19 April 2015

"Take it easy!"

This wasn't too far off the mark
When CAL and I were in Dallas on our own version of a BYU-I Parents Weekend reboot last week, I posted the following brief screed on the Twitters and the Facebooks:

Ill-fitting tuxes and gowns. Overpowering stench of Axe in the air. Vocal warmups in the hallway. Glee club coach/prison matron with typical big Texas hair raking the kids over the coals for being late. Love it when the hotel you are in is taken over...

Indeed, our hotel had been taken over by a very large high school choir/glee club that was participating in some kind of vocal choral deathmatch. We'd gotten to the hotel the night before quite late and I was crestfallen when I saw the two large buses in front of the hotel. I've traveled far too long to know that buses at a hotel are never a good thing. It's either a group of elderly tourists who will make eating in the hotel an unmitigated nightmare or it's some kind of high school group and no good has ever come of that. Ever. My fears were confirmed when we entered the lobby to the last dregs of the kids checking in. They all carried the enormous pillows that are now the calling card of the traveling American teen and there was all manner of yelling about who had the keys. As we checked in, I gave the somewhat beleagured agent a look that simply pled, 'By all that's holy, do no put us on their floors.' My request was mercifully heeded.

The following morning, as we went down to breakfast, we met the full brunt of the choral bruhaha. Hence the tweet and Facebook page that you saw above. We did not meet the Matron until after breakfast. I'm telling you right now, had I been able to get a picture of her, what you see above would have been her, except she was sporting a bad spiky haircut instead of the "Alice the Brady Maid" wash and set you see above. As we walked into the elevator landing to go back to our room, there she was. The Glee Club Coach/Prison Matron. Shrouded from head to toe in black, she was facing the elevator doors. The toe of her shoe tapped furiously to the beat of the unheard death march that was playing in her head. In her left hand, she held her Smartphone up, time displayed, also facing the elevator doors. You knew this was going to be ugly. As I watched the elevator descend, ticking off the floors to the lobby, I couldn't help but feel badly for the unsuspecting teen songsters. They were about to feel the brunt of a clearly insufficiently caffeinated glee club harridan.

The doors opened and so did her tightly wound fury. Four kids walked off into an onslaught more appropriate for the battlefield in Fallujah than a hotel lobby in Las Colinas, Texas. "Do you know what time it is?" she bellowed. I think one of the boys cowered so hard that I think he went from an alto to a soprano right then and there. "We are late. L-A-T-E! Now get on that BUS!" she hissed. Suffice to say, she was displeased. Glancing over my shoulder into the lobby, which through the haze of the Axe stench, I could see there were still a slew of kids not on that bus, and I thought to myself, 'Lady, take it easy.'

I get it. There are schedules to be kept. There are people to be seen and places to go. Any one who has worked with teen-agers, especially those who teach them (and they deserve to be sainted), knows it can be a bit like herding cats. Sure, some times you need to throw down the hammer. That said, the Matron needed to just take it easy. If only The Boy, or TMFKATB, had been there to say that to her in his obscure accent that he would use on me when saying it. You'll be shocked to know that from time to time, I would allegedly get a little high-strung with my children. Leave it to The Boy to would diffuse it by saying, in that stupid accent, 'Hey, take it easy.' Those little words rattle around in my head even today and I find myself hearing it when I'm in a stressful situation. It's one of those gut checks on how I should react.

'Take it easy.' Try it. It changes things for the better.

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