Sunday, October 23, 2005

The elephant at the game

I was going to sit down and write today about the party I catered last night. It was a small get together for my parents and 12 of their friends, and it was pretty exciting and wonderful to cook for people outside of my "comfort zone". However, it was not as interesting as what just happened to me a few minutes ago, or didn't happen... I'll explain.

Russ and I went to our nephew's little league baseball game. Our nephew is eight years-old and plays many different positions, as do all of his teammates. From catcher to outfield, our little guy gives his all. Or at least 70 percent. My niece was there too. Climbing all over me, doing my hair, and giving me a four minute karate-chop masssage for a dollar. All in all, it was a pretty nice day.

Well, about fifteen minutes into the game, I happened to recognize someone to my left at the other end of the bleachers. This "someone" happens to be the woman who fired me from my last big job. I'm sorry, she didn't exactly "fire" me. She "didn't renew my contract". Now mind you, I am not at all angry at anyone for letting me go. Show business is, in fact, a business and I can't fault anyone for "wanting to go a different way" or "wanting to switch things up". It happens all the time and you just have to deal with it. No sir. My problem lies in the method. My problem lies in the lame phone call I had to sit through. My problem lies in the cold, insensitive way in which I was told I was not being asked back.

It was the Monday after Thanksgiving of last year. I was at home, minding my own business having just said goodbye to my husband's family and settling in for some T.V. and a turkey sandwich. Okay, that's a lie. There was probably no turkey left by then, and I was probably all turkeyed-out anyway. So maybe I was about to have a bowl of cereal or some pb&j. It doesn't matter!

So, the phone rings and it's this woman. "Hi Lisa!" she says. "How was your Thanksgiving?" "Nice, thanks," I say. "Oh, mine was amazing," she continues "We had about fifty people here and we had it catered. All the kids were running around doing all kinds of games with the nannies we brought in. And the adults could really relax, drink and let there hair down, you know- like we did before we popped out the little brats!" Okay, I added that last part. But you get the picture.

"Wow," says I. "Yeah!" says she, "It was wonderful. I don't know if I've ever eaten that much! Let alone pay that much for people to cook for me!" Okay, I added that last part too, but it was implied. We continue on about her "lavish Thanksgiving" for about five minutes until she segue's into the REAL reason for her call.

"So anyway, " she continued "The reason I'm calling is that we aren't going to be renewing your contract for next season." (Insert awkward silence here).

"Oh, okay," I said, thinking to myself, "Why the fuck did I just have to waste five minutes of my life listening to your fucking Thanksgiving story? You couldn't have just told me I was canned and let me get on with my life? Jesus!" At this point my mind was racing with thoughts of mortgage payments, and various other bills that would soon be harder to pay.

At any rate, the conversation continued until its natural conclusion, ending with some fake bullshit about how she hoped we can work together again and blah blah blech. I hung up, dejected and pissed. Man, if only I had that five minutes back! I could have another job by now.

So, the very same cowardly bitch who called me instead of talking to my face, and who rambled on about her fucking expensive caterer was now at the other end of the bleachers. I saw her. I'm pretty sure she saw me, but I sure as hell wasn't going to say "Hi".

Oh, on a side note. The last time I saw her was about 3 months ago on my way out of a building I had an audition in. We were in the elevator together and she was on her cell phone. She mouthed, "Hi! You look great," in her fakey bullshit way. I smiled at her and walked out of the elevator and into my car. So today I was determined NOT to have a fakey encounter, or ANY encounter, as the case may be. I was with my Brother, my sis-in-law, my niece and my husband and we were there to watch my nephew PLAY, damn it!

Okay, so now it's forty-five minutes into the game and I'm hungry. I ask Russ to get me a snack from the snack bar so I don't have to walk past "Bitchy McFakerson". He said he would. Well, ten minutes later I wasn't getting any less hungry and Russ was still sitting on the bench next to me. "Screw it," I thought. "I'm not letting 'Shitty McFireyou' ruin my chance to get a crappy hot dog and a diet coke." So I got up and walked toward the snack bar, right in FRONT of "Coldy McDon'tdeservemyjob", and bravely used my niece as a shield. I held her, with her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck. Nice, right?

Then, on our way back, there was no avoiding it. We all had high-carb foods in our hands and couldn't use each other as barriers. You know what I did? Acted like I had NO peripheral vision and stared straight ahead, with only my salted pretzel to guard me. Okay, I had a little thimble full of mustard to dip into, but you can really only block an eyeball or a thumbnail with one of those. I stayed as tunnel-visioned as the network that let me go as I strode past "Richy McCaterer" and her dumb friends who were pretending to be interested in their kids' lives for one Sunday.

She saw me. Oh, she saw me alright. But I successfully ignored her! I mean, she did the same. Don't get me wrong. But this was BIG for me! BIG, I tell you! I am NOT the type of person that doesn't go out of my way to say hi to even the SHITTIEST people! But I stood my ground, boy. I did the best ignoring job I've ever seen. And, on our way out I had to walk by her one more time! I braced myself and did it. Success! No awkward moment. No fake, "How've you been?" I made it out unscathed and possibly even better than I had come in. For now I was one of those amazing people who can be openly bitchy (or at least indifferent) in public. I had conquered something important.

So, there you have it. A recipe for the perfect Sunday. I'll share some recipes from my catering job next time.


Blogger Max Koch said...

I'm instantly addicted to reading about your life. You're an amazing woman. More, please!

6:25 PM  

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