Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I wish I was the girl with the snappy comeback. The one who can fire off snark at the speed of light. But alas, I think of really GREAT things to say a few hours (or days) too late.
Case in point: Most of you know I used to coach high school volleyball. Well for anyone out there who's never coached, I can tell you, I'd rather muck out porta-potties than deal with angry parents. Don't get me wrong, most of the parents are great. But there's always one or two who make it their life's ambition to make your life a living hell. Last fall, I had a monster team. Almost six players too many. You see, our school district's policy is NOT to cut athletes. If a student wants to play, they get to join the team. But it's not so easy. I had 16 players last year. That's almost 3 full teams. There's no way I could play all the girls all the time. And it was strongly suggested to me by my superiors that I focus on playing the girls who were capable of winning games. I mean, it is a Varsity sport after all, we're not out there for any other reason than to win.
Anyway, one parent was particularly miffed that I didn't play his daughter. It wasn't like she didn't get to play at all. I made sure she was on the court at least once. But that wasn't good enough for this particular dad. I happened to make eye contact with him at one point in the match and he stood up in the bleachers and proceeded to make some very inappropriate gestures at me. I hate confrontation. Like, HATE it, hate it. And my stomach instantly rebelled, threatening to send my lunch back the way it came. Dear old dad waited until the gym was almost completely cleared at the end of the night, made a B-line for me and proceeded to rip me up one side and down the other. Lovely.
I stood there and took it. I tried to be understanding, accommodating. I tried to explain my position. But all in all, I didn't stand up for myself. I didn't tell him that HIS behavior had been inappropriate and that HE (not me) was being a poor role model for his child. Eventually, my Athletic Director took over, and we dealt with him more than once over the course of the season and I let it slide.
But yesterday, I saw him in town and started thinking about our first encounter. And wouldn't you know it, every single snarky, awesome comeback in the world snapped into my brain. All of the uber cool "take that, asshole" things I would have liked to say waited at the tip of my tongue. And damn it, I'll never get the opportunity to put that jack-ass in his place.
Luckily, I get to use those snappy come-backs and snark in my writing. They might not pop into my head at the moment I need them, but it doesn't matter. I put them to good use, eventually.