When I was in elementary school, we had the nicest, kindest cafeteria lady. She loved her job, was full of smiles, and loved us kids. Why she loved us when we were brats, I have no idea. 😀
By sixth grade, it was a coveted privilege to be a “lunch helper.” We hated wearing the silly paper hats, flimsy plastic gloves, and the silly hair nets, but we got to stand in the assembly line and serve lunches just like real cafeteria workers! Best of all, we got extras of dessert. I was so proud when I got lunch free as “payment” for my work. (Work ethic started early…LOL!) I’ve always been a stickler for fair play (bet you’re shocked), so when the daily lunch helper assignments were made one morning, I was honest enough to admit someone else was higher on the list than I was. She got to be the lunch helper, while I had to stay in the classroom. To rub it in, she brought back a little foil-wrapped piece of chocolate (the day’s dessert) and ate it in front of us.
In sixth grade, that was a declaration of war. 🙂 I did get over it, but I nursed my resentment for the rest of the day. I should have gotten to be the lunch helper. I should have gotten to bring back the chocolate and flaunt it in front of everyone. I shouldn’t have offered to give up my spot.
When Amy March in Little Women whines with envy because the other girls in her class have limes, I could feel her pain.
What I’m trying to say is that our cafeteria lady was a beloved figure.
However, one day I be-bopped through the cafeteria line and held out my hand for the tray. I can’t remember what was on it, but the contents did not please me. To our cafeteria lady’s face, in front of all the lunch helpers and the kids in line behind me, guess what I did?
I made a face and said (loudly), “Oh, yuck!”
Not my best moment.
She had worked hard that day, as she did every day, to put together nutritious meals on a limited budget. She nurtured each of the lunch helpers. She knew all of our names.
She winced, but she said nothing. She probably even gave my ungrateful self a smile, because that’s the kind of person she was.
She died young, far too young after a long, difficult illness and early stay in a nursing home.
It’s funny. Of all my years at elementary school, my clearest memory of her is saying yuck to her face. It’s always stayed with me. I’ve thought about it often and used this example when talking to people about gracious behavior. I’ve brought it up when people call F/F squicky or feel comfortable telling me they think sex between women is icky.
But today, the story comes to mind as I remember how hard she worked for very little pay. At every special event, Love Spanks or Ana’s Advent Calendar or the like, there is always one ungrateful/ungracious participant. I won’t go into the behavior here because there’s no need to get negative, but it’s behavior inappropriate under any circumstance.
I am preaching to the choir here because everyone who visits the blog is lovely. 🙂 But as I am dealing with ungracious behavior (which happens at every event), I’m thinking of my bratty child self and how the cafeteria lady still loved me anyway.
As you wonderful supporters know, I’m not in a mood right now to be taken for granted. I’m not willing to have my efforts thrown back into my face and to then be told I didn’t get the joke.
Partly based on this incident (and all of the other incidents that occur every time I host an event), but mostly based on a cost-benefit analysis of time available versus time required to create these events, I will be reducing Seasonal Spankings events from three times per year to twice. Sci Spanks June 12-14 and Love Spanks. Spank or Treat will be cancelled for 2015 in favor of a special super-secret project in coordination with Ana’s Advent Calendar.
The response to Sci Spanks this summer will determine whether that event continues for another year. I earn zero dollars for putting on these events, and at some point I have to decide where to put my time and energy.
Hugs and a happy Sunday to you all. ❤