Friday, August 06, 2010

In Which I FAIL to Administer a Smackdown

I am so freaking clever in my head, all the live-long day. But when faced with a real-life opportunity to offer a well-timed, much-needed comeback, well . . . much of the time words fail me. See here for another example of my failings in this arena.

So, this morning, because it is summer, and because I am a nice mommy, and because we paid our HOA fee on time, and because we homeschool so the kids aren't off at a school, we went to the neighborhood pool for a little while.

A woman with a little yappy dog opened the door to the pool area to let us in and promptly exclaimed:

"What a surprise! I thought all of the kids would be in school!"

Okay, fair enough, I suppose.

Ryan replied:

"Oh, we homeschool."

To which this woman--who isn't even supposed to have a dog in the pool area, yappy or no, might I point out because I'm in a snit and this is my blog and I can snit if I want to (snit if I want to, snit if I want to....)--this woman actually replied back with a glance at me:

"Oh, too good for private school, huh?"

And walked out of the pool.

What. The. EFFFFF????

To which I ought to have responded: "HELL yes."

GAH. Thankfully none of the kids seemed to notice her snippiness (and she was definitely trying to send me a rude message).

What would you have said? Let's think of some fun snarkity comebacks, so I can be ready to deliver should this topic of discussion come up again the next time we're at the pool during Official School Hours.


Kelly Elmore said...

How about, "No, we just don't want our kids to become stuck up private school brats, perhaps like you, or rowdy, illiterate public school morons, also perhaps you." Too long I know, but it's all I got, other than, "Shut up, you nosy, rude bitch."

(I do not think all public school kids are rowdy and illiterate morons, nor do I think all private school kids are stuck up and bratty, nor does this comment in any way imply a negative criticism of illiterate, rowdy morons or of stuck up brats.)

D. Jason Fleming said...

"Ma'am, your snide is showing."

mtnrunner2 said...

Wow, that's obnoxious. No, wait, I mean hateful. WT...?

Well, it stinks to be her.

I always think of comebacks too late. Like in Zoolander: "Nice comeback, amigo!"

Marnee said...

An angry look like you could slap her into next week, but you're too good for it.

Jenn Casey said...

Thanks everyone!

Honestly, the more I think about it, her comment doesn't even make any kind of sense! Should have been "too good for PUBLIC school" I think.

Though I AM a product of both public and private schools--so I know from experience that yes, my kids are so amazingly awesome that no school is good enough for them! :P

SO. STRANGE. Maybe she thought that *I* thought I was better than private school teachers? Oh well. The mind boggles. And when my mind boggles, I can't ever think of anything to say.

We did meet another homeschooling family at the pool later in the morning, so the day wasn't a total social loss!

Doug Reich said...

Kate Yoak said...


My strategy to dealing with this kind of a thing is to respond with effervescent naïveté. "oh, yeah, our school is totally amazing! You should see the thing-a-magic we built yesterday! Did you know that such and such?". People stand there and wonder what they are supposed to say and often become politely interested!

It's so much fun! And it's my strategy of survival since my mil has moved in with us!

HaynesBE said...

So who are you responding for?
If you are trying to put her in her place, no equally-snide comeback will work.
Sometimes you just need to defend yourself, but you may want to think about the fact that your kids are watching. What kind of response do you want to model.
I'd like to think I would have the presence of mind to shake my head sadly and say to my kids, "What a shame. That poor lady has no idea about how great homeschooling or how important it is for each family to choose what is best for them."---but more realistically I'd be shocked silent because such rudeness always catches me by surprise.

Jennifer Snow said...

Use the John Galt response: "Sure." Then turn your back on her as though she doesn't exist. Or, just do the latter if you're tongue-tied.

Stella Zawistowski said...

My favorite response to rude comments (of just about any sort): "Did you just say that out loud? You must be so embarrassed!"

Lynne said...

Stella, that's funny! I don't think I would have enough nerve to pull that off. I'll work on it, though.

Jenn, snide, while momentarily soothing, will only get you so far. Not even perfect 20/20 snide helps for long (but practice is always good/fun).

"Oh, our reasons are really none of your concern, but since you seem to know how I should best raise my children, I'm wondering: why is Fifi here? Is she too good for doggie daycare? How about the kennel? Or maybe she's a pound dog." Some people don't think twice about telling others how they should live until they begin to see themselves as the "others."

Trey Givens said...

Sweetly and with a smile, "No, just you."