A few days ago I ran into one of Kira's classmates and her mother at the supermarket. I've written about this woman before - I had helped her out often, providing transportation, childcare, work contacts, but I distanced myself when it began to feel like I was being taken advantage of. Last summer I had to politely decline when she asked me to not only take her daughter with us to swimming lessons but also to watch her for three hours after each session. It seems this mom was busy, busy with her part-time job and vigorous workout schedule. You see, she works out three hours a day, every day, and parenting her child was getting in the way of her quest for killer abs and a taut ass.
Not long after that incident I heard, through Kira, no less, that she was accusing me of 'announcing' at a dinner party that she was getting a divorce. I confronted her immediately, and after blasting her for involving our children, told her that not only was I unaware of her marital status, but that we had better things to talk about at our dinner party, things like the garishness of her clothes and her striking resemblance to the main character in 'Corpse Bride.'
She apologized profusely, and suddenly 'remembered' that she hadn't told me about her divorce after all. She said that she regretted possibly 'mentioning' her suspicions in front of her daughter, and to please try and understand because she was going through a hard time - she hadn't been able to fit in a full hour of lunges every day and it was starting to take its toll. I told her all was forgiven and that in lieu of flowers, a nice spa certificate or handmade soaps would go far in soothing my wrath.
I hadn't seen her since then, so when I saw her last week I assumed a fair amount of groveling on her part would be in order. Apparently not.
Me: Oh, hi there! It's been a long time.
Her: Hello! You've gained some weight!
In a perfect world, the homeless man who I'd seen lingering outside the store would have chosen that moment to stumble in and take a nice long pee on her size-0 tracksuit while simultaneously coughing up phlegm onto her fake designer purse.
But instead, I showed her! I managed to eek out, "Hmmmm! Hmmmm! Well! Thank you. I think."
I congratulated myself on my fine wit, and after laying down my jacket for her to walk on, I handed over all my credit cards and jewelry and headed out the door.
I've spent some time thinking of things I could have said that day. Everything from, "I'm sorry, did you say something? I was too busy counting your wrinkles" to Rigel's contribution, "I see you've managed to stay thin, chasing after all those old men in their Mercedes." Problem is, all the great lines seem to come after the fact, long after the moment has passed.
So what I've decided I need is some sort of official system for coming up with the perfect comeback at the right time. Perhaps some conditioning exercises to prepare me for the unsolicited attack - I could have Rigel hurl insults at me while I practice replying with pre-scripted responses while timed. Maybe it's a 'one size fits all' retort, such as, "Bite me, skank whore." I could try a cheat-sheet approach, where I have several juicy lines written on index cards that I keep in my purse. That way, once insulted, I'd be ready with, "Oh yeah? You're gonna regret this in around thirty seconds or so. Just you wait till I get my notes out, buddy."
I'm going to work hard on this. My attackers will be reduced to a quivering, pathetic lump by the sheer genius of my cutting wit. I'll become a master of the well-crafted rebuttal. In fact, people will come from great distances just to insult me, so that they may bear witness to my legendary comeback gems.
And as for my future encounters with workout-mom? Game on, gym-hag.
Monday, April 24, 2006