Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A monster of my own creation

Earlier this year, I lamented my inability to break into Brad's circle of admirers, the elderly park walkers who religiously cheer him on during his morning runs around a park near our home. After much persistence on my part, they finally welcomed me into the group. And now, for the most part, I enjoy my morning banter with Joyce, Arelia, Ellis, and Smitty.

However, I think that I've created a monster.

Joyce and Arelia have grown so comfortable with Brad and me that their attention now borders on harassment instead of encouragement. They know our routine to the minute. They often greet my "good morning!" with a curt "you're late!" or "you snoozed too long today" if I arrive only a couple of minutes later than I normally do. Or worse, if I play hooky for a few days I'll receive a snarky "well, well, well...welcome back" or "where have you been?". They know that Brad runs faster than I do, and they often chastise me for letting him catch me. So negative! I know that their teasing is good natured, but it still grates on my nerves sometimes.

The ladies haven't learned yet that I don't respond well to negative reinforcement. I was the gangling 7th grader on the basketball court who visibly crumbled after my coach publicly bent my ear for missing an easy shot. He might as well have taken me out of the game right after he screamed at me.

We bailed on running the day before we left for Europe. I felt incredibly guilty for vanishing for three weeks without informing our keepers that I dragged myself out of bed and caught up with them circling the park to explain our upcoming prolonged absence. Plenty of people didn't know about our vacation, but I felt compelled to tell Joyce and Arelia just in case they missed us. Upon our return, we learned that Joyce and Arelia joyfully spread word of our absence to all of our other park friends. Anything to give the busybodies something to do and discuss.

We do appreciate the accountability. We really do. But I fear that this situation is snowballing into a major annoyance. I fully expect to leave the house some morning to find them waiting on our porch, tapping their feet, and asking where we've been.

1 comment:

Smiling Mama said...

Classic 'be careful what you ask for'! Too funny!!!