Wednesday, September 29, 2010

bully mamma (m)

The kids at the club where Harrison skates have names for each of us mothers.  Most have the word "mamma" in them, either in place of the traditional prefix Mrs., e.g. Mamma Gibson or, more descriptively, to characterize some quality about the person, e.g. Yummy Mamma (my friend, the pretty one). 

The mothers sit above the rink in a room with a wall of glass which allows one to see everything going on down below.  I don't know how the kids and coaches put up with a bunch of people watching their every move.  Frankly, I wouldn't allow it.

When I worked full time, I used to get to the rink around 7 p.m. and sit down below, wrapped in a blanket.  I didn't know many of the mothers.   It wasn't until I quit work at the end of 2007 that I ventured upstairs.

The good news was that the room was warmer.  The bad news was that I had to listen to some mind-numbing drivel. Who missed all her jumps today (the despair!).  Who got a new costume with lots of crystal beads (the expense!).  Who got a new boyfriend (the drama!).  Who didn't get her period yet (the worry!). Who is the perfect child (all of them!) etc, etc.

I started bringing my Bose headphones and electronics with me to the rink so no one would bother me.  Harrison said I looked ridiculous in the someone in Mission Control at NASA.  I didn't care. I got away with it until someone pointed out that they were not attached to any device (oops).

So, I took the headphones off and made it a point to engage with the group.

In a roomful of characters (to put it politely), one stands out.  She has a big mouth and talks openly and loudly about other people's kids.  She's a big woman and eats large submarine sandwiches regularly. She goes on Facebook under the guise of her daughter.  She plays mind games on her daughter's direct competitors immediately before they compete ("you know, your double axel used to give you all the trouble--now it's your double lutz").   She spreads rumors about people.  I don't like her.  And she knows it.

Last week, she took on my family.  She spread a nasty rumor about Harrison and Sam (whom she's never met!) and some other kids at the rink.  All of it 100% false.  One of the mothers whose daughter was implicated called me, extremely upset.  I rushed over to the rink and heard the whole story.  Another mother who heard the whole rumor from the horse's mouth told me everything.  I was livid. 

I called "Bully Mamma" (my term) and got her answering machine.  The next day we connected by phone.  She denied everything.  Even stuff I had heard her say with my own ears about someone else.  Just denied everything. How do you talk to someone like this? 

This drama went on for an entire week.  It took a toll on me and others.  Even my mother got involved,  "Imagine that witch saying those untrue things about my grandsons.  I'd like to pull the hair out of her head."

I'm in the process of drafting a letter to the Board of Directors listing a number of grievances we have with this woman.  Ten families are lined up to sign it.  Hopefully, they will shut her down.

And Bully Mamma?  She still shows up at the rink and eats her sandwiches as if nothing happened.

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