Last night I sat up rather late reading a new etiquette book.  I collect them, actually, the more arcane the better.  This one is by the author of the famously fantastic I Hate to Cook Book.  It’s sort of the Feminine Mystique of tips on ladylike behavior–and it recommends a lot drinking and a lot more smoking as response to most situations.   Delightful.

After last night’s four hours of sleep, I consoled myself with the idea of sleeping in extraordinarily late tomorrow.  Then I remembered: tomorrow’s the day of our dreaded Day of Visioning.  It begins at eight.  I must go, despite the fact that I apparently must not be paid for my time.  Ugh.

Today in staggering rudeness: I just got off the phone with the vile bitch of a choir director.  Did I mention that she is wholly unqualified to direct a choir?  She just waves her hand around in what she hopes in a relevant motion.  Once, when faced with sheet music in a minor key and with many incidentals, suggested the choir ignore all the sharps and flats and the difficulties they presented.  A choir member, who studied music in college, raised her timid hand to explain that this method wouldn’t work at all and thereby saved us all from an even worse than usual performance of the terrible choir.

The choir director “leads” music at the early service.  That is to say, she starts off the congregational singing and waves her hand meaninglessly while standing behind the pulpit.  She needs the song selections ahead of time.  The fellow who selects the song is sort of the unofficial assistant pastor and is eighty years old.  He’s extremely devoted to the church and is here pretty much every time the door’s are open.  He had a number of doctor’s appointments this week and so hasn’t yet gotten me the songs for Sunday.

She called me a few minutes ago to see if I had the songs yet.  This was a perfectly appropriate thing to do.  Here’s the staggeringly rude part:

So you don’t have the songs? she says.

Not yet, but I’ll call you the minute I get them.

I assume Old Man forgot? He’s getting really up there in age. I bet it’s Alzheimer’s.

I don’t think that’s the case at all. He had a number of appointments this week and was quite simply busy.

Should I add that this fellow is as mentally sharp as, well, I am? Or that I think it’s extremely condescending to assume elderly people are about two weeks away from drooling on their bibs? Or that the choir director is a vile bitch who sounded rather as if she hoped Old Man was suffering from something serious?

There’s probably some sort of life lesson in here for me about loving my neighbors, even if they’re vile bitches. Mostly, though, I just want to punch her.