Friday, January 28, 2011
The Giant Beauty Queen and The Friend I Adore
We went to Burger King, which I'm crazy about. I don't know why I love that place so much, but I really do. So, two of my best friends and I sat there talking when we noticed something a little strange going on in the playland.
Now, If you've ever gone to a playland you've probably noticed there are three different types of parents who go there.
There are the parents who stalk their children. I mean, those women who climb up the slide with their kids, you wonder how they'll get back out. And 90% of the time, they're first time mothers. They really don't know how to let loose, because they need to be broken in by time and torture. You can spot one of these parents quite easily because #1 they'll probably be in the slide, and #2 they keep yelling to everyone--complete strangers even--"Look at Johnny! Isn't he cute. Look what my boy did!" this is admittedly annoying, but you have to love these parents anyway, someday they too will lose hair, their boobs will shrink and they will have joined the rest of us.
There's the second type of parents (this is me.) They absolutely care about where their kids are, but they're not all up in their business, mediating fights and telling other kids to shove it where the sun doesn't shine if they look at them wrong. These parents sit politely, occasionally looking at their child. They may smile sweetly--like candy if you want to know--but they're happy to be eating, talking and having a break.
The third type of parent is the worst of all. These parents refer to the playland as "daycare." You can usually spot them because they don't sit in the playland (even when there's room.) I've noticed some #3 mothers go to the extent of wearing black coats and glasses so their own children won't recognize them.
There's one important thing about the playland numbering system. Once you go from a one to a two, or a two to a three--there's no going back!
So, while we were at Burger King we ran into type #3. She was primped, really well put together. She must have spent a year doing her hair, and mine was just in a big-old ponytail. She did seem nice, but the problem was that her two-year-old kept completely wailing on the other children there. My kid came and sat on my lap, slobbered about some meenie-head, then went to play again. I figured that kid could toughen my boy up--until he started biting everyone. I didn't appreciate it that some little playlander thought he was a vampire, and that was when I actually saw him.
Sometimes I wonder if bully's are born, or if having five older brothers makes them the way they are, but that kid looked mean. As I saw him step from the slide I realized how scared I was, as if a spurt of fog should have shot out behind him, just for effect. He reminded me of one of those tough kids from the lollipop guild, the kids you don't mess with because they smoke when they're behind stage and they'll hit you with their lollipop if you mess with them. So, "Mugsie" stepped from the slide and in my passive playland type 2 voice I said, "Please don't bite."
"I'll bite who I wanna. I do what I wanna."
Another lady sat at the edge of the slide, and as if she was completely oblivious she said, "Good Olivia. You're a good little baby, aren't you? Aren't you? Isn't she a good baby." The woman looked at me. "She just started walking." I thought that was great, really I did, but I was dealing with a vampire named "Mugsie" and I didn't have time to goo over her type 1 tendencies just then.
"I'll bite who I wanna. I do what I wanna," Mugsie said again.
That was when my friend lost it. Now, my friend is awesome. She doesn't let anyone stand in her way and I love her for it. She's such a beautiful lady and you wouldn't expect her to be so tough, but man she can handle anyone and I need to take some lessons.
She went right over to "Mugsie's" mom (who happened to be wearing a black trench coat and those boots I love.) I stood next to her and watched as the mom acted like she was deaf and dumb. But after my friend persisted, the lady stood and I wished we could run away. I could have screamed--literally screamed. The woman was as pretty as a beauty queen, but like Hagrid's offspring, at least six-foot-two, wearing a grimace that made my blood freeze. Her long blond hair swung around her upper body which looked like Barbie on steroids. Her skin paled and as she glared at us, her eyes shone with a fierceness that playland had never seen.
"Are you saying that my two-year-old is beating up your four-year-old?" she hissed to my friend, the hiss of death.
That was exactly what we were saying, but I wouldn't say anything. This was a fight I couldn't handle. I've heard stories about people fighting giants in the Bible, but the only way to win is if you have a slingshot. I peered around. All I had was a thing of fries, we were dead meat--on a stick!
"Olivia, who's the good baby? You's the good baby. You're a little dolly aren't you?" The type 1 mother crooned. I can't believe how oblivious #1 parents can be. Here my friend and I were about to die, and all that lady did was goo to her baby! She should have been looking for a slingshot--or something!
"That's exactly what we're saying!" My friend braved the massive woman, and I felt glad calling her my friend. "You need to keep a leash on your son!"
I got chills. We were staring into the face of death--a giant face of death with loads of makeup and we were still alive. The woman flared her nostrils like a bull about to charge. She looked back and forth between my friend and I. Then she looked at "Mugsie" and a little worry showed in the wrinkles on her forehead, it was only for a second, but that woman (who must have been a bully herself) seemed irked.
As that woman walked away, I had to smile because she took off her trench coat and sat a little closer to where her vampire son played. Maybe my ballsy friend had just turned a #3 type of mother into a #2. That's almost impossible, and I've never heard of anyone doing it.
As we walked back to our table I looked at Olivia, then smiled at the type 1 parent. "She really is a doll." She was too, and #1 parents need attention so I gave it to her since I was still alive and everything.
I can't even tell you how proud I was that my friend stood up to a giant, and that I didn't go hide in the slide. I stayed my ground too. Plus, that vampire kid was probably in the slide anyway.
So "Mugsie" didn't pick on our boys anymore after that and I learned a valuable lesson. If someone is fifty times taller than you, you can still stand up to them even if you don't have a slingshot. Words (and a brave friend) are all you need.