When I worked outside the home, with actual people face-to-face, there were plenty of opportunities for a joke and a giggle and a well executed prank. People can't be expected to be professional/serious for eight hours straight, can they?
Now that I work from home, the only human contact I have in an average day is the FedEx guy. It can get lonely. Granted, with social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, there are opportunities for social interaction throughout the day, but it can be a little superficial. I crave more personal interaction and since leaving the house in pajamas is frowned upon, I rely on the telephone. Knowing there's a chatty warm blooded person at my fingertips has been both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it's a lifeline. On the other, it's a cursed distraction. I'm working it out and attempting to make myself as "unavailable" as possible while I'm working. It doesn't always go so well.
A few fellow WAHM friends and I have this shtick where we just randomly hang up on each other mid sentence. It's beyond dumb but it makes me howl with laughter every time. Hello Cabin Fever.
One day, this innocent silliness went horribly wrong. I won't mention who was involved (to protect her dignity) but it was Sharon DeVellis. Her blog is here and you probably follow her on twitter here. Whoops, sorry Speed Skating Mom, I think I accidentally gave away your identity. Bygones and moving on...
I was chatting with friend X one afternoon and in the middle of an "important" story I hung up on her. When she called back to presumably tell me how funny I am, she hung up on ME the second I answered. What? How dare she! To teach her a lesson I devised a plan. I emailed several friends and instructed them to randomly phone Sharon throughout the day. When she answered, they were to abruptly hang up. Innocent fun, right?
Wrong. Turns out I have slackers for friends. None of them did it. Except one. One tech savvy pal really outdid herself. Too busy to actually make the call herself, she used an App to do her dirty work. Apparently there's a prank phone call website where you can choose the message, plug in the time and the phone number and it will prank call your victim for you, all automated-like.
Smart in theory, however, one should actually preview the message instead of selecting it soley by the funny thumbnail image. Why? Because your "funny" message could actually be a man's muffled voice saying, "Hi. I love how you're wearing your hair today...click."
This might lead your prank victim to think she's being stalked and cause her to freak-the-hell out. She *might* even seek help via Twitter and a panicked email to her spouse while you, the instigator, is blissfully unaware, not answering her phone because she's busy working for once.
When I found out what had happened via some stern DMs and emails sent my way, I felt horrible.
I called Friend x immediately. She didn't answer. I called again. After several rings she picked up. When I explained what I thought had happened, she forgave me immediately and laughed and congratulated me on such a hilarious prank. Okay, maybe not. She was pissed...
This was quite some time ago. She's totally over it. We can even laugh about it now. But still.... I sleep with one eye open. Prank payback is a bitch.
p.s. Hi everyone! This is Sharon! The one who got pranked. Lisa doesn't know I'm writing this because I have access to the entire backend of YMC and she doesn't. That means I can do anything I want to any of her posts at any time. I could maybe even go in each time she's written a post for the past year and purposely put in a typo or two.
She'd probably notice them if both her eyes were open.
*waves to Lisa*
The other day my son came home from school looking deflated. My chatty child was uncharacteristically quiet. Was he sick or hurt? It turned out to be one of those. He was indeed hurt, but not physically.
After some coaxing he told me about his day. A friend in his class was excitedly describing the birthday party he was planning — an afternoon of a laser tag followed by pizza and party games.
The boy pointed to all the kids who would be invited saying, "You and you and him and him, but not you."
The "but not you" was directed at my boy.
"Why would he say that?" my son asked me.
My mama lion fur was ruffled and I saw red. What I wanted to say was, "What a little prick." What I actually said was, "I don't know. Sometimes kids just don't think." I blathered on about maturity levels and egocentrism. I also *may* have said, "You don't want to go to his dumb party anyway." Enraged lions can't be held accountable for what they say in the heat of the moment.
And then my son taught me a lesson.
He said, "I really did want to go to his party. I love laser tag. But it's okay, maybe only a certain number of kids can go. I don't need to be invited to everything, but talking about it in front of me wasn't nice."
He's right. It's cruel and unnecessary. We don't need to be invited to everything, but tact and compassion and social graces (clearly lost on many nine year olds these days) should be one of the early lessons taught to our children.... brush your teeth, try your best, be kind, if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all, AND either include everyone or keep you mouth shut.
The fact is, this type of behaviour isn't exclusive to nine year olds. Adults are guilty of this too — especially with the global immersion in social media. We know who did what, when, and with whom.
Recently I saw online that friends got together without me. But like my wise boy said, "We don't need to be invited to everything." We're not joined at the hip for crying out loud and it's nice to shake up social groups from time to time, but seeing it posted like that, the good time they were having, made me feel like I was on the outside, looking in. Silly, but true.
By all means have a party, invite friends for dinner, arrange a night out. Let the good times roll. Or course you don't have to invite everyone, that would be impossible. But, do you really need to announce online what a fabulous time you had with x, y, and z?
Granted there are times when you might be required to post about the terrific event you're attending (for work or networking or some kind of social media contract). I get it. I've done it.
But in terms of private gatherings with friends, why broadcast how much fun you're having? Simply have your fun and enjoy the moment...quietly.
As for the laser tag kid? He’s so not invited to my son’s birthday. The difference is, he’ll never know it.
Related: Party Planning For Parents
When I met my husband, I knew instantly that he was the one, that I would marry him one day and have his children. Of this I was certain. THIS is why I wanted to make a great first impression on my future inlaws.
But first, I had to win over the brother. The first time we met, Adrian and I had just returned from a rousing hike in the woods. We *may* have snuck into a cave for a quick smooch, and I *may* have stood up on my way out and cracked my skull on a rocky overhang. Of course, I didn't let on that I had a banged my head. No, head injuries are not sexy. I carried on as though I wasn't seeing stars, and we trekked back to the car. We stopped in at his parent's to pick something up. They were at work so I was safe. However, his younger brother was there. We met in the kitchen, shook hands, and he looked me over. It seemed to be going well until I felt a trickle run down my temple, across my cheek, and off my chin. We all saw it at the same time. A crimson drop of blood splashed onto the granite countertop.
"Um, you're bleeding. Like, a lot," my future brother inlaw informed me.
When I told him how I'd received this affliction (after first aid was performed), he looked at his brother and said, "She's a keeper." Such a brat.
Later that week (my head healed nicely by the way), I was invited to a dinner party to meet the parents. Holy Fockers, I was nervous. What if they didn't like me?
I arrived at their home with wine and flowers, hair done, make-up applied, dressed like a respectable potential future daughter-in-law. We sat in their formal dining room and chatted.
Everything was going smoothly until Adrian started telling a story about the "dinks on his car." Dinks. He obviously meant dings, but he said dinks. Several times. Dinks.
I was able to hold it together because I am incredibly mature.
But, as soon as his brother, who was seated across from me made eye contact, I knew I was in trouble.
He kicked my shin to get my attention so he could show me his impressions of rubbery, floppy dinks on a car (hand gestures and mouthing of the word dink achieved this effect perfectly).
I still didn't laugh but started to sweat.
Adrian continued his story about the trials and frustrations of somebody leaving dinks on you car in a parking lot.
I was dying. DYING.
Again another kick in the shin followed by more hand gestures.
I was now sweaty and red and my shoulders began to shake.
If Adrian said dink one more time, I was a gonner.
Fortunately the meal came out and I was saved. Thankfully, there were no sausages served or that would have been it for me.
I made it through the meal without laughing or choking or doing anything that might ruin my inlaws' first impression of me. Overall, I think they liked me. And I was proud of myself for getting through the dinner without exploding into laughter and falling off my chair.
Have you ever made a bad first impression? Please share. I promise I won't think you're a dink.