Two Stories About OPP

Around nine o’clock this morning my phone rang and the caller ID said it was my friend Whippet, who had been in Boston on family business. I haven’t seen her in a week and I was looking forward to speaking with her, plus I wanted to tell her about something that had happened yesterday. I left her a message yesterday because Mr. Whippet waved at me on his way home from dropping off their kiddos, so I knew they were back.

I snapped my phone open.

“Hi! I was just thinking of you!” I said as I answered.

“Oh. This is Mr. Whippet. HAHAHAHA!”

“Okay, I was NOT thinking of you. I was thinking of your WIFE,” I said. I could feel my face going red. Whippet’s husband very rarely calls us.

“I just wanted you to know that Whippet is staying in Boston another week, since you called yesterday. Hee hee hee hee!” he said.

“Okay, thanks. I wasn’t expecting to hear from her right away anyway,” I said.

“Well, I’ll tell her you called, and that you’re thinking of me!” he said and rang off.


In Other News: What Happened Yesterday

SOOO, I was at Target for the first time in months, because I heard that Planned Parenthood lifted their boycott. I should have checked, because it seems they have not. Dumb. This is what happens when you’re a non-practicing librarian. You get sloppy.

Anyway, I had just come in and I was letting Strudel run amok a little, to burn off some steam since she’s been cooped up in the house so much.

“Good job, nice gentle touching,” I told her as she petted some things on an endcap. Strudel was saying, “No, no, no,” because this is what she says when she knows she’s not supposed to do something. A woman noticed me talking to her and turned around, and she looked really familiar, and not in a good way.

She started saying something about toddlers asserting their independence and how important it is, when it hit me: this was a mother from Franny’s school. And not just any mother–one I had a funny run-in with two years ago.

Giant Backstory

When I first left SeaFed in late ’03, he “mourned” for a week and then decided to immediately “play the field” (his words–leaving me to conclude he’d been reading Playboy from the 1960s?) like the big dangerous tiger he is. This consisted of hooking up with his current babymama a week after I left him, and trying to date a single mom at Franny’s school. I thought the mom would be a pretty good choice. She seems nice and she seems to have her priorities straight.

Anyway, being friends with no one at the school, I told no one what had or was happening with my divorce. The assumption, I’m sorry to say, was that this single mom had homewrecked us like a big hussy, rather than me leaving him. Most people stayed out of it, but some people got really nasty about it on my behalf (as I discovered later) and she decided he wasn’t worth the trouble (she has NO idea how lucky she is–or maybe she could see other red flags).

I swear this therapy session is coming to a point.

There was some fracas earlier that year with the single mom and another married couple at the school. It turned into a big he-said-she-said. I heard (not from the single mom) that he was “stalking” her and others said there was some kind of mutual shenanigans going on. The couple ended up divorcing acrimoniously after some crazypants shit, making 2003 the most scandalous year at my daughter’s school ever.

So a couple of months after I left SeaFed, the female half of the divorcing couple got all up in my grill as I was dropping Franny off one day. I was always in a hurry, because I had to hurry off to open up the writing center at 9:30, meaning I had to catch the 9:08 bus. Needless to say, I missed it that day.

“You better watch your man!” she said. What? Do people actually say that?

“What do you mean,” I said, against my better judgment.

“I saw your husband dropping off Franny the other day, and Single Mom was getting awfully cozy with him!” I remembered that Companion had done me a favor and dropped Franny off when I had to go in early one day.

“What? That wasn’t my husband! She can have my husband. I’m done with him. Good luck to her, though, because he’s a real pain in the ass,” I said, barely keeping a straight face as her eyes widened.

“Well, she’s a Home Wrecker,” she huffed, and gave me an earful about her failed marriage.

I finally managed to extricate myself twenty minutes later.

SO! There the divorced woman was, giving me advice about toddlers and independence at Target two years later, apparently not recognizing me at all. And now Franny has moved up into her daughter’s class. I hope I see her soon. This could prove to be a lot of fun.

I should have said something, but I was kind of stunned and didn’t remember exactly who she was it first. I wish I could have said, “I’m Franny’s mother.” And when she walked away, I remembered that my hair was brown and I wore my glasses a lot in early ’04.

I hope she’s feeling better now–distance from a divorce has a way of calming people down. I also love how people are always giving me advice in public because they assume Strudel is my first. Sometimes I want to make a button that says, “SHUT YR MOUF UNLESS YOUR KID IS < 6. THX.”

8 thoughts on “Two Stories About OPP

  1. I think you should record your conversation next time you see her and see what kinda school gossip she has up her sleeve this time! You let Strudel touch stuff at the store? OMG! haha I’m always afraid my kids will knock something off! They like to run the isles and it drives me crazy!

  2. She pets it gently…PRECIOUS. If I don’t let her touch she would freak, so I have to give her guidelines.

  3. I can’t believe people offer parenting advice to strangers, NO MATTER WHAT. How do you keep from smacking them?

  4. You kind of get used to it, I’m sorry to say. You’re in the public domain once you get knocked up.

  5. That is so painfully true, SJ. I was horrified to find that the minute my pregnancy was apparent, complete strangers felt entirely justified in walking right up and offering advice and opinion, or just helping themselves to a big feel of the belly.

    So. Upsetting.

  6. No one ever touched me, because I was a big scowler then, and if people would ask me when I was due I would say, “What do you mean?” That brings the lulz in a big way. But people have touched my babies. GRRR.

  7. I am going to have to get the wife a stun-gun once we decide to get her knocked up. otherwise i’m afraid she’ll actually maim or kill anyone who touches her belly without invitation. Those are going to be fun times, fun times.

  8. Ah, just when I was all pissed because I hate when places I want to shop do stupid things that prevent me from shopping at them like violating my rights, I read on and could not stop laughing. Oh, I wish I could have seen the look on that woman’s face when you said that. I hate assholes, which sadly is most of the human population.

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