I know it was not intentional. A simple social faux pas. Nothing more. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a bit sensitive this week, after going through one of life’s greatest stressors last week. It didn’t help Monday when the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank not only pointedly ignored Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, but even seemed a bit put out that she dared to reclaim her seat at the table. I’m sure the alleged slight was imagined on my part. But something didn’t seem right. Our chemistry was out of whack.
Don’t think for an instant that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was a moper. Nope. She pulled up her chair four legs at a time like everybody else, and attempted to join in as permitted. One member of the Think Tank was written up in the local paper, for becoming a big fish in the big pond of technology. The reporter had listed the ages of the students in the accompanying photo, and had then listed Big Fish’s age after his name as well. So they were ribbing him. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom commented that she had seen the article, and the age, but had thought nothing of it, because magazines do that with famous people in the news all the time. Crickets. Like Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had announced that last night she shot a unicorn in her pajamas. It seemed as if they were trying to block me out. Then the hubbub resumed, concerning the new reporter who must not know have known any better.
Tuesday, a Think Tank irregular graced us with his presence, and let it slip that he had a cleaning lady. Well! So did the Big Fish. They then commenced to expounding that the cleaning lady made their wives actually pick up the clutter in order for the house to be cleaned. And that if a cleaning lady could clean the whole house in two-and-a-half hours, surely the wife could find that much time throughout a two-week period to do the same.
From there, talk went to the stuff filling up the house. Like PLANTS FROM THE WIFE’S MOTHER’S FUNERAL! How she refused to get rid of them. How the plants made the house look like a jungle. Those plants served no purpose. It had been YEARS, and the plants needed to go. Never mind that they were thriving. So another Think Tanker jumped in to reveal that she still had plants from her father’s funeral, and it had been 16 years. Yet another Tanker chastised the original Tanker, because how dare he think those plants were worthless. She drives by her last-fall-deceased father’s truck on the way to work every morning, and it brings tears to her eyes. To which Original Tanker replied, “Well, I can understand that. It’s still so fresh to you.”
And there I sat, my slaw-loving mom gone less than a week, listening to them discuss the departed. Like I didn’t exist. How could they not notice this elephant in the room? It’s not like nobody knew about my loss. Five of the seven Think Tankers had been to the funeral home and offered their condolences. And they later got onto a discussion of how they have morals and know what’s right and would act as avengers if anyone was being harmed. Like stopping those twenty football players in the news who beat and raped a coed and put it on Facebook. Okay. So Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was not in the company of twenty football players, and did not need that kind of rescuing. But somebody could have suggested a new topic for discussion.
I’m shocked they didn’t just burst into a round of John Brown’s Body Lies A-Moulderin’ in the Grave. Or a rousing chorus of “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout.”
No, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom does not need to be rolled in cotton batting, encased in bubble wrap, and placed on a bed of downy duck feathers. But there are standards of common decency, are there not? It’s not as if they didn’t know, and coincidentally asked how my mom was doing. They knew. And saw nothing wrong with it. I’m a nobody. Don’t mind me.
On the other hand, a special student stopped in the hall to offer her condolences, because she heard that my mom passed away.
Some people could learn a lesson from that special student.