rude in itself. A simple no would have sufficed. As my Mom is apt to say, "Money does not buy you class".

I was wearing black slacks with a beautiful black sweater, the collar lined in a black fur, and 3 1/2 inch heels. I wore my hair down and crazy which means I had it sprayed and curly with just the top pulled up off my face. My husband likes it that way best, as do my boys, and the men I work with. My boss calls it my 'sexy hair'. In all honesty, its kind of my lazy hair. It's far harder to iron it all flat. But it is youthful looking... and natural.

At 44, I still have no gray.

She had short cropped salt and pepper thinning hair and stood at least 2 inches shorter than I, when I wasn't wearing heels. (I'm 5'2" in bare feet.)

And the following nasty conversation occurred... as is:

Me: I will think of it. I do think I've met you before.

Her, rather snarky: Well, it was obviously not at the hairdresser's.

Hmmm. How to take that? Without skipping a beat:

Me, smiling sweetly: No most definitely not. I am growing my hair out so I can donate it to make wigs for cancer patients. (I of course wanted to add a *cough* bi*** *cough* to the end, but refrained. Someone had to have a modicum of class.)

Her: Oh.

Me, smiling sweetly still: Oh yes. There are some great organizations that take hair like mine and make wigs. You know, I was so surprised. I let it grow too long and figured I'd just grow it out, but, what I didn't realize is how difficult it is to grow one's hair as we get older. I feel SO FORTUNATE that I am able to grow it this long, but it has taken far longer than I expected. I suspect I'll get it cut in January. I think I'm just about there.



And she talked to someone else and I spoke to her husband.

Good Grief.

Posted by Boudicca at December 19, 2009 03:37 PM

I'm a half an inch taller than you. Serve with my husband on many high society fundraisers but always as the dishwashers. I have no desire to mingle with the masses of people who have no grasp on reality. I feel rather sad for them because they are always trying to find meaning for their life but for one reason or another, JUST DON'T GET IT.

GOD I wish I was as smooth with the comeback as you! Please don't take this wrong, but MAN are you my hero! :)

Posted by: Lemon Stand at December 19, 2009 07:24 PM

No. They don't get it. At all. I'm perpetually amazed. The lives they lead... it's just not something I identify with or would want to partake in. I often wonder if we even live on the same planet.

But I wasn't smooth intentionally. It was the truth. I have found, however, if you say 'it's for the children' or doing something for some horrible disease, man that will stop folks in their tracks. And that was the unintended result... I was feeling defensive, pulled out the Cancer Card because it's TRUE, and suddenly it was different.

I told my Dad, there is nothing intimidating about me. I'm very open and quick to laugh. The only thing I can think of that put this woman against me was the fact I am 40 years younger and it pissed her off... as odd as that sounds.

Posted by: Bou at December 19, 2009 08:42 PM

Well played!

I'm not good at that sort of party either, never ever feel comfortable - rarely go. You can't call me a social climber, I'd rather have a root canal.

Posted by: Patti at December 19, 2009 08:43 PM

I don't think I've ever been to that kind of party. Sadly I would not have had any comeback at all. *sigh* I just don't think quickly enough. When someone is that rude, my brain just stops in shock and I'm left wishing I had said something later.

I'm guessing she was attempting to make herself feel superior. You are so pretty and in such good shape physically, she didn't have the usual "oh she's just a suburban housewife" to soothe her shriveled little soul. If you had been 70 pounds overweight and the stereotypical "soccer mom" she might not have done it. How pathetic she is. And it all could have been avoided and everyone could have had a marginally decent evening if she had just behaved civilly.

Posted by: Teresa at December 19, 2009 11:58 PM

I didn't read this whole post. Come hang out with me and my buddies.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at December 20, 2009 02:52 AM

I'm with Lemon Stand!

I think she's a genius.

Posted by: Curtis at December 20, 2009 08:34 AM

It was accidental. I wrote this as a catharsis. In all honesty, the whole thing messed with my head. My husband hadn't heard it all. He only heard the last part. When we got in the car I said, 'I can't believe she said that...' and he said, "Whoa! I didn't hear that first part. She said that to you?"

It really screwed with me. Needless to say, I have her name committed to memory.

Her husband was an odd little man but very interesting.

I guess I need to do before and after pix with this hair thing. Dang, it's going to be SHORT!

Posted by: Bou at December 20, 2009 10:35 AM

I've been with my father to several army reunions. Most of the people are very old and very nice. But every once in a while, you get someone there who is so mean and hateful. It always catches me offguard.

Glad you were able to get your two cents worth in.

Posted by: Jerry in Indiana at December 20, 2009 07:04 PM

Make sure that the pictures are 3/4 shots with you facing away, left or right.

Yes, we know what you look like, but that type of shot (back of hair and ear) will give a better of view of the difference in your hair.

Posted by: The Thomas at December 21, 2009 12:19 AM

She wrinkled her nose at the DAR? Or do you not go to "the island" for that?

Posted by: Denny at December 21, 2009 03:27 PM

Denny- DAR, Mayflower Society, Jamestown Society, Colonial Dames... yup. I'm not members of all of them, but all these organizations kind of intermingle. You join one, you meet people who are in others, people introduce each other... and when I asked her if she was members of any of these, I got the wrinkled nasty face.

My husband said to me later, "Bou, she was Jewish. Why would she be in the DAR?"

And I replied, "Umm, maybe because the Jewish bankers BANKROLLED the Revolutionary War? Ya think?"

Posted by: bou at December 22, 2009 12:11 AM