Friday, 26 November 2010

Cold turkey with the mommies

It's cold turkey day - or Black Friday, as it's known here. Everyone is stuffed to the gills with Thanksgiving Dinner and the airwaves are filled with ads informing us that various stores are opening at midnight for 'doorbuster' deals. Last night we watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on TV with the boys; the second half, in which Charlie Brown and Snoopy join the pilgrims on the voyage of the Mayflower and at the first Thanksgiving feast, was incongruously interspersed with ads for half-price 32 inch plasma TV screens that would surely have made the pilgrim fathers blush.

Instead of going hunting for doorbuster deals, the boys and I hotfooted it down to the town library for the 'holiday show' - a concert by a country and western style kids' band. I knew from experience to get there a little early in order to secure a decent seat, so we managed to get in and sit down at the front of the little auditorium.

And then the altercations started. My God. You can see why people get trampled to death at Wal-Mart in the sales on Black Friday. (That tragically really did happen, here on Long Island, a couple of years ago). Behind us, a couple of women who must have been mother and daughter, judging by their identical brassy hairdos and penchant for gold-flecked black sweaters, had pitched up, without any children, to reserve some seats. But the pair (let's call them Mommy and Granny A) had arrived at the second row at exactly the same time as another woman (let's call her Mommy B) who had a voice as sweet as apple pie but the steely determination of Bree from Desperate Housewives.

"Sorry, but we're going to need these two whole rows for our family," says Granny A.

"But I just got here too," replies Mommy B sweetly.

"Well, we are here, and we need the two rows. You'll have to go somewhere else," says Mommy A.

Mommy B was having none of it. "Well, I got here at the same time as you, and I am sitting here. C'mon, kids," she says, plonking herself down with her three kids. Cue much muttering from Mommy and Granny A. "Can you believe her ATTITUDE?" was one of the whisperings I heard.

A few minutes later, the auditorium was filling up. Mommy A's family still hadn't pitched up. They had saved a lot of seats. Then Mommy C arrives. There is another altercation - this time I don't hear the whole thing but it ends up with Mommy C saying loudly, "well, I took the trouble and got here early, so I am going to sit here!"

Mommy and Granny A are outraged. Then finally their brood does show up...and one of the kids immediately starts screeching, causing everyone else to turn around and stare balefully. They do, however, seem to enjoy the show, forgetting their feuds in order to take hundreds of photos of their kids on their iPhones. I kind of admire their chutzpah- they don't care what anyone thinks of them, as long as the kids look cute in the photos.

I guess tensions could well be running high on the day after Thanksgiving (after all, if this article is anything to be believed, one in 10 women actually dread the Thanksgiving dinner because of all the family rows that ensue). Everyone's probably feeling knackered and over-fed. Cold turkey. (I wonder if that's where the expression came from?).

Whatever, if this is what happens at a children's concert, all I can say is I wouldn't want to cross any of these women in a stand-off over the last discount plasma TV....

11 comments:

Expat mum said...

I admire anyone who stands up to those bloody families who "book" whole rows and then no one else bothers to turn up till 2 minutes before. If at all.
I was once at a kids' thing where a woman put coats on about 10 seats. Her family still hadn't shown up half way thru the performance but she wouldn't give up the seats. I'm not sure how I would have dealt with her had I needed the seats, but it's just not on.... (Shoves crossed arms under boobs, Les Dawson style.)

Francesca said...

I am so happy Ive found your blog.. Im a british mummy whos going to new york in june for my honeymoon! :)

geekymummy said...

Wow, sounds like quite a show! Lovely visual on the brassy haired broads in their gold flecked sweaters!

nappy valley girl said...

ExpatMum - no, it wasn't really on at all. They, though, thought it was fine - it was everyone else who had the attitude problem.

Francesca - thanks for visiting and congratulations on the honeymoon! (You should check out Liberty London Girl for all the trendy new New York places to visit.)

Geekymummy - the show itself was great. The boys were slow to join in (they are these quiet, reserved English types, obviously) but by the end, LB1 enjoyed it so much we had to buy the CD.....

angelsandurchinsblog said...

I can feel my blood pressure rising! Our nativity is next week, and we're always late and always end up standing at the back. One year I was heavily pregnant and carrying a toddler and I still wasn't given a seat!

Home Office Mum said...

Ok, you are putting me right off the US now....(probably reference to the matching sweaters that did it)

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Whoa, scary women! And I expect they cary guns too! Sorry couldn't resist a bit of shameless stereotyping there;o)
Must have been quite amusing to watch though, in that 'slightly appalled' way when watching a toe curling comedy...

nappy valley girl said...

Angels and Urchins - No room for a pregnant woman at the nativity? That is very ironic....

Home Office Mum - Oh, I'm sure you find these types in England too. They just probably wouldn't be so open about it!

Paradise Lost - see above. But there are no gun-toting types around here! More likely to be toting a Gucci bag....

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Perhaps seat numbering might be in order for next year!! I wouldn't dare confront someone over a seat, I'm too chicken!

CJ xx

Metropolitan Mum said...

Trampled to death???!!!

nappy valley girl said...

Crystal Jigsaw - it's a free show, and I suspect there are a lot of no-shows on the day, but yes, seat numbering would definitely help...

Met Mum - yes, here is the story
:
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/11/28/2008-11-28_worker_dies_at_long_island_walmart_after.html