Monday, August 2, 2010

you know where you can put that salami?

alternate title:

OUR DAY AT THE FARMER'S MARKET, in which not a very big deal gets blown all out of proportion in my head because i'm a rookie mom who hates confrontation and tends to have a hard time letting things go.

alternate alternate title:

IF THESE ARE OUR PROBLEMS, WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING PRETTY DAMN GOOD. even if we never get to eat the mean lady's salami again.

so f and i like to go to the hillcrest farmer's market about once a month. i love it for all the fresh, regional-if-not-local organic produce, and she loves it for the kettle corn, peaches, and the 7th day buskers. and we have a little routine: once we find parking, we walk straight to the kettle corn guy, buy a $2 bag to share, then go park it in front of the band and enjoy the show. a few months ago, steve poltz showed up and sang with them - f LOVED him & i loved seeing him perform after not having seen him play in a long time. and this past sunday, while we were sitting there waiting for the buskers to start, f said to her new friend celina, "are you ready to rock out?"

celina just stared. she was only 2. she may not know what "rock out" means yet. she'll learn.

anyhow, this past sunday got off to a great start. we watched the band, ate some corn, danced around a little and soon enough f was ready to get our shop on. she was on a peach mission, but i had a few stops in mind first - we were having friends over for dinner that night, so i wanted to buy some good cheese and a good old fashioned nitrate-free salami to serve with it as an appetizer. we had great luck at the cheese tent and made our way over to the salami people. that's when it started sucking.

at first, it seemed fine enough. we walked up and i began telling the lady behind the table that i was hoping to find a salami that was not too spicy, something to serve tonight with the cheese blah blah blah. f was standing at my left, looking around. as the lady handed me a piece of one of the many salami samples she had on her table, f accidentally knocked a little (maybe a foot by a foot big?) white-erase board off the leg of the canopy - it had been precariously clipped to the canopy leg at, oh, about three-year-old kid eye level. f jumped when it fell off - she clearly didn't intend to knock off the little sign. and nothing broke - all one had to do was clip it back up. i started to apologize for f doing that when the woman glared at me and said "HONESTLY!" she was SHOCKED that a toddler could DO such a thing! i said, "excuse me? that was an accident!" and she yelled, "SHE JUST GRABBED OUR SIGN!" all mortified-like. and then i started to get even more worked up, but as i have an aversion to confrontation that causes me to start lamaze-ish breathing and almost break out into hives, all i got out was "SHE'S THREE YEARS OLD! IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, YOU AWFUL WOMAN!" ooooh, biting, i know. i hit her where it hurts. "awful woman!" was the best i could do. sheesh.

needless to say, we walked away, right over to the cookie tent. f was shaken up and had a million questions: "mama, why did that lady yell at me? mama, why was she mad? what happened?" over and over. i got down on my knees and just held her and talked to her about it, telling her mommmy knew f didn't mean to knock the sign down, that i knew it had been an accident, that f had not done anything wrong, and that the lady was mean because she doesn't have a happy heart and that's why mommy told her she shouldn't yell at f. GOD i was so pissed. and f couldn't let it go - she was by no means traumatized, but it stayed with her enough that she told everyone else we encountered, for the rest of the day, about "the mean sausage lady."

after we got cookies and my blood pressure started to go down, i walked back over and took a picture of her with my phone, so i can warn other parents about the mean overpriced salami lady and her evil ways (she's the lady in red):

looking back on it, i think had f knowingly torn the sign off the pole or something, my reaction would have been VERY different. but i saw it happen out of the corner of my eye, and i KNOW it was accidental. and, it was a stupid little plastic sign that did not break. and, she's three, and the sign was at her eye level. AND, HELLO MEAN OVERPRICED GARISHLY RED LIPSTICK FOR A SUNDAY MORNING SALAMI LADY WITH YOUR EVIL WAYS: KIDS COME TO THE FARMER'S MARKET! YOU PRECARIOUSLY HANG YOUR SIGN AT THEIR EYE LEVEL, CALL ME CRAZY, BUT THERE'S A SLIGHT CHANCE THAT SIGN MIGHT GET MANHANDLED BY A SHORT PERSON WHO DOESN'T POSSESS YOUR DEFT HAND-EYE COORDINATION! YET! because if she did - that sign might not have fallen on the ground. it may have been hurled RIGHT AT YOU.


  1. I get that kind of shit ALL the time. I have two very active boys one who has ADHD. It is pure wildness all the time and folks expect a normal looking kid to act normal. The anger and tears I have had on playgrounds is astonishing and usually it is over nothing.

  2. oh punkymama, you and any mama who deals with this on a regular basis - you guys are my superheroes. this one little incident stressed me out so much, i can only imagine what it's like to experience it on a regular basis. i feel a little silly for letting it get to me when i think about what you and other parents handle with grace and grit all the time. thanks for a dose of perspective.

    i'm a believer in what comes around goes around, so may every judging, rude, ruthless tsk-tsker have an equally humbling and challenging experience. also: sending love your way. your boys are lucky to have you!

  3. I have always thought the salami lady was a bitch (actually, I think both salami people are assholes). I see her at the Little Italy Mercato. As soon as I read "mean salami lady" I just KNEW it was her. I don't get selling your wares at a farmers market if you just hate people.

  4. I like the way you tell a story! I think it is funny when people overreact. "She just grabbed our sign!"-Classic. I wonder if she is aware of her obvious anger issues?

  5. christy - that's so funny that you knew who she was! she might need a new job. customer service is not her strong suit.

    kenny, thanks! and it doesn't seem like she is...