Are you a Scene Avoider or a Scene Creator? (Lisa raises her hand).
I'm the kind of person you don't want to be around when you find a hair in your panini at a cafe, or if you steal my carpark in the mall on christmas eve, or if your kid gives my kid nits (although this is a little harder to prove). I make scenes. And I'm not saying this proudly, although there is a good life lesson in this. And I do try to tell my boys this when they've slid almost to the ground in the back seat of the car after I've given someone a few carefully selected words to reinforce a point, from the safety of my car window (with my foot hovering over the accelerator).
"You don't have to accept stuff boys. Stand up for yourself
My parents and parents-in-law generation are Acceptors. They accept the daikon crusted sweetbreads the waitress mistakenly brings them at the restaurant instead of the beer battered fish and chips they'd ordered, without complaint, but with a "I'm sure it will be fine". God forbid, they make a scene and ask for what they actually ordered and wanted. Unless of course they're with me, and I break into a sweat and kind of get all quivery lines in my eyes with excitement and anticipation of the scene I'm about to make.
And there are good scenes and bad scenes. I choose mine wisely. I like to think of myself as "doing the community a favour", like the time I rung the Head Office of a major underwear chain to complain about how a member of staff ignored me and chatted on her mobile in front of me. That one even made it to the newspaper as an example of unacceptable customer service standards. Although truthfully i was hoping for some free undies as an apology. I think they actually just got pissed with me. Still. I bet she wasn't on her phone
I made a scene in the weekend. It was lunchtime, hot chicken and fresh bread rolls was on our lunch time rotation (seriously what do you have for weekend lunches, I am very uninspired). I have to sidebar here, I have NEVER eaten as many rotisserie chickens as I have since we arrived in Australia, or am i missing somthing NZ peeps, we don't do chicken shops back home right?
So I'm in the chicken shop and a lady and her dog are getting served, except the dog is less interested in the chicken and more in the food scraps on the floor which it is licking. "Gross", I think and "when did it become ok to bring a large dog into a chicken shop". Still I say nothing and head off to the bakery. The busy and crowded Sunday lunch time bakery in my neighbourhood (hi Shannon). The same lady and her big grey mangy dog obviously want rolls with their chicken too. And the dog hovers half in and out of the bakery licking the floor furiously for a bread crumb chaser to it's earlier chicken shop floor entree.
"Enough" I think.
"Perhaps you should leave your dog outside the bakery, it's licking the floor and it's very unhygienic" I say to her while scanning the rolls and avoiding eye contact. She taps me furiously on the shoulder "thank you, thank you for that", she retorts dripping in sarcasm. Red flag, bull.
"It was unhygenic when you let the dog do it in the chicken shop and now it's unhygienic you're letting it do the same thing here in the bakery, it's just revolting and inappropriate". I say. She mutters curses at me, tries to say something else but I am concentrating earnestly on the bread sticks and neenish tarts.
It's a little awkward and quiet, but my community service has done for the day. (there's no need for anyone to comment at this point, especially my family members).
I tell my family what happens, exagerrating with "that dog could have sniffed another dogs bum that had poo in it, and then your rolls could have fallen on that spot so your rolls would have like dogs bum and dogs poo on them".
My husband looks amused, but my eldest says "I would have done that too mum". BOOM, my role as a mother is done. I am creating a new generation of Scene Creators. Or does Community Service Do-Gooders sound better?
Are you a Scene Avoider or a Scene Creator?
Postscript: I have less problem with the dog in the photo as not only is there no food in sight but it also appears to be a staff member