Saying “Yuck!” to the cafeteria lady

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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚ 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!”

Yep.

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. πŸ™‚ 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. ❀

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28 thoughts on “Saying “Yuck!” to the cafeteria lady

  1. mrenn2014 says:

    Ana,
    I appreciate everything you do! I know it takes up a lot of your time, because just being on Facebook, commenting, takes a lot of my time. I love to talk to you and all the others. I am sad to see Spank or Treat go, but I am still grateful for the other events. They are fun to participate in. I come just to have fun and, IT IS FUN! Prizes are great, but that’s not why I am there. I’m there for the conversation. I’m soooo sorry that you have to put up with ungrateful/ungracious people. I know that I was one of them, not that long ago. I know you have forgiven my comment, but *I* still am embarrassed about what I said. You have helped me grow and become even more accepting of different lifestyles and opinions. Thank you very much for that!
    Go have fun with the quilting grannies. They sound wonderful. BTW, there is a series of books that Jennifer Chiaverini writes. They are called The Elm Creek Quilts novels. They are not romances, they are a series about women who quilt and their friendships. Check out her website: http://www.elmcreek.net. I really enjoyed them.
    Marybeth

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Oh, how neat! I didn’t know there were books specifically about quilting, I mean fiction-wise.

      I am so pleased you stuck with me! I never judge people based on one interaction. In fact, when people make mistakes and have the character/maturity to come back and say…sorry, I was wrong, my respect goes up. It’s when people argue, complain, etc. that I am not okay with it. Everyone makes mistakes, including me. There’s an entitlement complex that a half-hearted apology should erase all bad behavior, no matter how inappropriate the behavior was previously.

      You stuck with me, you’ve still come back, and you’re willing to open your heart. That’s all it really takes, right? So little and so much at the same time. ❀ Bless you.

      Like

  2. Nancy Levine says:

    There’s always a party pooper at every event, Ana. Just kidding, I’m sorry you had to have this happen on top of all of the other issues. The events I’ve participated in have been a lot of fun and I like the camaraderie. I’m glad you mentioned Amy in Little Women–I understood how she felt about everyone else having limes, too. (one of my favorite books) And I work with a lady who used to work in the cafeteria. That lady can cook–her chili is “da bomb” (and so is her chocolate cherry cake–hmm, I think I need to bake one of those for President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday). MaryBeth, I am going to check out those books–they sound good.

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Ha, yes there is! Yum for good cooks. Amy was my least favorite character as she was spoiled and bratty (big surprise), but I did feel for her about the limes. Not so much about taking her family’s money, though! I never could forgive her for burning Jo’s manuscript.

      The reason our crowd is so wonderful is that the people who stay are generous, loving, and kind to others. The other types don’t stick around too long. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Nancy Levine says:

        Yeah, I never forgave Amy for burning Jo’s manuscript either. Although I liked the actress who played young Amy in the Wynona Ryder version–she made her not so bratty. There was a book I remember reading as a kid about a character who loved Jo from “Little Women” and couldn’t accept it when she didn’t marry Laurie. Can’t remember the name of it, though.

        Like

  3. mrenn2014 says:

    They are really good and they should be in your local library. The last book was published in 2012. I how she continues this series. But, she has started a new one. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. I’ll have to check it out.
    Thanks Ana, for the lovely response!

    Like

  4. awesomesub says:

    Hi Ana, I am sorry that there was this Yuck-moment then, but actually I think it added to make you who you are now, because you know that the Cafeteria Lady might have been hurt and you learned from it.

    That there is someone ungrateful participating in your special events sucks and it is so not fair. Being taken for granted while making an effort and spending time and energy is mean. Doing that shows the ugly side of someone. I don’t think that people ever deserve being treated that way, but since this is about Love Spanks, I can only say that I don’t understand why or how anybody would act this way. I am sad because this happened to you during such a wonderful event. Love Spanks was meant to be fun and it was great fun!
    I only hope something like this never happens from my side, because for me, making others feel bad is plain mean and awful. It is not how we are meant to be. …Maybe claiming insanity is a valid excuse, though. πŸ™‚

    Since this year’s Love Spanks was the first event I participated in (registered), I don’t really know what the others are like, but probably just as much fun! Darn, so I missed a wonderful chance in 2014, but I can understand you perfectly well on reducing such time-consuming extras.

    So, since there will be Sci-Spanks this year, does that maybe mean that there will be something new about the sequel to Becoming Clissine? Just asking, because it is among the most heartbreaking stories that I know and I’d love to read more. Hmm, wait, that applies to all titles you have written so far. πŸ™‚ But the Clissine book is special for me, maybe because I can’t leave my fingers from stories where the heroine is fighting against all odds, but definitely because she learns so much about love. Sorry, I am rambling now. But I want to thank you for hosting Love Spanks 2015, it was marvelous, I loved every minute of it and without you it would not have happened. Thank you! ❀

    hugs

    Nina

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I wish I could have a sequel, but sadly there are a lot of complications around that. Perhaps in five years? 😦

      LOL about insanity. Yes, that would be an acceptable excuse.

      The good news is that Spank or Treat 2014 and Sci Spanks 2014 are both available as anthologies, and they’re both only 99 cents. πŸ˜€ You’ll recognize the first chapter of Taliasman for Sci Spanks.

      I hope (crossing fingers) to have the sequel to Taliasman ready for Sci Spanks. Hope. I have to get writing really fast for that to happen, though.

      So glad you joined us this time! πŸ˜€

      Like

  5. SH says:

    Wow, I am surprised that someone who participates in a ‘free’ event would have the nerve to complain! I mean, really?! How selfish and immature would a person need to be to think that would be appropriate behavior?! And, this is me being PG because these are NOT the words that are really running through my head πŸ™‚

    Ana, you amaze me every time with your dedication and devotion to something that is for all of us to enjoy and a ton of work for you! I love these events for the safe community and friendships, new and old, that we get to enjoy. Prizes are nice but they are not what matters to me, I would still participate without them πŸ™‚ I’m sorry someone made you angry or hurt your feelings when you are nothing but sweet, even though we all know you wield a wicked wooden spoon πŸ˜‰

    Hugs my friend!

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      There’s a culture of entitlement, that if someone says “sorry,” no matter what precedes it and no matter how half-heartedly, that the person is entitled to automatic forgiveness without any amends or restitution. It’s perhaps a change in culture, or perhaps it’s just the way some people think. I’ve just decided to focus on things for me for a while, like writing and producing books that you wonderful readers can enjoy. ❀

      I am looking forward to wielding that wooden spoon again! As much as I have enjoyed playing bad girl in preparations for the birthday party, I will enjoy re-asserting my authority. Hehe.

      Hugs and much love.

      Like

  6. JoanneBest says:

    Thank you Ana, for everything you do ,it’s obvious you do what you do out of love and in the end , love is all that matters.
    I’m so sorry to hear there was a kerfuffle (sorry, been aching to use that word :D) but unfortunately, life has a way of throwing uh, kerfufflers in our paths. It stinks that there will be no Spank or Treat since it would’ve been my first but you have to do what’s best for you , added stress is never a good. (Lucky for me I purchased the book and loved it!)
    Your story about the lunch lady reminded me of one day in 8th grade the wonderful lunch ladies gave me and a group of girls an extra slice of pizza on pizza day, after lunch Sister Lee called us out of class and read the riot act to us saying we were selfish brats for accepting an extra slice then slapped the mouthiest girl across the face, she then slapped Sister Lee right back! We were shaking in our Catholic School uniforms at the audacity of hitting a nun! Luckily we only got detention but I never forgot and never took anything I didn’t earn myself again πŸ˜€
    I remember praying the lunch ladies didn’t get in trouble.
    Now that I lost my train of thought , lol, I’ll just say how much I love your events and everything you do. I can honestly say that you, and everyone involved in Ana’s World have impacted my life in the very best of ways and I thank you from the bottom of my heart ❀
    Here's hoping the internet will allow this comment to post πŸ˜€
    Love and hugs! xox

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Oh, my goodness! That seems unfair to punish you kids for what the lunch ladies did, unless it meant others went without. And wow, slapping across the face…no one would dare do that now.

      And the events are only as fun as the people involved. We’ve got a wonderful little group with wonderful new additions each time. ❀

      Like

      • JoanneBest says:

        Nobody went without, we were working on a school project during lunch and the cafeteria was empty but for us. They gave it to us because we were working hard and good kids. Rumor was the nuns wanted extra pizza :O None of us were troublemakers. Sister Lee never smiled and didn’t seem to be a big fan of children. Most of the nuns were sweethearts. I got punished once, in 1st grade we moved midterm and on the drive to the new house I kept busy by completing my entire grammar workbook, when Miss Frances found out she yelled at me and made me stand in the garage can- say it with me- in the corner lol πŸ˜€
        And yes now there would be lawyers etc….i miss the old days lol

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  7. robskatie says:

    I am sorry that something happened that was upsetting to you during your Love Spanks, Ana! It seems that life always has a way of throwing something our way, and testing our resolve. Sounds like you have figured out how best to move forward, deal and take care of you. All good!

    Gosh- your lunchroom lady story reminds me of a cd that had stories on it, that I got from a toy store one year when my kids were mostly in early grade school. There was a wonderful, wonderful story on there about a lunch room lady. My kids used to listen to it in the car as we drove places for longer journeys. I tried to find it by doing a search, briefly, but no luck. I will see what I can do. I remember that Rob and I loved it, as much as the kids did. I think that you would like it too.

    Chin up and I hope that you find a peaceful resolution with your friend tomorrow. I just caught up reading back there. Remember that you were here friend first, and that they are all going through something pretty devastating. Never an excuse to treat anyone poorly, but perhaps an opportunity to bring love back to your friend, and a relationship that was special to you, and forget about all the rest. IDK. You take care. Many hugs and love,

    ❀ Katie

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Aw, thank you Katie! I do think that when people are in devastating situations, they are not always appropriate with the people around them. It’s not my life, my family, or my problem. I’ve had friends counsel me on this, and it is sound advice.

      A long time ago, I bought a Cafeteria Lady action figure for a friend. πŸ™‚ It made us both laugh.

      Like

  8. Lisa Z says:

    Ana I am so sorry that someone has to have such mean behaviour when you are doing something nice for others. Just because they don’t like it then keep the rude comments to yourselves.. If I don’t know about something or don’t like it I will either keep quiet or ask questions..and I am at a point in my life that it is far more entertaining to ask questions than be negative.. Love you Ana and your events.. πŸ™‚ at least I will be able to attend 2 of them, was hoping for spank or treat this year.. πŸ™‚

    Like

  9. Laura says:

    I’m so sorry that you had to deal with some grateful chits. I wanted to take a minute and thank you for all you do and have done in the past to make each and every event fun and a laugh a minute. Each one has been a blast and something that I’ve put on my calendar so that I don’t miss it. I was gutted this year that I had to drop out because I ended up needing surgery and missed the Love Spanks Event.
    I’m probably going to be sent to the corner for this next bit but… this is for the person(s) who felt slighted or upset over some preceived insult or injury that you felt was done to your delicate psyche while participating in Love Spanks – Get Over Yourself. These are FREE events that Ana works tirelessly to produce; she does a magnificent job each and every time, while still keeping up with her writing and everything else she does on a daily basis and seeing to the comfort and care of those close to her. Instead of always looking for a problem be part of the solution instead. I love you Ana. You are a phenomenal woman!

    Love,

    Laura

    P.S. I’ll go wait for you in the corner. 😘

    Like

    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Now now, Laura, let’s all play nicely. You won’t like the corner as much as you think you will. πŸ™‚ Besides, people who need to read it won’t be reading, anyway. There are no prizes for reading today. Hehe.

      But you are right to be the solution and not the problem. We need to look beyond ourselves, our own perspectives, and our own needs. We also need to know when it’s our turn to be the center of attention and when it’s not. πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. rozharrison says:

    Hi Ana, I am sorry that you had to deal with ungrateful participants. You do so much and give so much of your time to this community and not only in organising and hosting these events. I truly value and appreciate the hard work you put in.

    It will be sad to see Spank or Treat go, but I fully understand you reducing the number of events.

    Hugs
    Roz

    Like

  11. catrouble says:

    Hey Ana…
    So sorry you’ve had to deal with ungrateful idiots that don’t recognize the blessing that you are to all of us. You give so much of yourself…sometimes too much. I have no problem if you feel you need to back off of some of the blog hops…they are all lot of work! I love your blog hops but they are not why I come to visit.

    BTW…anyone who is ungrateful or upset about less blog hops can just “kiss my grits!” πŸ˜€

    Hugs and Blessings…
    Cat

    Like

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