Ball Buster Betty

By: Cyndi Wilkins

(7 min read)

First time clients have always been a little nerve wracking for me. Those first meeting jitters usually subside the moment I open the door to greet them with a friendly smile and warm introduction. With Betty, not so much.

Appearing annoyed, she scowled at me. “Your doorbell is broken.”

“Oh, yes. Sorry about that,” I said politely. “It has been that way for years.”

The sound of the doorbell has always irked me. Especially when those annoying Jehovah’s witnesses come around and ring the bell incessantly until the smoke comes out of my ears. Take a freakin’ hint will ya! If no one answers the door within a reasonable amount of time, they are not going to!

One young lady had the gall to turn the doorknob. When she found it unlocked, she walked right onto my front porch, (which is a finished porch and considered living space) and started banging on the inside door to the main house.

 I was furious, but she was young, so I curbed my temper from WTF do you think you are doing to WTH is wrong with you?

“Well now, a little persistent aren’t you.” I hissed through clenched teeth.

Bubbling with enthusiasm, her squeaky squealing voice assaulted my senses like the dragging of nails on a blackboard. The migraine was imminent.

“My momma always said, never take no for an answer!”

“Somehow, I do not think your mother meant to walk into someone’s home uninvited.”

Now, I know I sound like the Wicked Witch of the West, (or in my case, the Northeast) but I was a new mom at the time, and these solicitors always came knocking during nap time.

The last thing I wanted to do during ‘mommy break-time’ is shoo people away from my front door. God help you if you wake my sleeping child…I just may drop a house on you, too! Time to click the heels of those ruby red Reeboks, Dorothy.

She just giggled a quick apology and continued with her blabbering. I did not even care what she was selling, I just threw a check at her and showed her the door. That was the day I began locking the front porch door.

Betty received my apology for the broken bell with the same intolerance I showed that young lady. Karma…What a bitch!

“You should get that fixed.” She said abruptly, “I’ve been standing here for five minutes.”

Again, I apologized, but also found myself strangely annoyed. Afterall, she was twenty minutes early, so I had not been anticipating her arrival just yet. Did she not consider I could have still been in session with someone else?

Besides, my trusted K-9 usually alerted me to a new arrival. Drats! Sleeping on the job again! Tough to find good help these days.

I showed Betty in, and we did the usual intake and questionnaire. I left the room to give her time to disrobe and get on the table. She is elderly, so I gave her a little extra time so as not to rush her. She hollered at me from the other side of the door. “Anytime now!”

I put my best foot forward and opened the treatment room door. Immediately, I noticed her eyes scanning the area.

“You have a lot going on in here.” She said, rolling her eyes.

At first, I thought she sensed the energy in the room. But I soon realized, she was referring to all the tchotchkes I have scattered about. My prized collection of carefully chosen sacred stones, crystals, and trinkets that I have lovingly gathered throughout the years.

I had also just closed my downtown office due to the sale of the building, so I had extra pieces of furniture that I was not ready to part with yet. It may seem a bit busy, but everything had its place, and a beloved healing energy attached to it.

“All that stuff,” she sneered, “collects dust.”

I quickly turned her attention away from my baubles and back to the reason for her visit. Eventually, I managed to zero in on and release the troubling pain points she was experiencing in her neck and shoulders. Within minutes, she began to relax enough to fall silent. I relaxed, too, until my eyes started darting around the room in search of anything out of place.

Looked fine to me. Organized and clean. I could do without that table I suppose. No! I loved that table. Why did I care what she thought? Curious, isn’t it? How we respond when we feel we are not living up to someone else’s housekeeping standards. Surely there must be something deeper here.

My mind wandered relentlessly. What was it that bothered me so much about her expression of dissatisfaction with the surroundings? They seemed perfectly acceptable to me.

It reminded me of the teachings of Caroline Myss in reference to the language of negativity. I told myself not to let the negativity infiltrate my thoughts. Remember ‘embodied cognition,’ Cyndi…Do NOT take it on!

I finished the session with the balancing of her chakras, (and mine too for that matter) before doing an energetic sweep of her entire body. I cleared the room with sage and poof! Off she flew on her Swiffer.

The following week her husband came in. A very pleasant man, but he too keeps me on my toes with his incessant questioning. Not that I mind questions, but it feels less like an inquiry and more like a pop-quiz.

I am never sure whether it is just his nervous chatter, or he is questioning my credibility. Either way, I feel a certain level of discomfort. I suspect it has more to do with my own annoying inner critic chipping away at my self-confidence than it does him questioning my abilities. He certainly challenges me to rise to the occasion!

“How did Betty like her massage?” I asked curiously.

He snickered a bit. “She thought you could have used a little more elbow grease.”

Interesting answer. I laughed to myself. It can be frustrating how people will find fault no matter how hard you try to please them. The trick is not to take things personally.

“Next time,” I said cheerfully. “I will polish up that elbow and dust off those tchotchkes!”

He smiled wickedly, “Oh, you met my little baleboste.”

“Say, what now? Did you just say ball buster?”

He roared with laughter! “Sounds like it, doesn’t it?”

“No,” he continued. “Baleboste is a Yiddish word for the consummate homemaker. There is not a spec of dust in my home.”

I was roaring inside now! It reminded me of a little old lady I knew growing up. She used to cover all the furniture in her house with plastic to keep it clean. The noise it made when you sat down sounded like a fart.

“Sounds stressful,” I said. “But I’ll bet your house is neat as a pin!”

“Yes, it is, but you are right. God help me if I put my feet on the furniture or leave a glass on a table without using a coaster!”

Suddenly, a wave of recognition bubbled to the surface. The echo chamber of my mind flooded my thoughts with sound of my own voice.

“Pick up your shoes, hang up your coat, and for Pete’s sake, put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher!”

It was my daily mantra, usually met with an eye roll or the shaking of one’s head. Even the dog ignored me. I tend to bark at her too for leaving her bones scattered about the living room floor. Step on one of those in bare feet, and it will launch you into orbit faster than Jeff Bezos in his ‘penis rocket!’

Funny how that awareness came on so fast. But, like I have said so many times before, my work is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I am sure I can identify with a fragment or two of ‘squeaky squealy girl’ as well. But I will have to get back to you on that one. The mere thought just fried my brain.

While I was writing this piece, I kept bursting into crazy laughter. It felt so good! I finally healed my own inner ‘baleboste’ of her incessant need for everything to be ‘just so.’

My laughter elicited glaring stares from the other room. Eventually, my wife peeked over her newspaper, and asked, “What on earth are you laughing at?”

“Myself,” I told her. “I am laughing at myself!”


Cyndi Wilkins

All Things Wellness, LLC


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