Bullies. Mean Girls. Anger. Let it Go

Happy Hump-ish day! HA! Yeah, I probably can’t get away with that. I know I said Wednesday is my blog day, but believe me, you did NOT want to hear what I had to say on Wednesday. It would have been a lot of F-bombs and A-holes.  So… let’s dive right in. *adjusts bathing cap…3 steps…leap*

I was the victim of adult bullying Tuesday night. And ya know what? It still feels really bad.https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Taunting_0001.jpg

This is what happened. I needed to get my son to lacrosse. I needed to get him there on time because I got him there late on Saturday and he got yelled at even though it was my fault. I felt like shit. But I worked all day on Tuesday and I needed to go home to give the crazy dog his medicine so he could stop being so crazy and my mother-in-law is in re-hab for a knee replacement and I promised I would go to the library to get her Florence Henderson’s autobiography. Don’t judge. That’s what she likes to read. As a fiction writer it makes me a little nuts that she only reads about real stuff. Go figure.

Anyway. So I’m late. Again. I’ve got my son in the car giving me the worried eyes, the tension neck rub and the pained look. The look that says, “mom you’re screwing up again!” The look that kicks you right in the low belly and cuts you off at the knees. File:Anxiety.gif

I drive a little faster, not crazy fast, but a little faster. There is a big SUV in front of me going 5 miles below the speed limit. I’m checking my clock. Another two minutes ticks by. My son’s leg bobs up and down at warp speed. Panic tightens my chest painfully. I’m a little closer to the SUV than I normally would be. Everything in me is screaming, GET OUT OF MY WAY! No such luck. It takes every turn I need to take. Now my left leg is bobbing too.File:Nervous.gif

Oh, and as an added point of stress, I need to get my son to the field and get back to the house to take my daughter to an appointment, I’m just getting over the shingles so I’m not quite myself but still trying to do all the things myself needs to do, my mom is not well AND Ididn’t get picked for #PitchMadness.  So there’s that. *sigh*

The SUV is going to the same place I am but it takes the first turn into the parking lot. It pretty much comes to a stop as it’s making this turn. I look around it. No cars are coming. I go around and head into a different entrance. I park in a space and tell my son, RUN! Which he does. I’m catching my breath as I watch him get to his teammates when someone bangs their keys on my window so hard I duck because I thought the glass was going to shatter. I turn and the woman, who I happen to know, points a finger at me and yells, “I thought that was you.”

Now, because I know her, I roll down my window realizing she was the SUV in front of me, and start to say, “oh hey, I’m so sorry but-”

“You were right up my ass the whole way, Jeannie! What’s wrong with you? Right up my ass!!”

My mouth is stuck open in mid-sentence. She continues to walk away from me but mutters something, referencing a situation where her child was bullying my child, “It brings to mind bullying,” she spits out in a way that says she’s been waiting for the opportunity to say this to me. At first I don’t understand what the two things have to do with each other and then it dawns on me. They don’t have anything to do with each other. She’s got a problem with me because her child was bullying my child and was called into the principal. I had been backing out of my space. I pulled back in. Steam is shooting out of my head cartoon style. I’ve been known to have a bit of a hot temper. *family snickers in the back ground* My heritage is half Irish, half German, and, yeah, you get the picture.

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But I don’t get out screaming because I’m not thirteen any more and I’ve learned to contain it. Shaking yes. Screaming…not yet. I wait at her car. The muttering occurred as she was walking away from me, which, BTW, I friggin hate! If you have something to say, say it to my face so I have a chance to respond. Oh, and I’m gonna respond. You can bet your big fat left toe, I’m gonna respond. While I wait, I call my husband. Why? Because he’s my best friend and if anyone can calm me down, preferably before I get myself arrested, he can. And he does. He also confirms that there is a bigger problem going on.

While I’m on the phone with him, this woman goes over to two other women, who are now all staring at me because she’s got arms flailing and fingers pointing as she is talking to them. Grab your pitchforks and torches! Get her! Is what I hear in my head.

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There’s arm crossing and head shaking and I feel like I’m back in high school. Ironically, I’m standing in the parking lot of MY high school. I continue to wait. There’s more pointing. Now there’s a cop she’s telling her tale of woe to, who is also looking at me and I’m thinking, oh just shoot me now and put me out of my misery. But he doesn’t come over so maybe he thinks she’s crazy too.

I text my daughter we are going to be late for our appointment because there is no way in hell I am leaving with out talking to this woman. She sees me waiting but continues to rile up her “gang”. At this point I don’t know if she’s trying to wait me out or if she’s on a power trip, but frig it, I’m emotionally all-in now, there’s no turning back.

Finally, she comes to her car, because, well she has to if she wants to leave. I approach her and say, “Hey, so and so, I’m sorry if you felt I was too close to you and if I made you uncomfortable.” While I’m saying this she’s shouting about how I was “right on her ass” and some other crap about being on some committee, and blah, blah. I cut in, “Well like I said, I’m sorry about that, but there’s obviously a bigger issue here since you brought up the bullying, which clearly refers to the bus incident. So if you have a problem with me, I’d like to talk about it.”

Her: “I have no problem. You were on MY ASS! This close to me!”*fingers in my face to indicate the fictitious distance I was from her bumper*…BARK BARK BARK BARK!” because that’s basically what it sounds like now. So I put my hands up in front of me and lean back in a, woe, back-it-down-a-notch-sweetheart motion, and say, “Did you not hear the first thing I said when I came over? That I was sorry?”

Her: “Yeah!”

Me: “But you’re still shouting.”

Her: “I’m not shouting. This is my normal voice!”File:Scream crosathorian.jpg

Me: My eyebrows take flight up to my hairline. “Really? cause it sounds like shouting to me. I mean, if you feel the need, go ahead, but my driving and bullying don’t have anything to do with each other so there’s obviously another problem here.”

Her: “I’m on the committee for the safe zone! And I’m working with the police. And you were right on my ass!”

I’m not sure what to say to the “right on my ass” comment anymore so I just say, “Ahh..okay.” My staying calm made her outburst look even more ridiculous.

Her: “I’m late, I have to go.” And she storms to her car.

Me: “Okay,” I say as she goes. Mind you I’m still facing her. “But if you have a problem with me or the situation that happened on the bus, I’m available to talk about it.”

I turn to go to my car and as she’s getting in her car she mutters a bunch of crap at the BACK of my head! UGH!! Motherfrickafrackasaskasass!!!

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Wednesday. I wish I could say the next day I was fine and WHAT EVER, with a big finger W, but I wasn’t. It really bothered me that she besmirched my reputation, to two women that I don’t know, and possibly a cop, and there was nothing I could do about it. I hated being pointed at and God-only-knows what was being said about me. It made me feel powerless. That feeling sucks. Really bad.

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On any given day, I have a full time job four days a week, I have a second full time job as a writer, I am me, I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a cook, a housekeeper, a crazy-dog tamer because I’m the only one the little bastard doesn’t bite, the laundry chick and the list goes on and on. But hey, everyone is busy, that’s just life, it’s not an excuse. I’m not asking for special treatment but a little empathy would be great. And it’s not like I’m a constant screw up. For the most part I run a tight ship, even as I’m tap dancing a hundred miles an hour. But, admittedly, I am the occasional screw up.

Not gonna lie, when I began to write this blog in my head I planned to M-F that woman all over the page. But in the same way that I wanted her to think about what might be going on with me, stand in my shoes for a moment, I started to think what might be going on with her. Maybe her day sucked so bad that she was just looking for someplace to unload her emotions and I happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe she’s just one of those holier-than-thou mean girls. I really don’t know. But what I do know is that being mad at her was friggin’ up my mojo. I don’t have time for that (see list above).  I don’t have time for high school nonsense or mean girls.

Forgive and forget? Come on now, I’m not a saint. And did I mention the hot temper? But letting it go for my own good? Yeah, I can definitely do that.

What bag a crap are you hangin’ onto that’s messin’ up your mojo?

PEACE. Keep it and keep your mojo in tact!

images http://commons.wikimedia.org/

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When You Get the Shingles & Pitch Madness is Happening

Hello all my peeps! Sorry I was M.I.A. last week…I got the frickin’ shingles! Holey nastiness. What you wanna do when shingles hits the fan, is cancel everything, stay in bed, moan – lots of moaning helps with the sympathy, drink buckets of fluid, ingest Tylenol till it’s comin’ out the wazoo, and…oh wait! Pitch Madness submission is March 10th! Who has time for shingles? So, I looked at that painful rash (size of a dime) and said, “oh, hell no! Na-ah, don’t come up in here with that nonsense.” My inner-Will Smith comes out at these badass moments…also when I’m really scared watching horror movies.

What I really did was run straight to the doctor last Wednesday! Since I got there within the first 24 hours of any symptoms they were able to get me on anti-viral and antibiotic, ass-kicker meds. Sounds lovely, right?

Although not 100%, I was not going to miss playing in #Pitchmadness, a twitter pitch contest, hosted by the awesome Brenda Drake @brendadrake, along with some other authors I follow/read, Summer Heacock @fizzygrrl, Rebecca Weston @callmebecks, and Sharon Johnston @ S_M_Johnston. Hopefuls, like me, send a pitch of 35 words- NO MORE! And the first 250 words of their polished manuscript for the chance to land an agent. You can read more about it at http://www.brenda-drake.com. I submitted my New Adult Mystery, JESSICA MARCO P.I.

New Adult is a relatively new term. It categorizes the age between young adult and adult. Think, first job, first apartment, mistakes and discoveries a person makes when just starting out as a grown up. For me this category offers boat loads of funny material. I also write YA but I felt like the NA Mystery was right for this contest. Here’s what I sent:

PITCH
Finding who took Fat Sal’s skin—literally—is an unusual case for P.I., Jessica. Discovering her scumbag brother-in-law in the middle of it, gets her kidnapped, fighting to save her own skin. Nothin’ like family.

250 Words
It had been an hour or so, since climbing a tree to the second floor, where I waited in a tight squat position for my mark, a cheating husband. My ass was throbbing and my left foot fell asleep about twenty minutes ago. Purple bloated clouds churned in an August sky as a storm rolled in, fat rain drops hissing on the still hot pavement. A crack of lightening lit the sky and I pulled back trying to become one with the siding, gaining some cover from the gutter above. I tucked my bag underneath my army green rain poncho loaded with camera, recorder, pepper spray, and stun gun. The camera had night vision capability and the recorder could pick up a dog fart a mile away. The other stuff I kept just in case. Just in case the person I was watching got a hold of me and decided he/she didn’t want to fess up to what I captured on tape or camera. As a private investigator I use what I’ve got to get the job done, and if I have to zap someone, I use my long legs to run like the wind before they wake up.

I checked my watch. One hour and forty-five minutes waiting for this douchbag like a jackass in the rain. PJ Benedillo, the husband in question, was possibly doin’ the neighbor, a college girl with a great body and, if she was doing anything with PJ, she must have no brains at all.

I love this story! I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say that, being the author, but I do. As a twenty-four year old newbie private investigator, Jessica gets herself into some crazy situations. She’s also the one charged to fix everything when her family drama erupts, which is five seconds after her sister bursts into town. There are parts of the book that are laugh out loud funny and then there are parts that are holy-crap-quickly-turn-the-page to find out what happens next. I had so much fun writing this one, researching private investigation services, talking to police officers, who I gotta say are the BEST! Putting Jessica in the right atmosphere and giving her a love interest that wouldn’t totally take over the story but give it some Ooo-la-la! And then surrounding her with an interesting cast of characters – her family for one; an eccentric mother who has a weird laundry fetish, a widower grandfather who has a different date every night, her drama queen of a sister and a nice old Italian lady for a landlord, the only one on the planet who can’t cook. The smell is so bad it often chases Jessica out of her apartment! It’s got a tight plot with unexpected twists and turns needed for a mystery. I came up with the idea after reading a news article about a company taking and selling tissue – skin- illegally. I know, gross right? But you can just imagine what kind of fictional fun a writer can have with that!

And that’s all I’m saying for now. You’re going to have to read the book when it comes out. And believe me, I will let you know when that happens. Count on it! Keep you’re fingers crossed for me, prayers, happy thoughts, universe chanting, what ever positive waves you’ve got! 🙂

Peace my friends! Until next time…