This morning one of the techs in our hospital's CT department asked me if my entire family is as outspoken as me. Because she would think, "they would have to be." I'm not sure how to take that. Does that mean I would walk all over everyone around me if they aren't outspoken? Or perhaps a person as outspoken (read here, bossy) as I am, must have been raised around people with similar personalities.
You know I have stories for you, right? Well, the first story just happened yesterday. My boss is a lovely lady. I just love her. She is always smiling, she has a zany personality, and SHE'S ASSERTIVE!!! If she sees something wrong with her world, she will bulldoze over whatever/whoever is making her world out of kilter. I love that about her.
She is also very careful with her appearance. She is always manicured, with hair just so (she typically straightens her curls, but her hairdresser has forbidden her to until after Christmas), uniform starched, full makeup, the whole shebang...Unlike yours truly who shows up with a hint of eye shadow, if any, mascara and chapstick. And starching? Helloooo! I say pull those suckers out of the dryer and hang immediately, baby. My hair is always curly with the exception of the days after I get it cut & colored, when the hairdresser straightens it. I just can't be bothered with those details...
So, I got to work yesterday, and I immediately noticed a difference in her appearance. Her lips were about three times the size they were last time I saw her. Which was 2 days ago. You know I had to ask. "So, Carol, what did you have done? Did you get botox in your lips?" She looked at me, laughed, and said, "NO!!! I decided to get them tattooed yesterday so I wouldn't have to wear so much lipstick. I just about died when I saw them after she was done. I had no idea they would be this swollen or this dark." They were indeed swollen, and she had about an inch of lipstick on them, so I was unable to ascertain the color. She said that it would take 3 days for the swelling to go down and the deep bruised burgundy color to become the intended color, and the skin to slough off. Today her lips were back to their normal size, but now they look severely chapped. I asked her how she was feeling today. She said, "much better." Another nurse was with us when we were talking about her horror with the swelling and color. She said, "I really expected everyone to ask me about it and give me a hard time. But as it turns out, Andi was the only one who had the gumption to ask me about it!" We all started laughing, and then she said, "but I totally would have been asking anyone who came in with lips swollen like mine." That made me feel not so bad about my nosiness. But, seriously, how does one pretend to not notice lips 3 times their normal size?
My next story is from about a year and a half ago. We were camping with my mom's family over Memorial Day weekend. I posted pictures of our adventures doing that last spring here. Anyway, the year before that, one of my family members brought a "fiancee" with him (they never got married). She was a cute little thing. She was blond, petite, and just cute as a button. Unfortunately she was also drunk as a skunk. I wasn't there when they arrived, but apparently when they arrived that morning, she was already drinking, and had not stopped all day long. It was hot outside and the kids had water fights. My Aunt Barbara always brings lots of water guns for the kids to play with, and she always joins in the shenanigans. Well, the date/fiancee/drunk girl joined in the water fight also. However, when it was over, she wished she had dry clothes. She asked me if I had a dry shirt she could borrow. Being the giver that I am, I loaned her one of Studmuffin's oldest t-shirts he had packed to go fishing.
As the day wore on, the family member that brought her wanted to run into town and do some errands. She was feeling, well, nothing much at all by that time, and she had decided she wanted to stay at the campgrounds with the family, and get to know all of us better. Her escort tried to encourage her to leave with him, but the date/fiancee/drunk girl refused to be budged. She said, "I don't want to go with you.", then she turned to my Aunt Barbara and said, "You'll let me stay, won't you?"
Okay, before I tell you my aunt's response, I need to tell you who else was there at that precise moment in time. The cast of characters were: My Aunt Patty, Aunt Christina, Aunt Barbara, Grandmama Dolly, my mom, me, and of course, date/fiancee/drunk girl. My Aunt Barbara, looked that girl dead in the eye and said, "I don't know. You have to ask Andrea." WHAT!!!! Ask Andrea? There were 5 women older than me, and she had to ask ME if she could stay. Well, as you can imagine date/fiancee/drunk girl turned to me to see what my response was going to be. I put on my nurse face, used my best nurse voice and said "I think you need to go. You now, my husband will be needing his shirt back. If you go into town, you can change into dry clothes and bring back his shirt later on."
Oh, Gentle Reader, if looks could kill, I would not be posting this today. She was some kind of angry with me. But, I thought I handled it pretty tactfully. I didn't even mention, "You are disgustingly drunk and obnoxious, and I think you need to go home and sober up before you show your face here again." I held back, and was gentle with her. In a no-nonsense bossy nurse sort of way.
My question to you is why the heck the 5 other women were incapable of sending her on her way? She did end up leaving (after shooting several dirty looks my way over her shoulder on the way to the car.) And of course she came back, no longer angry, and suddenly my very best friend. So, what was so scary about that?
All of that to say, I guess the girl in CT is right: I AM outspoken. However, I don't know that I can say the rest of my family is as outspoken as me. My Grandma Irene is pretty darn outspoken. The first time I brought Studmuffin to a family function she was heard (by Studmuffin) saying, "Oh, I'm not worried about that boy. She's going to college in the fall, and we'll probably never see him again." Guess she was wrong there! It took Studmuffin a long time to let go of that statement. My mom is bossy. But to be honest, she's probably not as outspoken about things as me. I think I always had the tendency towards "sharing my opinion," but after being an RN for 10 years, and routinely confronting people with things they don't want to hear, or teaching them about how to better take care of themselves, I've become pretty willing to talk to anyone about just about anything.
Whether they want to or not.