Watch it Grandma!

If you are friends with my husband or our dojo on Facebook, (or if you are actual, real life friends of ours, like in the real world, not just on your IPad) you know that they are rebuilding the storefront of our dojo. If you are not, here is a photo, just so you can get the general idea:
Photo: Ahh, open air Dojo.  Come on vestibule, go to work, keep it warm in here!
Yes that is the front of our karate school. With no walls or windows. It looks better today.

So the first day of construction they tore down a giant wooden box that for some reason had been attached to our ceiling, raining dirt and debris everywhere. (Also some dead things. We won't talk about those.) That was ok, they cleaned up most of it. Then on day two they tore off all of the old windows and the old door and put in these:
Photo: Glass is in!  Almost done... Just need the awning, the gates, the electrical, the lighting, and the signage.. That's all..
Looking good. Then they stopped working. 

We swept and mopped the floor at least ten times but there was still a thin layer of dust everywhere. Also a small section of missing floor in the entryway. And a hole in a part of the ceiling. But things were done enough to have classes yesterday.

This project is moving very fast by construction standards. These are not my standards; I absolutely cannot deal with unfinished projects. I mean really, it is a problem of mine. I often start something (like cleaning out a closet) and then realize halfway through that it is a bigger deal than I thought or I am exhausted or I am missing a piece. No matter, I have to power through. And if the hardware store is closed because it is three in the morning then I am in for a miserable night. And they will see me at sunrise. 

So I am teaching three year olds how to punch and kick. And they keep looking at the dust on their feet and laughing. Which is fine. Rather than pretend we don't all have feet as black as licorice, I have decided to embrace this issue head on. I offer the kids paper towels. We look at our feet and yell "Ewwwww." I apologize to the parents (who are very understanding) and explain how many times we mopped and how hard it is to clean a space like ours while there is still construction work going on. 

Still, every time I look at that hole in the ceiling I want to chew my lip off.

In comes grandma.

She is actually the grandmother of one of our more advanced students. She has known me and our dojo for at least two years. Her granddaughter loves it here.

Grandma has come in after class to use the bathroom. And to kvetch. It seems that she tripped on the way in , over the edge of the floor in our unfinished entryway, and I need to hear all about it. How unsafe the doorway is. How :there should be a yellow tape or something." How we are "going to get a lawsuit." 

Go ahead grandma, sue us. You can have the 2001 computer that won't start up and the heavy bag. 

I of course told her that I was very sorry she got hurt (she didn't) but that there was nothing we could do about the floor. I then pointed at the gaping hole in the ceiling and said "Clearly they are not finished working."  And then I schooled her in the ways of polite conversation. How you don't walk into someone else's home and start bitching about they way they hang their curtains. About how if you had taken one second to think, it would have occurred to you that maybe I was just a tad bit sensitive about the unfinished work and that perhaps a little tact was called for. (Hello! There is a HOLE IN MY F--KING CEILING!) And finally, that if you want to throw the word "lawsuit" around like confetti at a g--damn parade you better already have a paper from your lawyer in your back pocket.

I know that when you get older, tripping and falling becomes a very real, very scary thing. I do. So I am not being insensitive. I am also not saying she was wrong to complain. But how about "Hello granddaughter's karate teacher, how are you today? I can clearly see that you guys are not done redoing the front but I just wanted to let you know that I tripped over that floor there. I wouldn't want one of your kids to get hurt. Perhaps you could put up a sign or something?"

See that? It's called polite conversation. 

And while we are on the topic, anyone who files a lawsuit simply because they accidentally trip over something is an asshole. Yeah I said it.

After she left I stuck a note on the floor that says "Please watch your step". Because I really don't want someone to hurt themselves. 

There is still a hole in the dojo ceiling.

Have a nice weekend, grandma.


  1. It's so cool that you have your own dojo! I love finding other women that are serious about martial arts, especially moms.


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