I know my mother is the topic of many of my blog posts, and if you’ve met her, you understand why. She’s not only a major force in my life, she’s just major, in every way.
She also holds a mean grudge. Especially if it involves her children, but even if it doesn’t. My brother and I inherited this gene from her. Him more than me for sure. I don’t believe in holding grudges at all actually, but let’s be honest sometimes, people are just assholes and it’s hard not to. I save the real grudges for really extreme circumstances, otherwise, I Let it Go…like Elsa from Frozen when she skips town and whores up her wardrobe in her ice castle.
For example, the recent departure of Lebron James from the Miami Heat created a Facebook frenzy rifled with grudges! People were commenting, slamming, bashing, applauding, supporting. Everyone had an opinion. My brother immediately removed all evidence of Lebron from his room – like when you box everything after a bad break up (or set it aflame) and that person ceases to exist.
My mom took to Facebook.
In case you’re thinking, “Rachel, this is mild and not the hallmark of a master grudge holder, I think you are exaggerating,” here’s a little gem that will make it click.
When I was 8 I went to day camp at a local North Miami Beach haunt. And I cried everyday. Not because I didn’t like camp, or didn’t have friends, or missed my mommy. I cried because this little bitch of a counselor was such a mean girl and bullied me. She was awful. I begged not to go to camp. It was not a good summer. Obviously, once summer was over, I was over it. Everyone moved on. Except my mother. Cut to about 15 years later, we were at a bar mitzvah, and out of the corner of my eye….I see her. The former CIT who made my summer hell. She was a server at the country club where the event was being held, and no sooner than I said, “Mom, holy shit…that’s her,” did my mother beckon her over with her long acrylic, manicured nails and her Jerseyfied attitude. I was nervous. You just never know what is going to come out of her mouth. It went down like this.
Mom and her acrylics: “I just want you to know that when my daughter was 8, you completely destroyed her summer.” (again, just so there’s no confusion, let the record show that this was 15 years after said summer of tears).
Bitch CIT: “OMG, I did? How?”
Mom and her acrylics: “You were so mean. You made her cry everyday and even rallied some of the campers to be mean like you. You were horrible and she was just a little girl.”
Bitch CIT, holding a tray of drinks as she’s embarrassed and wanting to crawl under a table: “OMG, I am so sorry. I had no idea and to be honest I was pretty much stoned everyday at camp.”
With that, my mom had nothing more to say and just gave her a “I’m still gonna hold a grudge but I’ll smile and let you go now” smile.
This is one of so many examples because my mother is the true mama bear protecting her cubs. This is not to say she always thinks we are right, but she will have our backs 100% and then if she disagrees tell us behind closed doors.
My little brother is a master grudge holder too. While I’m 5 years his senior, he is as protective as if he was 20 yrs my senior.
When I was maybe 21/22, we were working out at our local gym. I ran into a guy I briefly dated for like 5 mins in high school and we played catch up – probably longer than we actually dated. My brother came up to me immediately when he left and said “Why are you talking to that asshole, he talks shit about you!” After I assured him there was no shit to be talked because we dated for literally 5 mins, I assumed it was a nonissue.
About 20 minutes later, my 5-minute high school boyfriend walked back in and straight to my treadmill and said, “Rach, I love you to death but if your brother ever follows me home again and throws pennies at my car while his stares me down, we’re gonna have an issue.”
So, while I do have a little bit of the grudge gene. Mine are more like fleeting, in-the-moment grudges. Not full-fledged grudges that my kin like to harbor.
Like the time we were at a park with a water play area. And this little 10 yr old shit pointed the high-powered giant water sprayer gun directly at the face of my then 3-yr old…and laughed. I waited to see if his mother was going to reprimand him. But she didn’t because she was on the phone and keeping safe distance from the water since she wore her Jimmy Choos to the park, because we live in Boca and that’s what goes on. If she would have handled it, I wouldn’t have said a word. I have respect and let parents discipline their own kids. However, if you’re too busy to explain why your asshole kid shouldn’t be spraying a 3 YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL WITH A HIGH PRESSURE WATER GUN, Imma help you out.
So as my little girl was in tears, I walked over to the accompanying, and just as high-pressure, water gun directly facing it (because it’s meant to be a consensual spray-down between two willing parties), pointed it directly at the face of the little jerk, and sprayed him, without budging.
We had a similar instance at a park when we lived in Manhattan where another little boy much bigger than my then 2-yr old daughter, was throwing sand in her face…purposely…as I was sitting right next to her. I picked up a handful, spotted the mother who couldn’t be bothered, and said, “Excuse me, if you don’t come and explain to your son why it’s not okay to purposely throw sand in my daughter’s face, he’s gonna get a faceful of it courtesy of me.” Embarrassed (and a little shocked), she scooped him up, yelled at him and handed him to the nanny.
Also while living in NYC, I was walking down 59th and Lex, with my daughter in her stroller and she started to have a melt down. It was bad. She was inconsolable for no other reason than she was exhausted. So, I’m just trying to get her home, when a woman who was probably 70, but had her plastic surgeon make her look 55ish (you can always tell by the neck, dead giveaway), stood in front of my stroller with her mink hat, full length mink coat and 15 shopping bags. She looked like Cruella Deville.
So Cruella says, “Your child is crying you know!”
Me: “What?!?!?, I had no idea!”
Cruella: “You really should do something about it..she’s very upset!”
Me: “Yup, the thing is you are kind of ruining my plan, which is to get her home, because I’m not sure you’re aware but you’re blocking my stroller.”
Cruella: “You are a horrible mother, just like so many other women.”
I. Saw. Red. I literally couldn’t hear. I wanted to rip off her coat (probably made from innocent puppies) and shove it down her throat. I made sure my child couldn’t hear and said something completely nasty and unladylike. I called her the worst, insulting name (and coincidentally one of my favorite descriptors because as disgusting as it is, it’s also perfect sometimes), rolled over her foot with my giant Bugaboo wheel and got my kid home.
You mess with my kid, or insult my parenting and that’s my Achilles heel.
I’ll admit, I felt horrible for saying what I said. For five minutes. Then I was over it because that Tuesday deserved it.
These are the grudges I hold, mini ones. Grudgelets. It’s healthier I think. Get mad then get over it. Life is too short. Except for my mom and brother. So don’t cross them or you’ll get beckoned over with the acrylics, or have spare change chucked at your car.