Wednesday, February 11, 2009

...and one for Mahler

I had such a perfectly marvelous encounter this afternoon that I couldn't not share it with all of you fine folks. It was just after lunch, and I was scurrying off to my math class. As I pattered down the last set of stairs, I heard a bunch of giggling, and the trademark brainless banter that seems to be par for the course around here. I was ready to tune the gaggle of excitable little hens out when I heard my name, accompanied by more giggling. Normally, I don't like to hear what people say behind my back. It makes me far too conceited. However, on this particular occasion I thought I would stay and listen in on a little public opinion. What I heard made my freaking day: "Yeah, I can't stand her. She answers every damn question." Well, friends, I could not have provided you with a better example of what is wrong with today's society. We are living in a world where answering questions and being smart are considered to be bad characteristics. (And I will indulge myself a little and point out that the darling who issued this statement is no bright light.) Well, I was not about to stand there and endure this absolutely debilitating knock to my self-confidence. I skipped back up the stairs, smiled, and said, "I'm right here." The silence and mumbled excuses that followed could only be summed up in a Sondheim line: "The ones who follow the rules/and meet themselves at the schools/too busy to know that they're fools!/Aren't they a gem?/I'll drink to them." It was a perfectly marvelous moment, and I walked away feeling like Barbara in August's plate breaking scene. "Oh, are we breaking shit? 'Cause I can break shit. You don't wanna break shit with me, muthaf*cka!" (For the record, that is my favorite line in the entire play. I want that on a T-shirt. I want that in my wedding vows. I want that on my gravestone.) The cherry on top of the whole scenario came later. We were sitting in class, and the teacher called on my newfound defamer, who writhed and stuttered like Sarah Palin talking to Katie Couric. Let's hear it for poetic justice.

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