As I sit down to write this I realize there is a Mary Ann story missing from the trail of Mary Ann issues, but I will move forward and tell this one out of sequence. It won't really matter to you, but I just won't be able to refer back to the last, and very similar 'episode.'
Before my class started March 1st, I had a bunch of posts all lined up and ready to post in case my class became too taxing and I didn't have time to write something bloggish. Then the pandemic blew into our lives and those posts got pushed to the side while I discussed pressing shit like playing Chinese checkers, and pandemic-ish quotes, and Mini driving in her twisty turban.
I will one day post those non-pandemic friendly posts . . . and when I do - Mary Ann will once again strut her stuff. I am sure the anticipation is killing you.
In the meantime, Friday I had a Zoom conference for an hour with a therapist I am seeing from the new group of therapists we found to work with Lad. She is wonderful. I 'Zoom' with her in my walk in closet with the sound machine going in my bedroom and the door to my bedroom locked. Can never be too careful.
I emerged at 4:00 on Friday, and came downstairs a bit sweaty from being confined to my closet. By the way, Zoom froze an image of me but my voice could still be heard, so the therapist was like: "It's fine, don't worry." It wasn't the most attractive pose of me and I suspect that she needed some therapy of her own afterwards. I digress. Shock.
In the kitchen, there was a big box sitting on my island. It was a white box with a picture of an air purifier or something on the outside. Coach's patients give him 'stuff' sometimes. "Anybody know anything about this box?"
Coach said 'No idea' about the mystery box. Other kids were out in the yard and no one else responded.
Tank walked inside and I got Coach's attention and did the nod of the head towards the study maneuver that translates into 'remember we gotta talk to this one.'
Remember: Tank wants to do ROTC in college. He's worried he can't because of ADD. He has reached out to my bro in law 'Bill' who was a lifer in the marines. Bill emailed me recently and said (nicely) that Tank was still emailing him. Bill had reached out to me several weeks ago saying he was not sure he should relay any more info to Tank fearing Tank might be upset or lose hope, etc. I told him after Tank's AP exam we would talk to him. Then I forgot.
So, we sat Tank down to say the same stuff we've been saying: It'll work out one way or another. If this isn't the path, there will be others (and, ever so subtly) Uncle Bill thinks it doesn't look great, but you have SO MUCH going for you, etc.
While we were talking to him, thinking it was going well, he burst into tears. Heartbreaking. He is 17 and swears this is all he wants, but isn't sure why. I think it is because he wants a specific path so he doesn't have to figure something out later. That makes him anxious.
ANYWAY . . . I get a text message. At this emotional moment. From Mary Ann.
Her: Did you guys get an amazon package today? We got a notification that a package was delivered and handed to a person at the residence. No one was here so just checking if you guys got it. Thank you.
(not sure I have shared before: our addresses are the same number, just different streets, ie: 123 Happy St and 123 Bitch Street, but since we are on the corner and our driveway faces her's it confuses Amazon).
Me: When I came out of a Zoom meeting there was an air purifier or something on my island. No one knew anything about where it came from. Is that your item?
** I suppose I could have pointed out that no one was really around vs no one knew where it came from. I still had some investigating to do, but didn't seem all that emergent because it wasn't like someone mistakenly delivered a melting tub of ice cream on my front porch. Dare to dream, right?
Her: It's ours!
(this was the next text. I wanted to text back and say DANG, CAUSE I WAS HOPING TO USE IT AND PRETEND IT WAS MINE. Understand, mystery package was in our house for less than an hour and a half - not days!)
I drafted back a message WHILE trying to be present for my son who was an emotional puddle. I failed to hit send. DAMN IT. I really wish my message had sent. It was simple, 'Got it. Will have a kid bring it over in a bit.'
She continued with: The amazon guy said he delivered it with our name on pkg. Handed it to D sad one one.
** Do packages get delivered WITHOUT names on them? What?
** And what was the deal with her trying to transcribe the chicken scratch of who signed for it? Lad's real name starts with a 'D' but so what? Oh, she hates Lad. It started long ago when he was just a kid trying to play football in the yard with her boys.
Our study, where we were sitting with Tank the sobbing disaster of a kid, is right next to the front door. I saw Mary Ann march up to our front door from the study window. I looked down at my phone and realized my 'a kid will bring it over in a bit' message didn't send.
Me: "Don't answer the door. This is not an emergency. We are in the middle of something. She can wait."
The gist of Mary Ann: the world revolves around her. Most. Self. Involved. Person. Ever.
Coach ignored me and answered the door. He played totally chill. "Oh really. I don't know. Let me go see." He took his time coming back to the door with the box. To be clear, it was not in a cardboard delivery box. It was the internal, actual box of the product. Not even a really sturdy box. I assumed one of our kids had ripped open the cardboard packaging, which was weird because they don't usually do that. Of course, I think we all know my kids aren't 'usual.' Ha.
I could hear Mary Ann being all snippy, but Coach was acting like he had no pulse. Meanwhile my blood was boiling 10 feet away in the study. She was asking things like: where's the box it came in?
Coach: "Oh. Huh? I don't know. Weird, right? OK then."
She grabbed the box from him and as she pounded away I could see her through the window and her mouth was still running: blah blah blah!!!
One of my biggest regrets in life might be that I didn't sit there and video her as a gift to all of you, and future generations, etc. I was just so SHOCKED. Like, who does this?
What I did do was this loudly: WHAT? YOU GOT SOME-TIN' TO SAY? I didn't actually remember this but Tank, who was sitting there wiping his tears, and I should point out that he never cries, imitated me later at dinner to his siblings. He said I also gave her both my middle fingers. Sometimes one isn't sufficient.
Coach went to play volleyball with the kids in the yard after our chat with Tank, but I first assembled my brood. Tank wouldn't play v-ball - he was in his room gathering himself. The 5 of them stood there leery of what I was gonna say, still oblivious to the package thievery we were being accused of.
Me: Who took the package and put it on the island?
Curly: Oh. That was me. A delivery person handed it to me while I was playing on the driveway.
Me: Where is the box that it came in?
Curly: Oh, it got delivered like that. There wasn't a bigger box. It was just that white box with a picture of a fan thing on it.
No one signed for it. And the label was on the actual box, but who is going to see a white label on a white box and if you are busy playing and you are 12 then who's gonna care?
I think Mary Ann ought to just be happy it wasn't a *sensitive* box - like her sex toys or her new broom.
After gathering the info, I started to charge off of the deck to her house to say something along the lines of "Look here, Be-atch, my 12 year old got the package while on my driveway, no she didn't open the box, and if you got something to say to me, go for it. Oh, and news flash: your package deliveries come to our house sometimes and we ARE SOMETIMES BUSY or WE ARE SOMETIMES DEALING WITH A SOBBING KID, so settle the fuck down with the hysteria over your box. We did not do anything wrong here. And THIS IS WHERE I GOT MY STITCHES BACK IN SEPTEMBER, RIGHT HERE ON MY MIDDLE FINGER!"
Sadly, my children physically blocked me from storming off the deck and going up to her door and giving that 'Have a blessed day' beast a piece of my mind. Mini was the only one who voted I tell her what for. Glad to know I am raising one kid who isn't afraid to stick up for herself.
I drafted a text saying, "Turns out it was Curly. No outer packaging. We were in the middle of something'" but I never sent it. Think I will wait till I can say that ever so sweetly to her wound-up-tight face. Maybe I will video our exchange. That would be fun.
Tell me, friends . . . what would you do? Would you say something to her? If so, what? Extra credit for creativity. We'll call this our e-learning exercise for the day.
**(Sorry this was long, I will try to be brief next time. Please come back, I get to tell you the stuff Coach won't let me say in polite company - as if we even get to be with company lately, polite or otherwise).
I would have sent the text stating the facts; just so she can shut the eff up.
She's a piece of work, wound up tightly.
Amazon has been sending things out with no outer box; it always surprises me that some of these items are not even taped up.
Poor Lad; I hope he's feeling more hopeful about a different path.
Yay for Mini; the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! But I think a short and simple text is the best way to go because I don't know if showing her an up-close visual of your stitches will make anything better. *he he he*
I agree with Suz. Maybe just keep it simple. I like the text you drafted.
I have a neighbor who is a complete bitch that lives across the street-ish and I just don't engage. We have peacefully hated each other for over six years and it's going just fine. Of course, the other neighbors I have are amazing, so that helps.
NOW, this doesn't mean I don't enjoy your Mary Ann posts, so keep those coming. ;)
I agree with both Suz and Kari. Keep it short and keep those Mary Ann posts coming! Poor Tank, 17 is young to have to learn a big life lesson
Poor Tank - he doesn't realize it now, but the path forward may not include his "dream" but it will lead him somewhere amazing. He has to trust the process.
Suz- I wish I had sent the text that night. I was starting to feel that I could be sickly sweet in person and make her feel like the ass that she is. I texted her a bit ago. Just the facts mam. Hope she feels stupid. Maybe I shoulda told her an air purifier is not gonna clear the evil she spews into the air. Ha! Dang. That woulda been a good one. Yes, poor Tank. His current tutor and most people who know him agree - this is not the path. I will not stand in his way but the kid has so much going for him.
Kari- I did go with the straight forward text but watching my kid sob while life was-a-happenin in our house and she was stompin around about nothing made me see red. She has a confrontation earmarked for her, in my mind. Stay tuned. Jealous of your awesome neighbors. We have chatted about how freaky our luck is. Three neighbors, including Mary Ann, all have husbands who range from nice (MA's) to very fun and even humorous. My fam likes to tease me thst it's me but they do all agree: 3 crazy nutballs plus some old folks. That's all we got.
Charlie- I behaved myself but I cannot make any promises going forward. I am on red alert with this head case. And yes, poor Tank. Coach is like: kid, people change majors a million times. You do not have to lock into anything yet.
Gigi- agree completely. I really think it will become clear eventually and that he might decide on something else anyway. Unfortunately he is not one to roll with it, although to meet him you would NEVER know that he could be anxious about a thing. He would make a great high school history teacher. He is so passionate about it. Plus he loves landscaping. Perfect pairing with teaching/summers off. What do I know?
I'm sure it makes more sense if you know the history, but I'm not sure I'm getting it. I would have probably texted the same thing to my neighbour if I was missing a package. And she didn't know you had a sobbing kid, or did she? Anyway, that sucks about poor Lad - Angus was the same trying to decide what to do for college, he was melting down weekly until we finally figured out a path for him. He's always had trouble not knowing what comes next (me too, for that matter).
Poor Tank, I hope it all works out for him. It's so hard when you have a dream.
Ali - You are totally right, normally this would be the way to go about searching for a box that was supposed to be delivered. And no, she didn't know that Tank was crying. The deal is that she completely disregards that things MIGHT be happening inside my house. She assumes that we are already on red alert because her package arrived at my house by mistake. She grilled Coach when he answered the door and brought her the box about why someone had removed her fan thing from the box it was delivered in, which didn't happen - it was delivered that way. She kept reminding us that her name was on the package so I guess it was our fault that Curly accepted the package, but she was playing and did not bother to look to see whose name was on the package. This exasperated Mary Ann, like we had overstepped. She was snippy as all shit when she came to our door and I could see her as she walked away with her package grumbling under her breath and shaking her head with serious attitude. Guessing she didn't think I could see her little meltdown on my walkway.
If there wasn't so much history where she behaved badly, this would not have irritated me so much. She once demanded that I sew the pocket of her kid's hoodie sweatshirt because it got ripped while our boys were playing football in her yard. We had lived here for a few months at that point. Um, she claimed her kid was accusing Lad of ripping it. (meanwhile her other kid told my kids he didn't think it was Lad's fault) Lad was about 11 or 12. She wanted it sewn right away because it was the only coat her son would wear. Curly was 9 months old and would never let me put her down. Clung to me like a monkey or she screamed. I had yet to even unpack my sewing machine. To me, a ripped pocket in a game of football is sort of a risk one takes. When Lad was 16 and backed off of our driveway and dented a car parked across the street (thankfully not hers), she asked me the next day what happened. Had no empathy for a new driver, like 'Oh, that sucks' but instead reminded me that we park on the street when kids shoot hoops: "You should be more careful because you guys park on the street across from OUR driveway and we might accidentally back into one of your cars." When she learned my sister finally decided to divorce her abusive husband, she told me that my sister shouldn't turn to divorce because that was not the Catholic way- but she should try counseling. When I was in charge of running a garage sale for our parish years ago, she called me to scold me. Her husband typically organized men to play basketball one Sunday a month and she was upset that my efforts to raise $5,000 for the school would interfere with his b-ball because I was reserving the gym. Um, the school approved my use of the gym - why are you calling me to complain? Dear God, I could go on.
And yes, poor Tank. I am hopeful that he sees another route that might be just as interesting/fulfilling to him. I just suggested the Peace Corps to him yesterday. I think he has so many options, but deciding or knowing what to do is too much for him. Poor guy.
Nicole - Yes, he is so dead set on this plan, that might end up working out after all. I am all about having a backup plan. He has plenty of time to figure it all out, but unfortunately he doesn't see it that way.
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