Sunday, September 05, 2004

I am an old woman...

...named after my mother...

OK, no, I'm not named after my mother but I'm getting old, and crochety. I'm the old lady that's always standing in the town hall with polaroids of the damage to her rose bushes demanding to have a police escort back home to arrest the offending children and send them off to military school.

But Jesus! I need my rest.

I know, I know, it probably wouldn't KILL me to stay up past 11 once in a while. And I didn't absolutely keel over when I didn't get to sleep until after 2 on Thursday. I like things regular. I'm boring and regular. I go to bed at 10 and that's OK with me.

Here's the thing though. I like stuff to be my own damn choice. I don't like to be forced to do, in the right context I'm pretty pleased to be asked firmly if you know what I mean, but I don't like taking orders in everyday life. I don't like bending to the will of the many. Maybe that's because I'm so damn good at following the rules. I do that without thinking so if you're telling me what to do then you're probably going to piss me off, I'm rarely coloring outside the lines and if I am then I deserve the break!

So on Thursday night the same damn group of boys were distinctly NOT following the rules. They were sitting in the courtyard talking, very loudly. Laughing and screeching and discussing how long each and every one of them had been sexually active. As boys will do.

But after 10pm there's no talking or loitering or screwing around in the courtyard. And FYI the courtyard is RIGHT BELOW MY WINDOW. By the time I'd torn my sobbing ass away from the travesty of justice that was W's speech at the Republican National Convention it was like 11:30. At 12:20 I snapped. How can they have that much to say? They've only got a 15 word vocabulary, how can you put 15 words together in enough combinations to keep talking this long? So I call Security. I know I'm supposed to call 311 but refer to the above about how when I break a rule I've already paid my dues for it. The conversation goes like this:

"North Side Security"

"Hi, I'm in 165, is there anything you can do to move those guys in the courtyard."

"I have already asked them politely twice. The only thing we can do is call 311. These are YOUR families!"

He said more but the film of red rage had descended over my eyes and ears by this point so I can't remember much of it. I think it involved an apology after I growled, "Not MY family!" (Believe me, if it was my family not only would they each know more than one measly way to say "fuck" I'd have already kicked their asses out of the courtyard long since.) I waited until I could draw breath to explain that I would be calling 311 and that yelling at me for calling and asking for help was NOT making the situation better but thank you for your help blah blah blah.

Why exactly do I feel the need to be polite even when someone is treating me like shit? I think it's probably about being the better person, i.e. feeling superior to the ass monkey. You know what? Superior is not as satisfying as you hope.

So I called 311. I told them my name and address and the address of the noise complaint and how long it had been going on and I even got up and wrote down the mother sucking confirmation number. And the next day I called the management office and I registered my complaint with them. I told the manager about the noise and I gave him my confirmation number and I repeated it 3 times so he could get it right and I had my moment about the damn security guy too.

I am so old I'm organized about my anger.

Look for me next week to be soaking them with a hose and calling their mothers and disparaging their parenting techniques.

It's a good thing I left the small town life. Can you imagine what I'd be like in a community that encouraged this sort of behavior?

"You kids get off my lawn!"

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