Sunday, December 15, 2013

Things Your Mother Should Have Taught You: Don't Pie a Grown Woman in the Face

Friday the 13th was a big night for me this year. I have a "decades" birthday on Dec. 19th and wanted to celebrate with some old friends.

I have been dealing with a toothache following a crown put on several months ago and have been to the Bellevue Dental every week since then complaining of the pain. Turns out the tooth was abscessing under the crown and they lanced it on Monday (oh so very painful!) and put me on mega doses of antibiotics that have had me going to bed as soon as I got home from work every night this week. I almost called off the party, but I had been looking forward to it so much that I just couldn't bring myself to cancel.

After work I hurried home to get ready. I spent time styling my hair. Since I struggle with rosacea, I carefully applied my Soothe treatment followed by my hypoallergenic makeup. I wore my best Nine West pants and a beautiful and expensive Christmas sweater that was a treasured gift. I even wore cute little fringed boots with spike heels. I wanted to look good after such a bad week and also because I am looking forward to a new decade. Yay. A girl likes to look her best under such circumstances.

I had made some goodie bags to hand out, and I wanted to bring a little light to the somewhat gloomy back room at Cancuns, so I brought a small Christmas tree. I had planned to do more to make my guests feel special, but I just didn't have the energy. Soon they started showing up: Glen, then Nelda, Darryl and Gay, Lisa, Greg, David and Pam, Vicki and her boys, my brother Mike, Sharon and her wonderful birthday cupcakes, Beth and finally Cindy.

Some friends like Nelda went as far back as 7th grade, and some like Lisa were newer hiking buddies, but most of the friends who came were from the old Belmont singles group I belonged to in the 1980s. We laughed and prayed, ate and took pictures and caught up with each other. I wanted to get a real good photo to post on Facebook for my upcoming birthday so I was waiting until things wound down to ask someone to take one for me.

Suddenly the waiters came in with the birthday sombrero. I hadn't told them it was my birthday, but I figured one of my friends had. I smiled sheepishly as they put the hat on but then something happened that almost ruined my special night. One of the waiters took a plate loaded with whipped cream and slapped it in my face from the left side (where the abscessed tooth is), rubbing it up and down. There I sat in my nicest clothes, surrounded by old friends, while whipped cream fell into my lap. They grabbed my camera and tried unsuccessfully to take photos as I tried to get whipped cream out of my eyelashes and off my cheeks and chin--really my whole face was covered, as I also tried not to get it on my nicest sweater while I cleaned it off my face and hands.

I have seen Mexican restaurants put a dollop of whipped cream on someone's nose before, but I had never seen anyone have a plate of whipped cream aggressively rubbed in their face like this before. I didn't think the waiters did it on their own. I think the ringleader who asked the waiters to pie me thoroughly might have been the manchild I had just offered to write an article for about a gym he promotes on my #1 ranked skin care and fitness column for Examiner. No good deed goes unpunished.

Using a course brown napkin from the table to try to scrub off the whipped cream plus the stress of the incident caused my rosacea to flare up. My makeup was smeared and wiped off. My lashes clumped together with whipped cream. My nicest black pants now had gooey white spots on them.

I told the group it was not what I had hoped for when I set out to plan the event and try to look my best for it. However, I didn't mention it hurt to be hit in my tender face due to the abscess or that I was worried I would loose a contact while trying to clean whipped cream out of my lashes, or that whipped cream would get on my sweater, or that they had ruined my hopes of getting a special photo of me entering my 60th decade with a pretty, rosacea-free face.


If any of my readers were not brought up by parents who taught manners, respect and good sense, allow me to educate you. It is NEVER appropriate to hit a grown woman in the face with a pie. A gesture like that is not only rude and thoughtless, it sends a deliberately disrespectful message. It is meant to embarrass and put someone in their place and bring them down a notch.

How much more egregious it is to hit a woman in the face with a pie when she has dressed up in her best clothes to look her best to great the guests she has invited to join her on a special day?

In our teens and early 20s we say someone should be a "good sport" about being embarrassed publicly, but as we mature, we figure out no one has to be a "good sport" about being treated disrespectfully, and that disrespectful gestures at someone else's expense are simply inappropriate.

If any of my readers are on the receiving end of such thoughtlessness, let me tell you -- it takes more than a pie in the face to bring a good woman down. I cleaned up the best I could and made the best of what remained of the evening. I hadn't gotten all those dear friends together to let a juvenile prank ruin the evening. 

There is an old saying that the best revenge is to live well. The best response to a rude gesture is to not let it ruin your special time. If the gesture was intended to either get you down or bring you down a notch, causing a scene or crying only lets them win. Wipe off the pie and continue to enjoy yourself. Then educate the heck out them later! No one should get away with bad manners.


Cancuns in Bellevue and other Mexican restaurants take note: we know you have a cute little "Mordida" custom  in some parts of Mexico at family birthday gatherings of having the birthday honoree eat a bite of cake with their hands tied behind them. However:

1. This isn't Mexico
2. We aren't your family
3. A pie in the face is NOT the same thing
4. You might get hit with a dry cleaning bill
5. You Don't Hit a Grown Woman in the Face with a Pie!

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