a glimpse of my dark underbelly

O, save me from myself. I am VERRRRY tempted to let my inner passive aggressive beeyotch out to play.

Here’s the background: Daddy J and I go to a fundraiser/dinner/music performance on Monday night. We have a great time. We bring wine. There is a silent auction and I bid on four of the items and win three of them. Not a whole lot of bids; I was pretty much the first or second bidder on all the items. One of the items is a necklace that is resting on a scarf. We pay for the stuff at the end of the evening and the hall is pretty much cleared out. There are only a couple of things left on the tables. I ask a fancy looking older lady, whom I assume is one of the fundraiser people, The scarf doesn’t go with the necklace, does it? She is emphatic: Oh, YES, it does! Take both of them! Isn’t it pretty? You won BOTH!

So, Bonus, I think. Not so much that I need another scarf or this one is all that and a bag of chips, but the colors match the colors of the Habitat ball this coming spring and it will be nice to put in a basket or use in some decorative capacity.

I put it away and think no more of it.

I get a message on the machine from a fairly irate sounding woman on Wednesday telling me that she believes I bought a necklace at the auction and that I have her scarf. I return the call and I am the nice cop to her huffy cop. Her: Apparently the catering staff was telling people that the scarves went with the necklaces and that was NOT the case. That is my PERSONAL scarf and I would like it back. Me: Well, I would be happy to return it to you. How should we make that happen? Her: You can just take it to the downtown cafe with a note and I will be in to pick it up sometime next week. No hurry.

So, fine.

Except: I do the fundraising auction thing, people, and it chafes me that she didn’t even thank me for attending her event or for bidding on her stuff and giving financial support. Or act apologetic for the confusion or explain that she knew it wasn’t my fault that I took it. She did say, I hope you enjoy the necklace, but she should have said, We really appreciate your paying to come to our fundraising event and for buying stuff at the auction, and hope you will come again to an event in the future, and I am so sorry for this misunderstanding.

And: Her repitition of the words “my personal scarf” made me think it was a favorite scarf that went with her favorite dress or something. But no! When I was packing it up for her, I saw that the price tag was still on it. From Cato. It started out at $11.99 and after numerous markdowns was marked at $1.99.

Now, I get the buying stuff on cheapo clearance thing and LOVING the fire out of it, but am I wrong that it would have been nice for her to have been a bit more humble and sweet about the whole thing, considering it was a brand new $2 scarf she’s giving me attitude about? And I was supporting the fundraiser she is involved in with my purchases?

Here’s my ethical dilemma, and you have the power to SAVE ME FROM MYSELF. I currently have the scarf all packed up in a clear gallon ziploc with a note with her name on it (as instructed) and the super-markdown price tag on display through the plastic, next to her name. This makes my inner bitch snicker with glee; although she would quite likely be completely indifferent, she might be totally embarrassed. Plus, I want her to know that I know she was giving me grief over a cheap scarf that wasn’t really part of her wardrobe yet.

But AM I EVIL???

(dang!!! once again, can’t get the poll to save. What’s UP with that? Bummer. I LOVE polls.)

BUT: FINE. Here are the options I was going to put in the poll. Vote and stay my hand of evildoing, or else add your strength to my wicked twitch.

A. Yes, that’s evil. Hide the price tag. Why would you want to make her feel bad, even if she wasn’t all delicate with you, Miss Treatmewithkidgloves, on the phone? She clearly loves the scarf, so just give it back in a gift bag and be sweet about it.

B. I like the display of the price tag in the clear ziploc idea. She was not-so-sweet about the whole thing anyway, plus it doesn’t actually hurt anything and she’s got her scarf back in the end.

C. Well, I’d make it harder for her to get the stupid scarf back. Make her call a couple more times, just for fun. Mwah, ha, haaaa….

D. No, I’d never be THAT awful, but hmmm… How about giving it back with the price tag shown, but reversed, so she knows you saw it and know she’s never worn it with anything and that it was super-cheap, but she’s not embarrassed at the cafe?

edited to add: A VISUAL AID
visual aid

And, the deed is done. I did, in fact, opt for B. Probably, she will not even notice or care that the price tag is showing (although maybe she will, and maybe she will think, huh, I did present some attitude over this scarf that perhaps was disproportionate, especially considering that the scarf-taker didn’t knowingly swipe it…) but for certain the scarf will be protected from any food or cooking odors at the cafe and not jumbled in a drawer, so that’s good. So, it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Witkin Swidler
    Oct 31, 2009 @ 20:53:02


    “D” is too passive-aggressive. In the whole grand scale of where this incident lies on the evil spectrum, you’re not even on the chart. Plus, supporting the auction cancels out any minor evil that may exist.

  2. Melissa
    Oct 31, 2009 @ 23:19:17

    I vote for B. She may not even notice, but it would be awesome if she did. I CANNOT believe she was pitching a hissy fit over a $2 scarf!!! I wouldn’t pick C, just because do you really want to listen to her on your answering machine? Yes, I think it is wrong that you are having to do all the work to give her back her stupid scarf, but I would just want to be done with the whole thing. Let us know what happens!

  3. Erin
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 00:54:48

    B, B, B!!!

  4. Mama Jamz
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 01:32:44

    You guys are great enablers! I get more positive-feeling about B as time goes by. I just had a friend over and described this little mini-dilemma, and we considered taking a red pen and marking the price down to 25 cents on the tag, which would be hysterical, but would probably cross the line.

    I mean, honestly, I just can’t imagine not being more apologetic and humble about the whole thing if I had to make her call, like: I just really love this scarf and had plans to wear it, and I’m so sorry that someone told you it was yours to take, but would you mind getting it back to me, and thanks for coming and for bidding on stuff at the auction?

  5. Leia
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 02:51:59

    none of the above
    I think a small ziploc bag with her name and $2 would get the point across even better than B
    evil? you bet!

  6. Daddy J
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 12:00:15

    I like the $0.25 idea.

  7. Suzanne
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 12:56:02

    The lady has co-dependency issues. She started out as rescuer (giving to the charity), became a victim (losing all of those ‘special’ scarves), and has now come full circle as a persecutor (“vile woman, give me my scarf back.”) Do not take the bait and become enmeshed!

  8. Karen Witkin Swidler
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 01:14:07

    Hmmm… Can I change my answer? I’m kind of liking Leia’s idea! Does that make me evil?

  9. Erika
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 04:47:29


    only i would leave a note: ” i like to shop at yard sales/ big lots/the dollar tree too!”

    but i am rude like that

  10. Meghan Cobble
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 05:40:12


    Loser lady.

    .mac 🙂

  11. thisbumpyjourney
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 14:43:03

    @ Leia: heh. I like the way you think. We (friend L and I) came up with other mildly evil ideas, such as dribbling something stinky on it, like sardine juice. I have found myself fantasizing about telling her the dog ate it, but I *did* save the price tag, so please let me reimburse you… will you take a check?

    Or siccing the boys (who have memorized all the prank calls Bart makes to the bar on the Simpsons) on her phone number: Hello? I need to speak with Amanda – I really need Amanda Hugankiss.

    And of course I wouldn’t REALLY do those things; for some reason this just got my snarky juices flowing, which may say more about my dark side than hers. Anyway, clearly, she has her own issues and it’s none of my beeswax.

    And yet, I’m going with B. Got to throw my inner witch a bone every now and then, no?

  12. Debra
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 14:48:36

    None of the above.

    she’s not going to care. Let it go.

  13. thisbumpyjourney
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 14:57:23

    Yes, of course you’re right Debra – to me, this was just surprising and it was amusing to consider possible reactions, but I doubt she will care about any of it as long as she gets her scarf back. Totally a tempest in a teapot.

  14. Debbie
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 16:19:21


  15. Amanda
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 01:05:28

    I have to say, I love the fact that this blog post just takes a whole bunch of lady crazy and puts it out there for the world at large. I can TOTALLY see myself having this same inner monologue, talking with friends at work about it while wasting time that we could spend being productive, agonizing over the decision, and finally going with the “accidentally sneaky” option. Pretty much once a week or so.

    LOVE. IT. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one. (Obviously not, since your poll got lots of similar responses.)

    I am totally anti-Cato Scarf Lady on this one. I can’t imagine even asking for it back, were I in her shoes!

  16. thisbumpyjourney
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 15:12:35

    Amanda – TOTALLY the lady crazy. I’m actually really suprised that Daddy J even commented, because I felt like I could just hear his thoughts: DANG am I glad I’m not a woman and don’t have to think like that or deal with other women who think like that.

    And I have been waiting for a man to pop in the comments and bust us for overt cattiness.

    But, yeah, those old thoughts are there when stuff like this happens, and airing them is kind of fun. I’m over it, though, and really just curious now what was going through her head – had she actually convinced herself that I was a bad, scarf-stealing person, or did she think she needed to just be all stern with me to make sure I was adequately intimidated and would be sure to return it? Or is that just the way she talks to everybody, regardless of situation?

    One of life’s mysteries, huh.

  17. Jane
    Nov 04, 2009 @ 16:38:42

    I would have fantasized about putting Leia’s plan into action but I would have gone with B too.

    Some people!! Rude!!

  18. Tappy
    Nov 08, 2009 @ 19:17:50

    I would make her come by your house to get the scarf…tell her to stop by anytime between xyz date/time.

    If she wants it bad enough she will make the time to come get it !!!

  19. teresa
    Nov 11, 2009 @ 16:10:25

    This is so hysterical!! Beverly recently sent me the link and encouraged me to read, as she knew I would quickly fall in love with you and your BLOG! You are cracking me up with this one. I want to go to Cato and see if they have more of this exact scarf, buy every one they have and pass them around town! It would so be worth buying ten of them to have her meet one around every corner of town. You and I could sit outside the cafe with our matching scarves on as she comes stomping along to pick hers up:)
    Girl, you are too precious and stinking hilarious!

  20. thisbumpyjourney
    Nov 13, 2009 @ 13:53:17

    Thanks so much, Teresa, for stopping in! Yes, this was a funny little episode, but I guess it’s all over now. I took the Epic Scarf over to the cafe a while back and haven’t heard anything, so it is most likely all picked up and done with in my life. I love the idea of picking up several of them and wearing them about town and giving them to people, though. heh. You may have a little bitty evil streak, too… 😉

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