That's supposed to be the Jaws music, in case you were wondering. And its dedicated to Ethel.
She's been quite stealthy today but a heavy work load has kept her at bay. I've had several meetings at my desk and the large number of managers and vendors seems to scare her off. But I've seen her circling, looking for an opportunity.
Which is good because I still haven't prepared for my defense against my little shark. Oh, don't worry, I'm not giving in to her ploys but I have the urge to be, shall we say, creative with the solution.
A friend said to me, "Why don't you just tell her absolutely not, under any circumstances, will you make something for her?" I have. That's the whole point: she doesn't listen to things she doesn't want to hear. So I've got to improve my arsenal.
Ethel is the definition of conservative. Not that there is anything wrong with that but she seems fairly easy to freak out. My current plan is to print out "inappropriate" (that's Ethel's favorite word of all time) material and put it in the magazine she left me. (This would include pictures of the paper doll Leann and Jane and their mother made for me of the Venus of Willendorf.) This shouldn't be too difficult to accomplish since she ranks the following things in her top five of "inappropriate:"
5) Most everything on television. (She feels its all crude, violent, sexual, disrespectful or just plain dumb. Go on Ethel, tell us how you really feel...)
4) Nude art. (Hence the comments about the Venus of Willendorf needing a dress. I saw a picture in a magazine once of a piece of framed artwork in which a woman crocheted her vagina and knitted her husband's penis. (Oh, and it was for sale if you felt inclined to hang it on your living room wall.) While it made me shudder and turn the page so quick I pretty much tore it, this might be the type of thing that could help me win the war...)
3) Drinking alcohol for any reason. (I say the woman needs a drink, might help her out tremendously. Someone, quick! Bring this woman a margarita!!!)
2) Brittney Spears (While I can't argue Britt's defense, its interesting to note that Ethel complains about her incessantly. Never mind the fact that she's obviously watching/reading a gossip show/book in order to glean all the information she knows about her. That's totally not the point.)
And now I should warn you, #1 is kind of shocker. I learned this one recently when a fellow co-worker came over to talk to me all bleary-eyed and twitchy after being accosted by Ethel. But you have to hear this one, its a clear insight into her mind and way of thinking. Ready? Here goes...
1) S A N T A. (She thinks its wrong to tell children happy stories about a nice man giving presents to everyone and spreaking cheer. Its not "based in reality" and is "not the point" of the Christmas season. She also enjoys pointing out that Santa is spelled with the same letters as satan. While this revelation makes me chuckle, its proof positive in her mind that the man is evil. Her rant about poor old St. Nick makes me think of the movie, The Christmas Story. She'd be the one kicking the kids in the forehead to make them go down the slide.)
Why do I know all this? Remember that dear Ethel has a broken volume switch and no filter. I know more about this woman then I would ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever voluntarily seek out. People see her coming and their eyes grow wide and they start to frantically dart about looking for a place to hide. There's no telling what kind of wisdom she will impart on you when she comes to visit.
See what I'm dealing with here? But I believe I am more crafty then her. (Oh wait, that was a bad pun...)
Just look at what I did to Tim Gunn...