Monday, May 12, 2008

Fun Monday-Being A Jerk

Sauntering Soul is our Fun Monday host this week and she has given us a great topic. Here are her instructions:

I know we all try to be sweet and kind to people the majority of the time. But let's face it....we also know that sometimes we can be a big jerk. It could be that you experience road rage from time to time. Perhaps you empty the coffee pot at work some mornings and don't feel like taking the time to start a new pot for the next person. Or maybe you don't return phone calls on a timely basis when you know someone needs a response from you. Have you ever "accidentally" ruined a favorite shirt of your spouse just because you didn't care for it? Come on - it's confession time! List the small things you do that make you a jerk and elaborate just a bit on each one.

Well, I certainly have plenty to atone for. I should pray for forgiveness oh...about every two minutes for something I think or do that really just isn't mature. In fact, I could write columns about this, but you don't have that much time, so I'll toss out a couple of the more recent ones.

Let me give you a little context about this first one. (See I'm already trying to justify myself.) The sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond was based on our family. It had to be. We ARE the Barones. We live next door to Hubby's parents. His mother looks shockingly similar to Marie Barone when she's wearing the right outfit and is very similar to Marie in her...hmmm..shall we say... control issues. On that TV show Marie's manipulating ways are a constant source of frustration for her daughter in law Deborah, and they frequently butt heads. Deborah hates it when Marie is right about something. Mama J. and I ARE Marie and Deborah. We have the same kind of loving, head butting, control wrestling relationship, and I HATE it when she's right about something. I guess I'm just not as evolved as I should be. (More justification.)

Months and months ago, I borrowed a cookbook from Mama J.. It's one of those little community cookbooks that a local high school put together as a fundraiser. She loves that cookbook. It's one of the few she actually uses. She rarely cooks anymore, but this book has one or two recipes that she really likes. I read the cookbook and forgot about it. I have this same issue at the library. Don't ask how many fines I've paid. Anyway, a few months ago she asked to have the book back. I just knew I had returned it to her. I swore up and down that I had given it back to her. Insisted that she had it and had misplaced it. Acted indignant that she would even suggest that I hadn't returned it. I just KNEW I didn't have that book. I finally convinced her she was wrong...and stumbled upon the cookbook several weeks my dining room hutch...with all of my other cookbooks. (If you watch Raymond you're probably familiar with the episode where Deborah does the same thing with Marie's beloved cookie tin. See? We're the Barones.)

I simply could not admit to her that I was wrong about the book. And I didn't have the kahones to face her with it. I thought and thought and finally decided I would slip it back onto her bookshelf when she wasn't at home. Pretty sad, huh? Wait! It gets better. Then she made me mad about something, and I decided NOT to return the book. It is still sitting in my hutch...and I-AM-OFFICIALLY-A-TURD.

Second jerky thing I've done lately: I have an acquaintance I see frequently. I have tried every way in the world to be nice to this woman. And she acts likes she's being nice to me, but it's that fake "I'm just pretending to like you" nice. I'd rather she just not make any effort than to act like that, but I smile back and try to make the best of it. Let me stop right here and explain that I NEVER brag that I am thin, and I am very sensitive to the struggles many folks have with food and weight. Recently, this woman started making comments to me about my weight. "You're just wasting away. "(I weigh the same that I have for a long time.) "Have you lost MORE weight?" (no) "You're gonna have to buy new pants if you get any thinner." And on and on an on...every time I see her. She says it in a joking way, but she's really not joking and her words have a mean undertone. I know she's struggling to lose weight, so I usually turn the other cheek. But a few weeks ago, I got fed up with it. She made one comment too many. I knew where she'd be eating lunch and knew she was in the middle of a very restrictive diet. I drove to a little restaurant that makes the best desserts in town and bought lunch to go. I went back to where she was eating lunch, plopped down right in front of her and proceeded to slowly eat the biggest piece of strawberry cake you've ever seen. I should be really ashamed to admit how good it felt....but...well...dadgum it....I was sick and tired of her crap. By the way, I haven't heard any more smart aleck comments about my saggy pants since then. However, I-AM-STILL-OFFICIALLY-A-TURD.

Now, do you see why the Hula-gens have to go to church every Sunday?


Amy said...

Hula, that is funny!
I don't think you're a "turd." I think you're human (and funny). :)

I love your Everybody Loves Raymond comparisons.
Thanks for the giggles this morning.

God Bless,

P.S. I had an "incident" at the pharmacy Saturday myself. It was not my "shining" moment as a Christian I am afraid. (But in my defense, she was not the nicest person I have ever run into. I'm just saying!)~Justification~

Mama Mia said...

Even a chubby girl can appreciate the cake incident!! I mean constant comments about weight, whether skinny or not deserves some retaliation...maybe just a little?

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Brilliant! Just brilliant!!

Sayre said...

IF I were thin and someone kept haranging me about it, I'd do that very same thing. I am overweight but am losing it, and actually hate comments about THAT. And now, being diabetic, my brain has shut off the sugar-craving side so that cake? Wouldn't have really bothered me.

Love your naughtiness - but do give the book back eventually...

Cruise Mom said...

I hope you made lots of comments about how yummy that cake was!

ChrisB said...

These were so funny ~but you must forgive mama J and slip the cook book back soon!

jennifer said...

We have ALL of the Everybody Loves Raymond Seasons on Cd. ALL of them. When you began your story, I thought "Oh, just like the cookie tin and Allie's crayons" before you clarified it.

And we watch that bloomin' show ALL of the time, no joke.

AND, we live two doors down from Hubby's parents, He has a Big-sized brother that is so jealous of him it's ridiculous, and His Mom is a clean freak and I'm not.

Yeah Baby! A kindred spirit!!

Be blessed.


And I like your turd-ness by the way!

Karmyn R said...

You crack me up. I'm half expecting your MIL to start searching your house for that cookbook. She's probably already seen it and is just giving you digs.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I'm with Mama Mia, constant comments about your size, whatever it is, is just rude. Now tell me more about that cake. :D

Alison said...

you are too are not a jerk, only human!!!

Faye said...

I love your writing style HG. And how wise to focus on just a couple of instances of being Completely-a-Turd. Only problem, I have a very good friend who calls me a turd but never a jerk. I take that as less serious. What do you think?

Sauntering Soul said...

Oh my goodness....I'm cracking up! You are hysterical. Y'all do sound like the Barones!

I'm way past chubby and I'm trying hard to lose weight, but that woman totally deserved what you did to her.

swampy said...

Does going to church keep you from being a "turd?" You make me laugh...and cough...and laugh...and cough.

Tiggerlane said...

LOL!! I think it's hysterical that you ate the cake in front of her! As for the cookbook? There MUST be a way to sneak it back...but with PAGES MISSING! BWAHAHAHA!

hulagirlatheart said...

Okay, okay, you guys have convinced me. I'm taking the book back. I'm pretending that I'm brave enough to hand it to her face to face...but I will likely slip it back onto the shelf when she's at J.C. Penny's getting her hair washed and set.

Jason said...


That phrase is going to come back to haunt you, Hula.

I love what you did with the strawberry cake!

And I don't think you should give the cookbook back, although I loved the JcPenny idea.

I think you should mess with her head a bit more, like make it appear and disappear in weird places that Marie will see, and then wonder if she's going crazy.

Patience-please said...

I'm old. And my in-laws moved in next door to us after we'd been married for 17 months. (24 years ago) I don't ever give advice on blogs or even in real life too much. But I'm telling you, if you march right over to your mother-in-law's house, cookbook in hand and a HUGE grin on your face, and say, "looky what I found in my hutch!" You will feel GREAT, and she will too, and you two will love each other all the more. Honest. I wouldn't make this up.

Patience-please said...

(Because some day, you'll be at her funeral, consoling your husband on the loss of his mom. And you will smile when you think of the day you walked over to her with your open heart and her cookbook.)