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Ambush

Last night Bill and I went to dinner for a friend’s 40th birthday. It was a great night—dinner at a fancy-schmancy restaurant and then drinks by the rooftop pool. Toward the end of the night, everyone decided to go to Carney’s for some late-night chili burgers and hot dogs. (All the better to soak up all the alcohol everyone had!)

Everyone was having a great time, sitting outside, chowing down, laughing and talking.

And then the shit hit the fan.

One of the couples at the party sat down near us after they got their food. I made a comment to the woman along the lines of “Oh, you changed your clothes.” I didn’t mean anything by it; it was just a way of making polite conversation.

I could see something in her face, and she turned around and unleashed her rage.

She yelled at me from the other table, asking me my why I didn’t like her and wondered why I was always rude to her, looking her up and down, judging her.

Huh?

This is a woman who is somewhat prominent in our town. A woman who couldn’t be bothered to remember my name—or my husband’s—for about a year. A woman who stuck out her hand and reintroduced herself every time we saw each other as if we hadn’t already met 374 times before. I never went out my way to be her BFF because I was clearly never a blip on her radar. Or so I thought.

This woman is good friends with some of my friends, but I’ve never socialized with her. I’ve never even gotten past the niceties with her before she’s moved on to someone more prominent, more important in her eyes. When her and her husband showed up earlier in the evening I stood up, said hello, hugged her and told her it was good to see her. I did the same with her husband. I was nice, asked how they were and made small talk with her husband. Never once was I rude. EVER. Not last night. Not before that.

So I was stunned at first. Her attack totally came out of left field.

I kind of laughed a little because I wasn’t sure she was serious at first. And then I asked her what in the world she was talking about. I told her I was never anything but polite, that I’ve never been rude to her.

And that’s when she did her Linda Blair impersonation—head spinning around all crazy—and unloaded. Apparently, this woman who I’ve never really had occasion to talk to, who has looked ME up and down on occasion and can’t remember my fucking name, thinks I’m a the most rude person she’s ever met. And not only that, she’s not the only one who thinks so. Everyone apparently in her world thinks I’m rude. I never talk to her and she doesn’t know why I think I’m better than her.

At this point I was still trying to be nice. Why? Not sure. Maybe because it caught me off guard, that this woman ever gave me any thought at all.

I told her I had no idea what she was talking about, that I had always been nice, that I’ve never been rude to her and I had no idea who else she thought I was rude to. She, of course, conveniently wasn’t going to get into all that.

I looked at Bill totally stunned. He shrugged. He was still trying to keep it light too and told her  that I do get shy and have a hard time talking to people sometimes.

I got up and walked away for a minute and the more I thought about it, the more pissed I got. I had no idea how I suddenly became the bad guy.

I came back and sat down and asked Bill what the fuck that was about. I was muttering to him that she was out of line and again, WTF?

She shouts from over her table that she can hear me, which was sort of the point I guess, and I tell her I don’t give a shit. I told her SHE was rude and out of line and I didn’t need to put up with that.

At that point her husband stands up and declares that they “don’t have to take this”—as if they were the victims—and they left.

I got up and walked into the parking lot to cool off.

When one of my friends came over to check on me, I promptly lost it and started to cry. Full body-wracking sobs. And I couldn’t stop.

Bill came around to see how I was and was surprised that I let this woman affect me so much. But I was embarrased. Not only because I felt ambushed by a clearly unhappy woman, but because it happened in front of a group of my friends. And because I wish I probably handled it differently. And I wish she did to.

I would have been much more responsive if she walked over and sat at my table and calmly asked my if there were issues. But she chose to attack me in front of everyone. And although I don’t really give a shit what she thinks of me, it concerns me that other people think I’m rude.

That pretty much ended the night. Everyone left to go home.

I felt horrible that my friend’s birthday ended on that note.

I am pissed that I was attacked without provocation.

And frankly, that fucking cow owes me a public apology.

And more importantly, she owes the birthday girl an apology.

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13 Responses

  1. I check the “snark” now and then. Anyways, I want to say that I have never known you to be rude and you are always polite. I am confident that my whole family agrees with me. And now you have been in our family for 10 years. If you don’t offend an in-law then you are not rude. I know few people that we could claim the same for. I would say it was the chick’s problem. I know it is hard not to take something like that personally. I am learniing to do the same. Love, Sue

  2. People suck. This chick clearly has issues. You’ve never been rude to me. (*heh*)

    I would feel the same way as you, but don’t let this cow take up valuable real-estate in your brain. She’s clearly not worth it. {{hugs}}

  3. I have had basically the same situation from a shrewish, unhappy, bitch of a person. Just be glad she isn’t your sister-in-law.

    • As you can see above, I lucked out in the sister-in-law department. It would definitely be much harder if this were a family member!

  4. That sucks and actually a few people in the 661 come to mind that would do that.. YIKES.. Hope you still had a great night and a fun bday. There is nothing better than a late night burger from Carneys!!

    • The burger WAS pretty awesome. There’s nothing better than a chili cheeseburger with extra pickles at 1:00 a.m.!

      It was still a good night—in fact it was a great night—before that and that’s what I’m hoping everyone remembers!

  5. Awww sounds like she has some major issues and you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Try and remember the good parts of the night and don’t let that shrew ruin it for you. And as Mary says, people do suck!

  6. Just based on her asking you why you think you’re better than her, I’d guess she’s got more than a few self-esteem issues (also indicated by her desire to be seen with people who are more – more important, more prominent, whatever).

    I think you just happened to be a self-contained person with a reasonable amount of self-worth who happened to catch her at just the right time for her to transfer her feelings of inadequacy to rage against another person which is way more easy to deal with. (Yeah, I ended that with a preposition. We’ll all live.)

    So, fuhgeddaboudit. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with a woman who probably would give her eyeteeth for half of the self-assurance you have.

    Just a guess, though.

  7. I was wondering if I could come up with an appropriately snarky response. . . but, no. Sorry.

    One possible way to deal with this is to turn it into a thing: If this unhinged woman’s name were, say, Polly, you could call what she did—(re)acting a completely over-the-top, nonsensical manner—‘pitching a Polly’.

    Turn it into a joke; the woman deserves no less!

  8. No, Mo, you’re not rude. (And it took me a long time to remember which one of the two of you was “Mo” but at least I remembered the name.) I’m sarcastic, as are you, but you’re also very bright so I would bet that this woman was challenged by you and couldn’t compete AT ALL on that level.

  9. Wow. Sounds like someone seriously unbalanced. Who does that in public? Maybe she has a brain tumour or something? ‘Cuz otherwise I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would cause such a scene in public, at someone’s birthday party. Poor you.

  10. Oh that just sucks. Some people are so full of themselves. Sorry you had to end your night like that.

  11. I had a similar thing happen to me. At work. From a woman who, like you, I had no idea she ever even took the time to think about me. She also informend me that “nobody else likes me either.” I knew (at least hoped) this wasn’t true, but it did leave me feeling pretty shaken up for a few days.

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