If this is true, then it's official. Despite being 50 I'm not mature.
Although perhaps the circumstances were less about hurt and more about being blatantly insulted.
Here's what happened.
The planning of the shed renovation has been going on for god knows how long, but part of it requires landscape plans for the backyard. I did a bit of research and found a designer whose ideas seemed right for what we're after. He came over for a (paid) consultation but we didn't like him. He was just a bit of a smart arse and not very diplomatic about our ideas - but hey, we're not having him over for dinner and I'm still hopeful his plan will be good so whatever.
Once appointed, he sent his side kick over to measure up the space. A woman, even older than me, who'd rung the day before to set up the time and seemed really friendly....over the phone.
She arrived at the appointed time and as I can see the front gate from my desk, I opened the door to greet her. 'Oh my god!' she started with, 'I thought I was arriving at grandma's house.'
Now that was just rude. And for the record, I'd like you to know that many a person stops on the way to the cafe on the corner to admire our house (I can see them from my desk, remember!). I regularly have people comment when I'm out there. Even the gardener (I use that term loosely, he has no qualifications whatsoever and randomly rocks up with a couple of backpackers ever few months) says people tell him how much they like our front garden. So I was affronted to say the least.
'Really?' I asked, genuinely bewildered. 'Why's that?'
She had the decency to look mildly uncomfortable.
'Why have you got a handrail on your steps?' she said.
Right. That was it. Game on.
'Oh that.' I said casually. 'Yeah - I suppose we could get rid of it. Actually... we had a ramp as well because our older children had disability and ended up in wheelchairs, but they've both since died. We did get rid of that...'
Her mild discomfort escalated to a shade below panic.
'I am so sorry,' she blurted. 'Do you usually get people who just say something like that...I'm so sorry... I...I.... ' she was now floundering and I was giving her nothing.
'Not really, no. Would you like a cup of tea?'
Anyway, I remained totally composed as I showed her the backyard and she continued to try and retrieve the situation by digging an even deeper hole with stupid questions like 'Do you have any other children?' None of your business, would have been the right answer but I was too polite - albeit completely unsympathetic. Seriously, did she want me to just step up and slap her hard so she could recover from her hysteria??
Anyway, an hour or so later she knocked on the front door (I'd managed to not let her into the house) to tell me she'd finished and apologise again and went away. Hopefully I'll never see her again - for both our sakes.
I don't know how they're in business....
My therapist did say that I should always go with what feels best for me at the time when people ask about my children. But I'm not sure even she would have predicted that one day I would use that information as a weapon.