Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ms. Measurement

Ms. Measurement joined Smartmom's running group. She was out there this morning at Grand Army Plaza in her winter running gear with a digital stop watch.

She is another one of Smartmom's "friends"; the one who keeps track of things. It's her hobby, really. She loves gadgets: calculators, scales, computers, yard sticks, and stopwatches. In another life she was an accountant. She's Smartmom's "worse than" or "better than" friend; the one who measures where Smartmom is in that amorphous pie chart in the sky.

Ms. Measurement ran right next to Smartmom. "You're the third slowest runner in the group," she whispered. "That puts you between the 10th and 15th percentile." Ms. Measurement is nothing if not precise. "Just make sure you don't let the others pass you. Then you'll be dead last!

Smartmom had a pretty good run considering it was 8 degrees. And considering that Ms. Measurement was nattering away the whole time. "Whoa, look at that lady's legs. They're at least twice as long as yours." she said at one point. Then later: "His strides are so very even," she commented. "He can really propel himself forward."

Smartmom did her best to ignore Ms. Measurement. It's not that she's mean or even incorrect. It's just that it can be annoying to hear her compare Smartmom to other people all the time.

She doesn't just do it during Smartmom's numerous athletic pursuits. No, no, no. She does it ALL the time. For instance, she goes to parties with Smartmom and compares her to the hosts: "Look at this spread. It ain't just chips and salsa." Sometimes she hits below the belt: "This place really has style. Not that" hand- me-down, thrift shop look you call decorating."

Or she makes Smartmom ultra aware of who's got what. She seems to have X-ray eyes into everyone's bank accounts, IRAs and 401Ks. "They are loaded, those two," she might say about a couple of friends. "They're going to retire in style."

Ms. Measurement is nothing if not in the know about the haves and the have nots among Smartmom's friends and aquaintances. She knows whose on their way up, and whose on their way down. Those who excel and those who fail.

You get the idea. All this comparative talk mades Smartmom a little crazy. So Smartmom tries not to listen -- she believes that there's more to life than a growth chart, a bell curve, a bank account, a body weight, a test score or a running time.

Too bad Ms. Measurement joined the runner's group. It's really hard to relax when she's around.


At 1:31 AM, Blogger Udge said...

Trip the bitch, and rub her face in the snow. That'll show her. Hah.

At 5:42 AM, Blogger brooklynfox said...

Amen to that.


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