The saga of The Woman, part one.
I am going to write about a crazy person. I don’t want the crazy person to find this post and be upset by it and break into my apartment and hide in my closet and wait for me to come home from work and jump out and clobber me over the head with a cast iron skillet until I die. I am terrified of this scenario coming to fruition, so I am going to be extremely vague. Please bear with me.
I am currently volunteering for A Local Organization™ in a 10-week fundraising campaign. My friend and colleague Amy Ann and I attended the requisite volunteer training session last week, and because we are extremely lucky individuals, we found ourself sitting next to a person I will call The Woman. (It should be noted that The Woman was wearing a bright red furry vest- it makes me very sad to think about how many innocent Elmos had to die so that she could look like a moron.)
During the training, everyone was listening and taking notes except The Woman. The Woman asked the trainer a series of questions unrelated to anything that is being covered in the material, and Amy Ann and I rolled our eyes in perfect synchrony. A few minutes passed. The Woman’s cell phone rang.
Now, a normal human would have been embarrassed that he or she neglected to put the phone on silent. A normal human would have rushed to turn the ringer off. A normal human probably would have even mouthed an ‘I’m sorry!’ to the class facilitator. But The Woman is not a normal human. No, not at all. She answered the phone and carried on a two minute conversation. Everyone else in the class balked at how rude she was being. I was mortified to even be sitting near her. I would cut her a bit of slack if she were 60 years older than me, but she is not. She should know how to operate a phone/have manners.
(Side note: One time my minister grandfather was giving the eulogy at a funeral service and his cell phone rang. Isn’t that awful? But I’m 80% sure his ringtone was a MIDI version of Men At Work’s ‘Who Can It Be Now?’, which makes it kind of hilarious and awesome.)
Frustrated with The Woman, the class trainer announced that the time had come for a short coffee break. The Woman turned to us and introduced herself:
The Woman, yelling: “Hi, my name is The Woman, and I help women lose 3 to 5 dress sizes!”
Me: “Oh, uh, wow. My name is Lauren and I work at That Place Over There©. I don’t help anyone lose any dress sizes.”
The Woman, yelling at Amy Ann: “Hello, I am The Woman, and my husband is a very important and rich man, and I help women lose 3 to 5 dress sizes.”
Amy Ann: “Um, okay. I am Amy Ann and I work with Lauren at That Place Over There©.”
The Woman handed us her cards (which had several lo-res before and after photos of women in undergarments) and she left us to go harass someone else about her weirdo magic weight loss rip-off potions or super girdles or whatever the hell it was she was hawking. Our class resumed, and after the second half of our training concluded, Amy Ann and I made a beeline for the door, not wanting to give The Woman another chance to corner us and
drunkenly tell us about her wealthy husband and her spandex support cummerbunds. As we walked to the car, we thought of silly questions we should have asked The Woman, but did not think of in time. (What if a client starts at a size 2- how do you help her lose 3 to 5 dress sizes? Does she disappear completely? Do you kill her? Where do you put the body?)
A few days later, A Local Organization™ puts on a party to celebrate the beginning of the campaign. There are probably around 150 people at the party, and I spot The Woman from across the hotel ballroom, immediately avoiding eye contact and pretending to look at something, anything on the opposite wall. Even though I’m starving, I wait for The Woman to go through the buffet line to ensure I don’t have to speak to her when I’m getting my dinner. I pretend be fascinated with my phone. Look at this amazing text I read four hours ago! Gee Golly. Finally, I notice she has filled her plate and is sitting down. I get in line. Naturally, The Woman gets in line right behind me. Again. She must have been getting the first plate for someone else! (Maybe even for some other personality living in her body or an imaginary friend of some kind.) The buffet is two-sided, and I go left, assuming that The Woman will go for the shorter line on the right.
The Woman goes left. Dammit! She says hello. She brags about the funds she has already raised. (Isn’t this party to celebrate the start of the campaign?) Each time we come to a new food item, she asks me what it is.
This happens at every. single. dish.
The Woman, yelling again: “That looks good! What is that?”
Me: “I think it’s spinach dip.”
The Woman: “That looks good! What do you think that is?”
Me: “Looks like baby carrots and celery and ranch. Have you really never seen carrots before?”
The Woman: “Oh wow- that looks so nice. What is it? What will it taste like?”
Me: “That is definitely pasta. I bet it tastes much like other pasta you have eaten before.”
The Woman: “Is this dessert?”
Me: “That is a brownie. I can tell because it looks like a brownie. It is the shape and color of a brownie.”
My face started to look like this:
Yet somehow I found myself entertained by The Woman anyway..
So, TLC (the cable network, not the female R&B trio advising us to not chase waterfalls and avoid scrubs), if you’re reading this, I am requesting that you please give The Woman a reality show. I bet it would be even better than My Strange Addiction, and it wouldn’t even need that much editing.