A short while ago, I had a birthday party for a boy who just moved into our ward from Texas. The family didn’t know anyone yet, and the kid and Jeffrey really play well together, so I invited them over, and said I would throw a small party. The mom is really cool, and we get along too, so it was really no hardship.
The kids and I blew up some balloons and bought a cake at the grocery store, called Dominoes for a couple of pizza’s to be delivered and called it good. When the family got here, they were happy and grateful to see what we had done, and the kids began to play and get loud. There were only five kids here, plus the mom and her very cool teenage daughter, but if you were listening from outside, you would have sworn there was an entire kindergarten downstairs. It was loud, but so what? Isn’t that what kids parties are supposed to be like?
The mom and her daughter wanted to see my design work, which is downstairs in my office and studio (our extra bedroom, really), so we were all in the basement. The kids were tearing up and down the stairs, laughing a romping and having a ball, while we talked textiles. Then the boys both rushed in the office, yelling that the pizza-guy was here… I had forgotten that I called, and rushed upstairs to get the door.
As I got upstairs, I could see that the pizza-guy was already in the living room, holding his pizza’s and looking extremely annoyed. Still not realizing that anything was wrong, other than the pizza-guy in my living room (have to re-stress to kids not to open the door), I grabbed my wallet and asked him what I owed him. It was then he layed into me. Ever had a pizza-guy criticize your parenting? Ever had him do so in front of guests and your children? Yes, folks, the Pizza-Guy began to tell me how long he had been standing there, in my living room, waiting for me. He began to tell me how loud and crazy the kids were, and how long he had been hollering for an adult at the door. He told me how dangerous it was that the kids had let him in, where was I while all this was happening? Huh? He told me how much time I had cost him on his route, and how I really needed to have a better handle on my family, or someone could get hurt… (I am not kidding! And he was still holding our pizza) My friend, her daughter, and all our kids are standing there looking at him with slack jaws, and I just stood there, eyes wide, like a deer in the headlights. For the first time ever, I was dumbstruck. I could not believe what I was hearing, and thus could not even fathom what to say to the guy. I never said a word. Just handed him his money, opened the door, and shut it on him.
As soon as I closed the door, my friend and her daughter exploded. I turned around, still kind of dumb, and asked if that just actually happened? We had a good laugh about it and imagined all of the things I could have said (and usually would have). I still don’t know where my tongue was that day… But it is probably a good thing that I went inexplicabley mute. My children can go all there lives without hearing what I wanted to say, and my friendship is probably better with this mom, too.
About ten minutes later, as the kids were chowing down on their cool pizza, the phone rings. Yes, it is him. Pizza-Guy is calling to say he is… Sorry. He says he realized he acted harshly, and that he had no right to speak to me that way. Ok, dude. I guess it’s good that his conscious got to him, but I wonder what really happened? I think he was afraid I might call Dominoe’s and cost him his job. Nah, not today. Its good enough that he figured out he was a tool on his own. I bet his mama would be proud!