Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miss Manners

There are few times when I am caught with my mouth agape.

This was one of those times.

Not only was she being rude and disrespectful, she was doing so in public.

I was raised that if you needed to have a moment with someone that was less than civil, you removed yourself from the public forum and relocated to a more private locale. This worked particularly well for me, because I don't like witnesses when I'm verbally murdering someone. Ask either of my sons, the cornerstone of my parenting has been, "If you embarrass me, I'll embarrass you!" Incredibly effective.

So here I was faced with a woman who had gone from pleasant and civil to hostile and abrasive, and not only did it happen in less than two minutes, but I had no idea what had transpired between us to ignite such a response. We were talking about (ironically enough) how to communicate with each other. I'm the manager of Second Born Son's hockey team. In this position I'm responsible for ensuring the parents are in the know about developments such as tournaments, game schedules, practices and changes to that schedule.

Out of 16 kids, this woman is the mother of the only child who lives in a household without internet. I agreed to do this job, provided I wouldn't have to be on the phone all night, every night, so my preferred method of communication is email. After a week of failing to locate this mother, (she's a door dropper - leave the kid and come back when he's done....or 20 minutes after that....whatever) I finally ran into her at the first exhibition game of the season. She was annoyed that other parents were "in the loop" and she wasn't. I pointed out that I have tried to reach her at practises, but not seen here. Then she drops the bomb that she actually does have email, but only checks it once a week (what the hell....?) I suggest that I give the child the printed off copies of emails (so she knows EXACTLY what everyone else does)if she would check his bag for them. Keep in mind, these are young children. If she's incapable of stopping in at the area, what makes me think her child will feel onus enough to give his mother the emails?

She snapped the information out of my hands (strike one) spun on her heel (strike two) and walked away while I was in mid convo (strike THREE).

The incident was obvious enough to the people around us that it was commented on. Fortunately, this woman has made enough of a reputation for herself with this type of behavior in the past, that I shouldn't have to worry about what others saw. This is de rigour for this Hockey Mom.

Since last week I've heard a number of anecdotes regarding her antics. I've also experienced a bizarre logic coming from another Hockey Mom who wears the badge of "Single Mom" like a crown. In every conversation had, her situation is the worst, as a Single Mom. I have to bite my tongue from pointing out that she has had the fortunate option of being able to live with her parents in relative security. While her day to day finances are none of my business, she made it my concern when we were discussing hotel accommodations for an upcoming tournament.

"I can't afford $120 a night," she said. "I'm on the internet now and I see rooms for $85 a night."

I try to point out in a delicate way that NO ONE will want to stay in the hotel she has selected with $85 rooms and that all hotels have upped the room rates due to the tournament.

"Well I just can't afford to spend $120. I'm a single mom you know."


I don't have the energy in me at this point to suggest that $89 with taxes and fees comes bloody close to $120. As I hang up the phone with her, I do chuckle with the memory of her trucking around the arena with her brand new Blackberry and sharing how she's in touch ALL THE TIME and can get my emails about hockey ALL THE TIME. And let's not start the discussion about the funding needed to finance a Blackberry plan.

Great, can you stand near Rude Momma, because apparently she doesn't have the energy to wander across her living room more than once a week to flip on her computer.

Lookin' forward to the season ahead, I must say!

1 comment:

  1. I can just imagine what figure skating moms are like these days with the advent of the Internet and email. Whoosh! I just got a cold