For an hour each week I sit in a stinky gym in uncomfortable metal bleachers and “watch” my daughter during her gymnastics class. I use the term “watch” loosely. While I do watch her occasionally I also use the time to catch up on some other things, especially if I’m lucky enough to have no other children with me. There is terrible phone reception inside the gym so I can’t use my phone to do any of the things I normally do when I have an hour to sit with no children around me. No Facebook, no texting, no Instagram. So, if I remember, I bring my Kindle or a book and catch up on my reading.
I am currently in the middle of a very good book so I was looking forward to my hour of quiet. But I did not get it. Instead I got one of the most annoying hours of my entire life.
It started out okay. I sat about halfway up the bleachers in my normal spot, opened up my Kindle and started to read. About three sentences into my reading however, my peace and quiet quickly diminished.
For some reason there was a sudden, overwhelming smell of hot dogs. I looked around me trying to see where the offensive smell was coming from, but did not see anyone eating a hotdog, which made it even more disturbing.
I started to read again. All of a sudden I heard the most annoying sound. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first, it sounded like clown car horn. Then I realized that was exactly what it was. It was some lady’s ringtone. My first thought was “how does she get cell service in here?” My next thought was “who the heck has a clown car horn ringtone?”
Then a mom with two young boys came and sat directly behind me even though there were about six rows of empty bleachers to choose from. The boys thought it was great fun to jump from their bleacher onto my bleacher thereby knocking down my purse and kicking me in the side about six times. The mom told them to sit down about 8 million times but they did not take her seriously as she also proceeded to make about 14 phone calls during the half hour that I managed to sit by her without losing it. One of the phone calls apparently was to a coworker so I got to hear the play-by-play of her entire day including what Juan ate for lunch, who Yvette is inviting to her office party, and how Charlotte kept interrupting the supervisor while he was on an important call until she got reprimanded. “Hey speaking of reprimands, perhaps you could tell your kids to stop ramming into me with their heads? Just a thought.” After she finished with the work phone call she proceeded to make a few personal phone calls. In the meantime, her boys had taken out some matchbox cars and were entertaining themselves by rolling the matchbox cars along the metal bleachers which made a sound like a freight train driving on a tin roof. I also had the added pleasure of being pelted with matchbox cars in my thigh.
Another mom walked in and sat right in front of me with a small girl. Seriously people? Why do you have to sit right next to me?? There are tons of other empty places to sit! This mother also proceeded to take out her cell phone and had a very, very loud conversation with someone. I had no idea what it was about, however, because it was in a language I do not speak. While she was on the phone her daughter was making the most high pitched, screechy, obnoxious sound I have ever heard. Worse than the clown car horn. I looked around to make sure there was no glass around because I swear she could have broken it with that noise. Turns out she was playing with a doll. If that’s what she thinks babies sound like, I am very concerned for her.
She and her mother stood up to move to another spot and I was very relieved. To my horror, they moved directly behind me and right next to the mom with her two boys. Now there was the group of the three of us clustered together in one little tight space and rows and rows of empty bleachers. What the heck?
Her daughter started swinging her little legs, which proceeded to knock my purse off the bleacher, again, and also knock down my nonfunctional phone. At this point I had had it and every little thing was annoying me. The old man sitting about 6 feet away in blissful silence reading on his Kindle with no one around him annoyed me. Mainly because I was super jealous. I wanted to move over to be by him but I didn’t want to appear rude. Which is funny because no one around me was worrying about their rudeness. The lady wearing the wool hat in the middle of July when it was hundred degrees outside annoyed me. The man who brought a bleacher seat, his laptop, and a bag of popcorn to gymnastics annoyed me.
I realized that I was being overly irritable and critical and so I did the best thing I could do at that point. I went outside, sat in my car in the AC, listened to the radio, and read my book for a glorious 30 minutes.
When I went to get my daughter she asked me “Mom! Did you see me do a back bend? Did you see my flip? Did you see me, did you see me?” Of course I smiled and said “Yep! You were great!” I’m sure if I told her the truth she would be a little annoyed.