Sunday, 22 July 2012

Possibly...the most annoying woman in the world.

We went skiing.  It was awesome.  

Snowman building- of course.

We stayed in a lodge.  It was a new experience and wonderfully comfortable after we got used to the concept. 

Lodges, for those of you who possibly haven't stayed in one, are a more communal type of holiday than the usual sterile resort environment.  Basically they make your room so small and basic that you don't want to be there for any other reason than sleeping, thereby forcing you out into the common areas where you have access to breakfast, dinner, endless hot chocolate and a bar from 4pm (hip hip hooray!).  
So gorgeous, it blew my tiny little mind.

At first, proper anti social 21st Century inhabitants that we are, we screwed up our noses and said ewwww, talk to strangers? Converse with some random person at the dinner table or bar?  Good Lord, what's the world coming to?  

Then we said, thank goodness there is a bar, it is the snow after all, and it's handy for social lubrication.

Then we just got on with it.  There were about 20 guests in the lodge (capacity 32) including 8 kids, and about 6 staff, who mingled amongst us and were also well up for a chat.  It was totally excellent.  

Until we met the most annoying woman in the world. 

How was she annoying you ask?  Let me count the ways. 

Enter into a conversation with the most annoying woman in the world (MAWITW) and you soon learned that anything you or anyone else within earshot, at the table, bar, sitting near her in the lounge had ever done, or had happen to them, had happened to her, worse, better (whichever is applicable), bigger, longer, more dramatic.  

This made her an expert on…everything.

Food allergies?  Yep.  Both her kids, worse than anyone she knew, causing her to have to cook everything her children ate from scratch, leading to…

Her being such a fabulous cook, that she did all the cooking for her kids footy clubs and any function they were involved in which led to…

Her kids being extremely excellent sportsmen and particularly one of them being a brilliant gymnast handpicked for national development leading to…

The same child being assessed for being gifted and talented, not in any particular area but ACROSS THE BOARD (repeat 20 times). 

We learned this in a monologue lasting all of entrée, dinner and half of dessert.  Her husband, who was lovely when you got him on his own and he could talk, just sat quietly.  He, clearly, had learned to keep his trap shut (and possibly to sleep with his eyes open).

Not one other person at the table could get a word in, apart from helpless mm hmm’s, gasps of amazement and the occasional nod. 

We (or should I say, she) covered shoulder reconstruction, babies with reflux, babies with holes in the heart (dreadful, scary and very serious indeed), sleep deprivation, private schools, public schools, the trials of running a small business.  Cutting edge stuff.  Not much chance of us getting on QandA is there?

After a while, I was unconscious with my pupils fixed and dilated, Mike had drunk nearly half a bottle of wine in 15 mins and one of our friends had lost the power of speech.  Not the other, my gorgeous friend G, still had her wits about her.

At this point, Issy approached me to tell me she felt sick, I thought she was a bit flushed.  In our time honoured family tradition which I believe we share with a good portion of the world, I kissed her on the forehead to see if she was warm. 

Immediately MAWITW jumps in (no doubt furious at having her monologue interrupted), and tells me to never ever check the forehead for fever, the ONLY way to reliably check for fever (presumably in the absence of a thermometer because she didn’t mention one of those) was to stick your little finger down the back of the child’s neck.  Her friend was a nurse you see, and this was the ONLY reliable method. 

At this point my darling friend G, who had really had enough of it by then, and who had done extremely well to stay quiet for so long, piped up with:

“Oh but you do know Bec is a pediatrician don’t you?” 

As she had never asked us anything at all about ourselves and had no idea that I was a mere part time freelance copywriter and occasional blogger, that stopped her. 

PS. Actually, that didn’t happen, but I wish it did, and so does G.  The only thing that stopped her was the end of dessert, and us all getting up from the table as quickly as possible and returning to the bar where there was safety in numbers.  

And if you go to the snow, can I please recommend The Royal Coachman.  It was totally tops.