I ran by the post office this morning on my way to work to pick up some stamps. The post office wasn’t open yet, but I just figured I would get some from the automated machine. There were actually a few people ahead of me in line when I got there. The lady right in front of me had her young daughter of three or four with her, and she was carrying a large stack of invitations. The little girl was holding a few of them as well, and they were talking about “Nana’s birthday party.”
As we stood there in line, the woman’s cell phone rang and she answered it. I obviously couldn’t hear the other end of the phone call, but she became obviously more perturbed as the conversation went on. Her end of the exchange went something like this:
“Hello? Yeah, I’m at the post office right now, getting ready to mail them. Uh huh. What? WHAT? I have already printed all the invitations and I would have to go back and buy more. Where are we supposed to come up with the money for ten more people? Why didn’t she give me their names in the first place? This was just supposed to be a simple birthday party for mom and it’s turning into a huge affair. (huge sigh) No – that’s fine – we’ll figure something out. Tell her no more people though – that’s it. I’m tired of this crap. That girl is on my shit list. Ok. Ok. Uh huh. Bye.”
The whole conversation lasted less than two minutes, and the little girl had stood there, taking in the whole thing. As her mom got off the phone, she pulled on her mom’s arm and said, “Am I on the shit list, mom?”
Her mom gave a little laugh, and said, “no, sweetie – your Aunt Beverly is on the shit list – not you.” The little girl’s face fell and she said sorrowfully, “I want to be on the shit list! I want to go to Nana’s party!!”
Her mom did her best to try to explain that she was upset and that she shouldn’t have said “shit list” – that it wasn’t a nice thing to say, but it only made the little girl start to cry and insist, “I want to be on the shit list! I WANT TO BE ON THE SHIT LIST WITH AUNT BEVERLY!!”
Her mom, obviously embarrassed and ready to end the shit list standoff in the post office, quietly said to her, “Fine – you are on the shit list. You and Aunt Beverly are on my shit list.” In response, the little girl gave her mom a big hug and dried her tears. I have never seen anyone so thrilled to find out that they are on someone’s shit list.