On Rudeness

About midway through my endless jury duty I discovered my checking account was overdrawn. This came as quite a shock because (a.) I have overdraft protection, (b.) I had a pretty good cushion of funds in my checking account, and most importantly (c.) I hadn’t purchased anything in weeks using my checking account. I called the number associated with the offending transaction and after an hour on the phone managed to get virtually nowhere. I then called the bank and was reassured they would take care of everything including reversing the associated fees I shouldn’t have accrued.

That was more than two weeks ago and long story short I was at the bank yesterday sitting in front of the bank manager apologizing for any offense I might have caused the day before on the phone due to my frustration at this ongoing situation. And then my cell phone rang. It was my mother who immediately started to scream at me the moment I answered the call. I glanced at the bank manager with what I’m sure was a sheepish expression and watched his eyebrows slowly creep up his forehead as my mother’s voice got louder and louder and I continued to move the phone farther and farther from my ear. I managed to get a word in between her ranting at me and explained I was at the bank and couldn’t really talk and since she basically hung up on me after that I assume she understood the situation.

“So, you’re even rude to your mother?” The bank manager asked me in the same tone a three-year-old would have used to say “I’m telling.”

“It would seem so,” I replied with a wry grin, “but it’s a bit more complicated than that.” I gave him a vague explanation of my mother’s health issues, which are the main factor in most of her more erratic behaviors like calling me up randomly to scream at me like I’m five-years-old. And then I gave him a brief rundown of the prior hour of my life:

Cindy had come to pick up Shadow and he was quite a happy dog about this. Or I assume as much since he transformed from the puddle of golden on my living room floor to an upright, if a bit wobbly dog who was beating a slow rhythm on the ground with his tail. I updated her on Shadow’s last few days with us as Uschi gave us a firsthand showcase of her complete lack of understanding of the relationship between the two dogs by desperately trying to bait him into chasing her. It was amusing in an exhausting way that makes me ponder the state of her simple mind. After Uschi tired herself somewhat with the lone game of chase, we herded Shadow outside and let him gift my property with one last token of his appreciation.

Then we attempted to load him in the car. By this I mean that Cindy first encouraged him to get his front half onto the passenger seat floor and valiantly lifted his rear end up. Except rather than maneuver himself further inside, Shadow sort of melted onto the ground. From there he stubbornly refused to move and instead wedged himself under the vehicle. It was at this point that my mother called me and first wanted to know why it had taken me “so long” to answer my phone, which I had had to dig out of my purse. She then asked if Cindy couldn’t move her car because it was in front of our neighbor’s. These are the neighbors we’ve had something of a feud with since I moved here, though we’re currently in an unspoken truce. “Unspoken” meaning that they’re just plain ignoring us, but that comes with the bonus of them not actively making our lives miserable so I figure it’s a win.

My mother’s concern was that we were baiting them by having Cindy so blatantly park in front of their house when she could have been in our driveway. But she had parked there because it seemed an easier place for Shadow to get in the car. An irony that did not escape me. Regardless, and I couldn’t stress this enough, presently there was no way Cindy was able to move her car because Shadow was literally underneath it. It was an exchange that I’m pretty sure was ripped straight from an Abbott and Costello routine:

Mom: She needs to move the car. I don’t want the neighbors to get upset.

Me: She can’t move the car. We’re trying to get Shadow in the car.

Mom: Well, she didn’t have to park there. Why did she park there? Tell her to move!

Me: She’s trying to get Shadow in the car. He’s under the car so we can’t move it right now.

Mom: Well, tell her to move the car. I don’t want the neighbors to get upset.

Me: *getting upset* I’ll tell her not to park there, but right now we’re trying to get Shadow in the car!

Mom: Why do you have to get an attitude? I just want her to move the car. Tell her to move the car!

Me: I can’t! The dog is under the car!

Mom: TELL HER TO MOVE THE CAR!

Meanwhile, Cindy was all but tearing her hair out in frustration because at this point Shadow was so far under the vehicle that the only thing she could have done would be to drag him out by his leash. A terrible idea under the best of circumstances. In the end, my mother hung up in a huff and Cindy and I managed to get Shadow out from under the car. This entailed me halfway crawling under the car, grabbing him around the middle and slowly tugging him out. We then both picked him up and rather unceremoniously deposited him onto the front seat.

“Have you ever thought of writing for sitcoms?” the bank manager asked as I finished up my tale, which is a pretty common response to most of the stories I have of my life. I assured him this kind of thing happens so frequently to me that I often swear I am living a sitcom. I’m pretty sure he thought I was exaggerating on this fact a bit, but I really wasn’t. Anyway, I apologized again for being cross and he brushed it aside, adding, “It’s okay. Next time, I’ll just tell your mother.” And that, gentle readers, is why you shouldn’t ever be rude to people. Even if substantial funds are missing from your checking account or you’re trying to lug 90 plus pounds of Golden retriever out from under a car.

Also, I would like to note that I have clearly developed a complex when it comes to my mother’s phone calls because as I was typing this she called me and I very nearly had a panic attack. If you’re wondering, no, she didn’t yell at me.

Speak your piece!

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