Thursday, January 26, 2006

Elderly abuse on the high seas

No, I didn't abuse any elderly - they abused US! At least, ONE elderly person abused us. And maybe it wasn't on the high seas. I just remember, there was the smell of fish and....

I'm back from a day trip yesterday. Jeff, William and I zipped over (two hours there, longer to return) to see Sam while the going was good. Squeezing it in between storm fronts. The drive over was uneventful, lots of snow (Mt. Lassen was breathtaking, almost too bright to look at with the face of snow all glittering high up there in the sun), but the important thing was the highways were completely dried out.

We met Sam at work. He gave me a cute little garden gnome that was left over from when they took out the garden department. He carried Rosie around the back offices and had all the female employees following him around going "ooooh!" and "She's so cuuuute!"

Sam and his girlfriend and their roommate Brian have a new place - they went from a two bedroom/one bath apartment to a two bedroom/two bathroom duplex, with laundry room, garage, and yard. On the end of a long cul-de-sac in a newer neighborhood where the duplex and condo units were designed to look like regular single family homes. Very nice. The only funny thing, although it actually looked great with their black couch and dark wood furniture, was the carpeting was brand new in a multi-toned plum wine color. Or maybe it was more of a garnet? Anyway, not what you'd typically expect in a rental.

We went out, Jeff and I, William, Sam, and Kyla, to dinner at Red Lobster. We asked to sit at a table along the side of the restaurant that was all window, facing out onto a strip of landscaping, then a sidewalk, and then parking up against it. That way we could keep an eye on Rosie out in the car. All was lovely, except for these big spotlights outside that were shining directly into the window blinding us. Being a take charge kinda fellow, Sam walked away and a few minutes later there he was in the landscaping twisting the lights out to the parking lot. He came back to applause and handshakes and thank you's from every table along the wall of windows.

After that we had a great waitress and were thoroughly enjoying ourselves until just as our food started to arrive, a huge party of, oh, 16-20 people arrived. The staff pushed all the tables in the middle of the room into a long row and seated them there. All elderly folks, a few perhaps in their 60's, the rest clearly in their 70's and 80's. This would be fine except, one woman had a huge camera, with an even more gargantuan flash mounted on it.

For the next five minutes it was FLASH! and then she'd move down the row and FLASH! again and then go around the table and FLASH! and for crying out FLASH! loud! and FLASH! I wasn't the only one FLASH! mumbling and giving her FLASH! dirty looks. The whole room was sort of staring around at each other like "WTF?" I tried to be gracious about it but I get migraines from flashes and rarely let even my own family use flashes around me. And this wasn't some little flash. Even facing the other way, everything went WHITE every time she FLASH! took another f**king picture.

I went from enjoying my meal to looking down into my food with my hand up like a visor above my face, and feeling like I had to gulp down my food. But I figured she'd take a picture from every angle and then sit down and order her food and that would be the end of it. And she did sit down. So we thought it was FLASH! alright. DAMN! But it wasn't! And for about another fifteen minutes we put up with FLASH! more photos, the flash going off FLASH! randomly every 30 seconds, or minute or FLASH!, or two, or several in quick succession. I finally threw up my arms in exasperation and decided I'd have to work up the courage to get up and say something. But my husband, fortunately or unfortunately, you decide, beat me to the punch. Suddenly Jeff, who really doesn't have an inbetween stage of reacting to things - it's either ignore or go beserk - turned around to the woman and yelled - YELLED -

"STOP USING THAT DAMN FLASH!"..... pause while the entire room stopped in complete shock..... "THANK YOU!"

And then he turned back to our dinner, which continued on pleasantly except for the scowls from the old farts at the table behind us. William said "What if they decide to attack us?" I whispered back "I think we can take'em." True, a few of them had canes. But I think we had youth, muscle and agility on our side.

I felt sort of bad but, you know, maybe I don't. I mean, we weren't the only table grumbling about the lady, we were just the closest and most affected - and I'm sorry, but that was RUDE of her! I would have just gritted my teeth and ignored it if she had spent a couple minutes, but we were all pretty shocked when she obviously planned to continued to snap away throughout the entire meal.

Eventually we left and as we were walking out to the car, I pointed out to Sam that maybe he should reset the lights the way they were before we arrived. Then I thought better of it and realized that was NOT a good idea because.....I called out but... too late. He twisted the lights around and the entire table of elderly people twisted in their seats and stared like a herd of senior citizen deer caught in the headlights.

Which, if that's all the damage we'd done, would have been somewhat humorous, in a twisted tit for tat sort of way. But Sam forgot all about the fact that completely new customers were seated all along the window tables. So they didn't know that we were "fixing" the lights, they just though we were being assholes, which of course we were. Not on purpose, but we were.

We were still standing out in the parking lot a minute later, trying to decide whether we should get on the road or do a bit of shopping we needed to do, when several large, burly men walked out, looking very angry, looking from the lights to us. We decided right then and there to go to Office Depot, and quickly.

We ended up running a quick errand and then grabbing coffees to go as it had started to rain steadily and rain in the valley (which came in early, it wasn't suppposed to arrive until the next day) meant ice and snow up and over the mountains. So off we went, where, one might say we had our karmic payback, in 50 miles of rain, fog, and heavy snow before we managed to get ahead of the storm. Although, I don't know about that payback idea really, since I was the one driving but I PERSONALLY didn't do anything to those old folks! They just did their best to blind ME!

So, got nothing done yesterday, but I did get the "go see Sam and his new place" checked off my list. And had a very nice, but VERY RICH, meal - that I DID pay for with an unhappy stomach this morning. And now a headache. I think I'm just gonna call today a wash and hope to be back on top of my game by tomorrow. Maybe by then I'll be up for more shenanigans. But, I'm staying clear of the elderly for awhile. That's enough fun with the gray-haireds for me for a long while.


Blogger :-D eirdre said...

Timi - do you have the new Halogen Flash for your camera? I can't wait to take Laume's PHOTO!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Jan said...

The fact that they were prunes doesn't excuse the rudeness. Sounds like a fun day in spite of the flashy dinner.

10:21 PM  

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