While living at our first apartment in New Bedford we encountered Norman. Norman was the crotchetiest, grumpiest, old curmudgeon, armed with his shovel and sharp tongue. Being new to the east coast, I couldn't parallel park to save my life. As a matter of fact I think that's why I was required to do the written test AND the driving test to get my license, the driving with a trooper being reserved for the delinquent drivers ed students... yeah, that was me.
Anyway, while attempting to squeeze into a small spot near our apartment, on a 2 way street that only has room for one car to pass at a time and was notorious for missing side mirrors, ( remind me to tell you sometime of my husband's outrage over this and then taking out someone else's in a drunken incident) I ended up on the curb, which not only is easier because I can't p. park, but gives other cars more wiggle room to pass through. Unfortunately, this spot was right in front of Norman. Who was waiting inside for this very moment.
He came barreling out shouting and waiving his fists in the air. It was very effective. If you've ever seen the animated movie "Monster House", he looked and acted exactly like old Mr. Nebercracker. You'd think it was a matter of life or death that I not park on HIS sidewalk!
So I moved, went into my apartment and began the stewing process that you know I do when someone pisses me off. Thinking of what to say, how to get even, imagining his comeuppance that would do justice for his unfair treatment of me.
And then I decided to do the opposite. I had found that people out there really went for the sweet, innocent, Midwesterner girl, so I wrote up a little sorry note, grabbed some cookies I had made, and went over to take on the grouch. He melted like "butta"! Norman and I became good friends, visiting about once a week and being neighborly. He even gave me a whole bottle of rainex for our car before a drive home to Iowa.
So this lawyer, who everyone had the same reaction to it seemed like, "oh, him? Yeah, that's just the way he is, a real jerk. But he's okay he's our/so-and-so's/the commercial club's lawyer, everyone's delt with him at one time or another. All bark and no bite." And he was. We chatted him up, even pulled out our secret weapon: well behaved cute kids (I don't know what happened to our demon spawns, but they didn't show). By the end of the conversation he was patting my arm, winking and joking with us. We had no problems signing the water agreement and paying 1/2 the lawyer's fee.
So, as Jo Jo the clown announced yesterday morning before I shut the tv off to walk out the door, "Things don't always go as you planned... sometimes they go even better!"
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