I am so tired, I feel that shit deep in my bones. After a busy work week, with plenty of added jobs, I also had my daughter’s birthday party to prepare for. In the past we have had her family party at our house or my sister in law’s house (they have a big house with lots of space and a pool, which they have generously offered to us to use for the party many years). This year, I decided to keep everything super simple. No theme, no extensive decorations, no tons of planning. I’ve done it all in the past and I usually end up exhausted. Frankly, my daughter doesn’t care about all that stuff anyway. She simply wants a day with her family, playing with kids, opening gifts, and ice cream cake. She REALLY wanted an ice cream cake, which I found out later on. This year, I stepped outside my comfort zone and rented a pavilion at the beach. Our town allows you to rent out a pavilion at a reasonable fee. This spoke to me. Laid back, beach day, with sun, sand, water, and a playground close by to keep everyone entertained. I pictured getting leis for the people coming, keeping the food cookout style, and I would simply jump on the grill and it would be a relaxing day for all.
I booked the pavilion, and figured all was well, until my anxiety popped up. I had this unshakable feeling that we would arrive to set up only to have strangers at the pavilion, and I would be forced into getting someone from the rec dept to have them leave. I asked the woman at the rec dept what would happen if that situation occurred. She said “go to the gate and they will have someone come over and sort it.” Ok, sounded decent, and I tried to not worry.
Then the weather turned. A scan at the Weather Channel app was a rollercoaster of emotion. I also realized they have likely no idea what the upcoming weather would be. The weather changed day to day, varying from horrible thunderstorms to partly sunny and warm with a nice breeze. Each day was a new adventure as far as the meteorologists were concerned. Every day I waffled between seeing we’d have a lovely beach day or a monsoon.
The day before the party, (THE DAY BEFORE!) my phone rings. When I heard the woman on the other end say she was calling from the rec dept, I KNEW something was wrong.
“So, there is an issue…..we made a huge error on our end…….DOUBLE BOOK………we want to make it right….other alternatives……heading to the beach now to see what can be done…..”
I offer to meet them at the beach, and headed off with daughter in tow.
I arrive at the beach and meet up with two women from the rec department. They honestly couldn’t have been nicer, and were up front with the fact someone had booked the pavilion in June for a gender reveal party and somewhere there was a mix up. The pregnant woman who booked it had come in freaking out and irate after hearing about the issue. I can tell they were nervous about speaking with me but were grateful when I kept calm about it. They offered a different area, said they would set up tents etc, and offered a few options. The wind that day was coming off the water so hard it was blowing my hair straight up in the air. I looked at them and said “Look, if the wind is anything like this tomorrow, which it likely will be with storms coming at night….a tent is going to LAUNCH”. After all was said and done, the options they gave me didn’t feel right and likely would have been a nightmare. My other brother in law graciously extended an offer for us to have it at his house since they have a large deck and lots of open space.
I excused myself and stepped aside to talk quietly with my daughter. She said she would be perfectly happy wherever her party was held When she saw me look upset the plans had been all turned upside down, she whispered in my ear “mama, it’s not your fault. I appreciate all your hard work, but please don’t be sad, it’s OK!”
I’m not crying. I swear.
I walked back and told the women my daughter was ok with us moving the party and the other woman could have the space. One of the women leaned over and told my daughter how kind and special that was, and how nicely she and I were taking a bad situation and making the best of it. I was promised a full refund, but that I would need to bring the parking passes I had prepaid for all the guests in to get refunded for those. I wasn’t happy I’d have to retrieve them all, but agreed I would try to bring them in.
I headed off to get my daughter an ice cream cake, which I found out she had really wanted (but would have been impossible at the beach). I let her pick the flavors, the design,etc, and I had a very happy little girl.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: The party was a success, we all had a great time, and my daughter was thrilled.
Yesterday I took the passes I had and went to the rec center. It was my daughter’s actual birthday and we had a lot of stuff planned. I was still recovering from all the work involved for the party and I felt that extreme tiredness in my SOUL. One of the women I had spoken with at the beach was at the counter and smiled when she saw me. She wished my daughter a happy birthday and handed over a huge bottle of bubbles for my daughter as a gift and as a thank your for being so understanding. I thanked her and explained I didn’t have two of the passes, but could they let it slide due to the circumstances? She said she’d have to clear it with the other woman, but felt she would probably say yes, because we had been so gracious about the error and so lovely to work with.
Just then, another lady who works there and who I have watched berate another employee there in front of me chimed in and started getting loud with the woman helping me. “WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT? WHY WOULD YOU SAY SHE PROBABLY WOULD?” The woman helping me looked extremely uncomfortable.
Not today, Satan,
“HEY! DON’T YOU YELL AT HER!” I shouted. “This office made a mistake, and could have ruined my daughter’s birthday party. These two women have been honest about the error, tried to make it right, and are trying to rectify the situation in a positive manner, which is the ONLY reason I have not created a big issue here. This is not the first time I have seen you berate your coworkers, so why don’t you sit there and go back to your paperwork and make sure this situation doesn’t happen again?”
“GO HUFF IF YOU WANT BUT DON’T YOU BELITTLE HER!”
Yeah. I became that person. I became the woman yelling at a stranger over a partition wall because I hate seeing nice people given crap for something when they are just trying to do the right thing.
The woman getting yelled by Grumpy St Bitterbritches is always super sweet and friendly to me. The last time I went to the office to get the parking passes I watched the other employee belittle another woman who worked there, get sarcastic with a town resident, and make a sarcastic comment to another.
I can let a lot slide if people are honest and apologetic. Accidents happen, mistakes can be made. A sincere apology without excuses goes a LONG way with me. My daughter and I had been very accommodating all things considered, which the 2 women we spoke to at the beach were clearly grateful for. I am sure they saw it was a birthday party for us and a gender reveal party for the pregnant lady and thought it was going to be miserable for them either way because of the mistake. Instead, it went relatively smooth. They knew I wasn’t thrilled, but I was honestly kind of ok with it.
To be honest, everything was less stressful for me in the end. No worries about weather (we had everything outside but moved inside later on so we missed the rain). I had a fridge, freezer, and everything I needed at my fingertips. My daughter had the cake she desperately wanted, and a good time was had. I got to invite more people. At the end of the day, things fell into place. Plus, I am getting refunded the money I spent.
But don’t test me, bitter lady in the back of the rec office.
Mama don’t play that.