I'm such a clutz that I recently fell off a piece of exercise equipment. I think I was so proud of myself for actually making it to the gym that I got too big for my britches (if that isn't a play on words...), forgot what I was doing, and fell. The result, much to my dismay, was that I had to get some physical therapy on my ankle. Well, the last time I needed any of that was over 15 years ago after a car wreck. Man, those places have changed. They're kind of glitzy! So, it's my first visit, I'm standing at the counter, waiting to be acknowledged after having signed the obligatory sheet of paper. And in walk a mother / daughter combo, the likes of which I haven't seen since the 1970's. I kid you not. It was like something out of a time capsule. (Can you say Dallas? Dynasty? Knots Landing?) Mom's makeup is so thick that it makes my face hurt just looking at it. And I swear that 9-year-old had on blush, mascara and lip gloss. EE-oooh. She had obviously come straight from school, as she had her backpack, it was the middle of a weekday afternoon, and she was talking about what happened at school that day. What transpired next made my toes curl. The mom, let's just call her Mary Kayte... She brushes right past me - all five foot two of her. I swear, I thought she was going to step right on my bare, flip-flopped toes with those spike heels. Then, I really would have needed therapy...So, she brushes past me and proceeds to start in on the receptionist, for whom I have been patiently waiting. "Excuuuuuse may." (thick Southern drawl) "Ashley Carter is here for her appointment with Gary." (flashes me a perfect-toothed bleached til-they’re-painful white smile) "Hah...how're yeeou?" "I'll be right with you in a moment, Mrs. Carter..." (Mary Kayte purses her lips at the mere thought of waiting even a moment...) Feeling invisible, I continue to stand there, patiently awaiting some sort of direction. My appointment was to have begun 8 minutes ago, but I figure it looks like a busy place, the phone has been ringing incessantly, so it may be a little while longer. "Excuuuuuse may...Aysh-ley's appoh-eent-munt with Mr. Gay-ree was s'post-to start three minutes ago. Ahh don't hay-uv all day, yeuuw knoooow." "Mrs. Carter, we'll be with you just as soon as we can, ma'am."(Mary Kayte looks down at her insanely long - not to mention thick - nails and clucks her tongue.) Turning to me...and this was classic..."Way-ull would you look at thay-ut? Ahh just got these duhn today, and ahhl-ready thay-ur gittin' all scuffed up! Ask me, that's the sahn of a bay-ud manny." Affecting mock horror, I smile sympathetically. (Come on, what else can you do?)"What's a girl to do?!" "Ahh know!" Then, she turns back to the receptionist, who has, by then, fielded about 20 phone calls. "May-uhm. Is it almost Aysh-ley's turn? She's got cheer in anoth-uh ow-uh and a hay-uff." (Receptionist turns to me and gives a most apologetic look...then back to Mary Kayte) "Yes, Mrs. Carter, Lee is ready for Ashley now." Mary Kayte's head snaps up, her nails grow about another half an inch, and sparks fly out of her eyes. After the head-spinning ceases... "Ex-cuuuuse me. Did you say Lee? Ahh specifically asked for Mr. Gay-ree. Aysh-ley hay-uhs to hay-uhv Gay-ree." (crosses her arms, rests them on her bejeweled chest and proceeds to stare the receptionist down) At this point, Ashley hops up from her seat where she's been playing with her Gameboy and does a backbend, thus providing comic relief for me - but not her mama. Then, she does a Russian (think leaping with legs spread eagle in the air). I am almost beside myself. I can hardly suppress the urge to laugh. It's like she's trying to provide a distraction from the scene that she KNOWS her mama is about to create. "Well, Mrs. Carter, we'll have her back on with Gary for next time, but for today, she'll need to see Lee." Mrs. Carter proceeds to throw one – helluva – hissy-fit. I'll dispense with the Southern vernacular to avoid this taking too long to read... "Do you realize that Regionals are in November? " pause "And right after that comes Nationals. And mark my words, she's GOING to be ready." (Pan to Ashley: Back flip. Splits. Winning smile...) "Ashley, settle down...And she can't recover with just anyone. She knows Gary, is comfortable with Gary. Give Lee to someone else, and give Gary to Ashley. Ashley has only a few weeks left to kick this injury's butt, and she gonna do it, too, mark my words, as God is my witness." Receptionist starts to speak, but Mary Kayte has not quite stepped down from the soapbox... "Do you realize that Ashley gets up every morning at 5 am to go practice with her coach for two hours before school? And she's got 4 dance classes per week - not to mention tumbling." Cartwheel...Roundoff. "Ashley, so help me, you are gittin' on my last nerve. I said settle...Period...Now, I'm not going to let some nitwit's scheduling error mess up my little star's shot at Nationals, so just get Gary out here, and let's get on with it!" Splits, arms in the air, wild grin upon her young face. Receptionist, with eyes bugging right out of their sockets, replies with measured words: "Mrs. Carter, Gary called in sick today, so Lee will have to take Ashley this one time, and then we'll be back to normal next week. OK?" "Honestly, you'd think you people could take your jobs more seriously. You're messing with people's lives here...Ashley, come on, Peanut. It's time for your therapy. Go on in. Thank yeeeouu." Flashes those pearly whites, fluffs her sprayed-into-submission bob and marches into the workout area. "Tacky Princess, thank you for your patience, we're ready for you now." OMG.
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