Friday, September 22, 2006

Mister Manners

I was picking up Madge from school. Coco had fallen asleep on the way, and, since our small stroller broke, I was holding him in my arms. Coco weighs about 35 lbs. by now, so he’s quite a big Thanksgiving Turkey. Though uncomfortable, I was trying to suffer silently because waking him up would only mean trouble – in this case trouble would come in the shape of wanting to go home to watch a movie.
(Lately he tries to keep himself from falling asleep by obsessing about something and then he drifts off mid-obsession and picks up where he left off the moment he wakes up. For example – this happened last night – he can’t possibly fall asleep right now because he wants a chocolate chip cookie. So we set off for the store and on the way he falls asleep, which means that we get the bare minimum of groceries because all of a sudden there’s a lot more to carry. Then we get home and the first thing out of his mouth when he wakes up is, “Chocolate Chip Cookies!”)
So a parent/friend comes by and says, “I’ve been there.”
A harmless comment, really. But my lower back is cramping up while he is momentarily child-free and, I can sense, wants to have a conversation until the kids come out – usually a nice way to pass the time (unless some kid is tugging at you trying to get your attention for more important matters like a game of peek-a-boo behind a tree that’s perilously close to traffic).
Anyway, conversations tend to wake up anybody I’m holding – physics being what they are and my resonating chest cavity being close to whomever I’m holding. But Julie has taught me enough social graces to keep me from just snorting. So I said the third or fourth thing that came to my mind.
I said, “I’m there now.”
In my world, this qualifies as not rude.
What do you think? On a rudeness scale of 1 (Dale Carnegie) to 10 (Don Rickles when he’s not Mr. Potatohead), how do you rate it?

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