Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shower fall-out

I know this is my second baby-shower-related post, but I couldn't resist. Showers are ripe for drama, and ours was no exception. To start, there were 8 of us planning the event. Talk about a coop full of chickens to herd! At any rate, we all arrived early on the morning of the event to help set up, get food in the oven, etc.

Now, most of Rebecca's friends are folks that I knew in high school. They are a pretty tight group, and they've stayed friends into adulthood. They can be pretty loud, pretty rowdy, but they are all sweet and fun to hang out with.

But there was this one woman I didn't recognize. She was tall and beautiful, very well-groomed and dressed nicely. I thought to myself, "Wow. Who's this?"

And, dude, then she started totally bossing everyone around. Like, what plate to put the cheese squares on, and where to put that plate on the buffet. And how to arrange each grape spring and strawberry for the most pleasing aesthetic effect. And how we didn't need to open/set out this or that yet, because we could do that in waves once the shower started. And how OF COURSE we couldn't serve that quiche because it was a bit too brown on the top. And a million other things that she clearly believed she could do better than anyone else who was there.

You guys would have been soooo proud of me, though. I bit my tongue. I sang, over and over in my head, "Don't say anything, don't say anything!" I smiled broadly in her direction. I busied myself carrying out her instructions. And then I avoided her like hell.

After the shower was over, I silently endured wile she totaled up everyone's expenses down to the last penny so that she could be exact about her own budget. I waited while she haggled with another hostess over how many flowers each of them would get to take home. (I almost felt like King Solomon - "We will cut this last flower right down the middle!") I was literally counting the seconds until Rebecca's sister and I could make our escape. (Rebecca lives near me, and I had offered to pack things up and take them by her house on my way home. I was also looking forward to spending some time with Rebecca's little sis and just helping out any way that was needed.)

But, just as I was putting one of the large flower arrangements in my car, a sing-song voice noted that she, too, was going to Rebecca's house to help out. She continued that, since I was just going to drop off flowers, and since she was actually going to stay there and help, that I could just give HER the flowers, and she'd save me the trip.

At this point, I could have said many things:
1.) "Actually, it's on my way. Rebecca and I go way back, and I'd love to help out, too."
2.) "Well, I was really looking forward to helping out, before I found out you'd be there."
3.) "Why are you going all Bree Van de Kamp on my ass?"
4.) "Step away from the goddamned flowers."

But instead, I narrowed my mouth into a tight line. I looked at Rebecca's sister, who was clearly willing me not to strike this woman. I went through a couple of choruses of "Don't say anything!" in my head.

And I decided that the nicest thing I could do for Rebecca at that moment was to keep from snapping her friend like a twig.

So, I relinquished the flowers and headed on home. Since then, I have received a couple of phone calls/emails from other ladies who helped plan the event, marveling at my self-control. She had apparently shown up the night before, when the ladies were decorating the space (I couldn't make it for that part.) and had driven everyone crazy, imposing her will.

Good Lord in heaven. This biting my tongue resolution is even harder than I thought. It's going to be a long year.


A. Boyd C. said...

But, she loooked cute right? I mean, that's the main thing...

You run into people like that from time to time and you really have to wonder if they're enjoying themselves or if this is some sort of obsession they can't avoid.

I'm not surprised she singled you out, even though she didn't know you. Some people are really keen on knowing who's the competition to their desired version of the pecking order, and they don't call it a "pecking order" for nuttin'.

If it makes you feel any better, there are men who do the same thing, just not about over-brown quiche and cheese squares.

arr-jay said...

OMG - I have soooo been there! Congrats on biting your tongue. It's well worth it in the long run....for your peace of mind as well as your mutual friend's.

Supermom said...

you make me giggle. :>)

Sandi said...

Who was this person?

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Sandi - you don't know her. (And you don't want to . . . !)