Wednesday, 22 February 2017
I am superior to you.
Here's what happened many years ago. The priest encouraged and pestered me to join the Church Parish Council. Eventually, I agreed and attended my first meeting one evening.
There were about sixty people sitting in cinema style and at the top table sat the priest and four other people.
After half-an-hour, as one of the ladies at the top table was standing and speaking, I remembered that I had to pick up someone at the railway station. I slid out of my seat silently and made my way towards the exit. Whereupon, the lady at the top table said loudly: "I see that Mr Moubarak is leaving in a huff. Perhaps he does not agree with what we propose!"
Everyone turned round and looked at me. I wanted to stop and explain; but my appointment at the railway station was more important. So I got out without saying a word.
About an hour later I returned to the church. The meeting was over and they were all mingling with teas, coffees and biscuits.
I saw the woman in question with a group of people. I had seen her in church many times but did not know who she was. I approached her. She saw me and left the group and came towards me.
"You have me at a disadvantage," I said, "you know who I am. Would you do me the courtesy of letting me know who you are?"
"Don't you know who I am?" she replied, looking down at me, "I am the Chair Person of the Parish Council Social Committee!"
"I see," I mumbled, "I did not know that the Parish Council had a Social Committee. And I still don't know who you are!"
She sighed in exasperation and hissed, "I am Miss Stephany Hormsley!"
At that point the devil got the better of me and I said something which I deeply regretted. I replied, "Is this by choice, or have you frightened all potential husbands away?"
She did not reply. I saw her lower lip quiver once or twice.
To retrieve the situation I said, making matters worse, "I'm sorry Miss Hormsley. The name means nothing to me and I still don't know who you are!"
She said nothing again, and turned round and left me.
Later I checked with some people and it turned out that she was the Head Teacher at one of our schools as well as being on several Church and Educational Committees.
I suppose that gave her the right to look down on me and embarrass me when I left the meeting as inconspicuously as possible.