Saturday, August 21, 2010

No, actually, it's not alright

This is our anniversary cake. Each year, I order a small cake that was like our only slightly larger wedding cake. It is a lemon cake with a raspberry filling and simply has our monogram on the top.

It is supposed to be a plain white buttercream frosting, giving it an embossed look.

This year, the girl on the phone at the Square Rabbit said, "Oh, well I'll put the monogram in yellow so it shows up better."

I simply said, "Alright."

It wasn't what I meant. It wasn't alright. I wanted it to be all white, just like it has in years past. Because I've gone soft, I just acquiesced to her and said, "alright."


Last night, we were at a neighborhood party; a lovely monthly event that our neighbors so kindly host during the summer. The kids run themselves until they pass out on the lawn, the babies get passed around and smooched, and the adults chat with neighbors who they don't get to see often enough. It's always a good time.

As I stood chatting with another baby holding mama, a third woman came up to us. I don't really know her other than her name and a little of the latest gossip. We might not have even been introduced ever - I can't remember.

There wasn't an earth shattering conversation going on when she approached us; just some catching up between friends.

Here's the thing.

She walked up, said nothing to me, and started a totally new conversation with my friend. She took my friend's baby to hold and then angled her back towards me. Where a triangle could have been created, she cut me off, leaving me just standing there like a moron. They talked about the night before, a bunco gathering that I had declined to attend because I still am where Colin is. I smiled politely, not that she could see me with her back turned to me, and waited for the tide of conversation to shift again to a threesome.

Instead, this woman who had interrupted us, leaned closer to my friend and started talking about some super secretive something. It was like sitting at the damn lunch table in 7th grade again.

She leaned into the woman I had been talking to and said something like, "So when are we going to finish up that thing? You know, that thing we have to finish." In a freaking talk-whisper.

My friend looked slightly uncomfortable, and I just snapped.

"Why don't I just leave so you can talk freely?" I said.

The woman's jaw hit the driveway. "Oh, I'm sorry," she said. As if she hadn't seen me there in the first place. Like I hadn't been STANDING THERE THE WHOLE TIME.

I was already gone.

Much to my surprise, I feel better about the second story. There was a time in my life when I spoke up for myself. There was a time when I felt things passionately and acted on that passion. I could be impulsive and opinionated.

There is too much "alright" coming out of my mouth these days. Too much censoring myself because I want to be liked or accepted when really, I like myself better when I don't give a shit.

I'm not talking about being rude to people. I still like the part of myself that goes out of my way to make someone else feel comfortable. In fact, that's the part of me that has such little tolerance for the rude and immature behavior of that woman last night. I would never have done that to someone. And people that I like? People who are my friends? Don't act like that. So really, why should I care if she now thinks I'm a bitch?

That's what I have to work on. The consequences of standing up for myself, what I believe, and the opinions that matter to me.

I've gone soft. I would like to get some of my edge back. You know, if you don't mind.