Brag, Brag, Brag

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The other day in the supermarket, I ran into a man that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years.  We stood in the produce section catching up on things and after a while he suggested we sit in the coffee bar at the front of the store and visit, where it was more comfortable.  I agreed.  One of his sons, he told me, had landed an incredible job and that particular son’s children were attending a bilingual pre-school.  He added that though both were still under the age of five, they were fully fluent in French.  When he started to talk about his other son in a similar vein, I nodded politely as he talked on and on but I couldn’t tell you what he said — my brain had switched off at that point.  It reminded me of the man who came out to my house last year to give an estimate for a new roof.  He looked at the job briefly, then spent an entire hour regaling me with stories both of his daughter who supposedly had a very high-powered job in New York that required traveling to London on a regular basis — and his son, who was a straight-A student at a university and whose greatest challenge appeared to lie in which highly paid job he would take after graduation.  That sort of braggy pants attitude doesn’t do much for me and I — anticipating more of the same should he be working here — found someone else to do the roof.  I remember telling my good friend Molly who died recently, about my experience with the roofer. According to Molly, at some point in that conversation I should have countered with a sweet smile and the statement, “I’m so proud of my son.  I think he’s going to get his ankle monitor off next week.”  What a great response — wish I’d thought of it and had the nerve to say it.  I sure miss her.

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