July 31, 2009
Is spending time on the people who haven’t screwed me over.
We’re all busy – I’m not nearly as busy as some of the people I know, but I feel busy all the time.
I think it was about two years ago, that I got into a heated email exchange with someone. This had become a pretty regular occurrence for us – I couldn’t help but get sucked in, every time. For myriad reasons, we always seemed to wind up frustrating, and sometimes hurting, each other.
The difference this time, was that I was visiting Sibling. I was visiting Sibling and so caught up, so aggravated by this argument, that I wasn’t enjoying my time with her – or letting her enjoy our time together. And she lost it.
A good friend of mine recently said that she thought I had a much higher tolerance for bullshit than most. While I don’t think that it’s permanently impacted our friendship in a negative way, I can point to a friendship or two that probably suffered as a result. And I can understand that. If you had to sit there and feel ignored as you watched someone spend all of his or her energy on people who treated them badly, you’d probably write them off after a while, too.
So, the thing is… I don’t wish bad things on anyone. In fact, I hope everyone I’ve ever met is more happy than not, because everyone benefits when that’s the case. But what it really comes down to is, I don’t have time for everyone. So the people who are going to get the time I do have? Are going to be the ones who, at a bare minimum, haven’t done anything to make me think they don’t deserve it.
July 30, 2009
…and then my shoe broke.
I normally exit Metro Center and walk the rest of the way to work in the morning, ensuring that I get at least some exposure to daylight. My work shoes of choice are generally oxfords or something along those lines, thus facilitating a relatively comfortable jaunt and a professional look without exposing the fact that many pants, including a number of “long” styles, aspire to “cropped” status on my frame.
So there I was, walking along in my shiny black J. Crew oxfords that have served me well for so many years, mentally reviewing the presentation I’d give shortly after my arrival, and then…
The entire back half of my left sole had come unattached. My oxford was now a flip-flop that could be heard for miles. Handy if I were stranded and trying to use Morse Code to signal for help, not so useful when I was expected to stride purposefully into a meeting and justify my existence.
I tried shuffling along the way I’ve seen the thong-wearing masses do, to little avail. Nope. I had to limp along, stiffening my left leg so that it barely came off the ground during each stride, muffling – but not eliminating – that ridiculous, thwacking FLAP.
fleerrp. fleerrp. fleerrp.
This? Was not so much the improvement I was looking for.
Wondering if I’d be better off calling the various CVS locations nearest my office in an attempt to find *actual* flip-flops that would HAVE to be less humiliating than the (likely gnome-sabotaged) shoes that were clearly out to RUIN MY CAREER, I had an epiphany.
Like any good commuting woman, I have a spare pair of shoes at the office. Unlike most, my spares are a lovely pair of steel-toed, steel-shanked workboots (in a lovely matte black finish, thank you). Given the way my day started, these might be the safest way to finish out.
July 29, 2009
I know everyone’s talking about it – that show. On Fox. With the guy, and the women, and the size-realted clichés, and it surprises me not at all that this show is on this network. After a trip to the gym and some quality time with Jillian Michaels, I turned to this show as unironically as possible while consuming a protein shake and some Kashi cereal.
One of those indelible memories that I wish were anything but, is of my biology class, freshman year of high school. My lab partner was a sophomore guy. And our class was two sessions long, every other day, to accomodate lab time. The four minutes of travel time were ours to use for restroom breaks or gossip.
During one such four-minute break, my lab partner’s friend slipped into the seat left vacant by a classmate, the seat directly behind my lab partner. I don’t know what else they talked about, but I remember this:
“Your lab partner has a fat ass.”
I’m not saying that he was lying. At 5’8″ (still not done growing at 14) and 185/190 pounds, I wasn’t slim. This was just the first (probably not) most memorable time someone had acted as though I wasn’t a person, right there in front of them. As though the weight made me a different species, incapable of understanding the speech and customs of The Thin.
My lab partner stopped joking with me after that. The cameraderie we’d established by mocking our professor’s atrocious spelling, by agreeing to alternate the handling of the more disgusting tasks, faded away. I became Lab Partner (XL edition), the personality-free automaton next to whom he sat every day. I was Fat, and therefore Other, and therefore not worthy of association.
But when I saw this show, I thought about this story, and I wondered if we would find ourselves having separate proms, distinguishable only by the BMIs of those in attendance. Oh, right. From the preview reel at the end, it looks like they’ve already got that planned.
July 28, 2009
I’ve thought it. I remember thinking it the first time that guy on the metro decided to strike up a conversation, back when my metro ride began at Huntington. It wasn’t so much that he was a lot older than anyone I’d ever thought of dating, or that he seemed a little awkward. What it was, was that within fifteen or twenty minutes, I’d heard about his house in Old Town, his summer home, his boat, his horses… and he knew nothing about me. Hadn’t the foggiest notion of whether I was worth impressing… and clearly didn’t know that this wasn’t the way to do it.
And so, when I was out with a friend of a friend a few weekends ago, I was disappointed. On some level, I consider this guy a friend – certainly someone I’d happily introduce to a girlfriend, if I knew an unattached woman with whom he’d be compatible. He’s charming, well-groomed and mannered, and devastatingly intelligent. And he was trying to meet someone.
I think that people can, and do, meet long-term significant others at bars. I just don’t think they do it by engaging in gratuitous generosity. You want to send someone a drink as an opener? Honestly, that’s fine. If I accept the drink, I’ve indicated that I’m okay with you coming over to talk to me. But I’d be just as likely to engage in conversation with you if you’d just… come over and started talking to me. And I’m certainly not going to respond well, if you give the impression that you think you’ve… summoned me for the price of a drink, the way you summon the server with the promise of a tip. I don’t work for you, no matter how tasty your drink is. And if all you do is spend, and all you talk about is money, you’re telling me that you’ve assumed I’m superficial and materialistic.
But… let me think that I’m special, that this isn’t just yet another attempt to buy your way past your laziness or nerves, and I’m much more likely to cut you some slack. Come over and talk to me, or meet me halfway as I move to thank you, and I’m much more likely to engage in conversation. Tell me something interesting about yourself, and I’m much more likely to keep listening.
What I learned, a few weekends ago, is that it’s not always laziness. It’s not always an assumption that all you want is a free drink and a ride on a yacht. Sometimes, what looks like insincerity is really just insecurity. And that? That’s an Assateague-summer-house-horse-of-a-different-color.
July 24, 2009
“Does the word ‘duh’ mean anything to you?”
No, really. When someone doesn’t respond to your emails, disconnects from you on social networking sites, and never, ever initiates conversations with you…
they don’t want to talk to you.
If you know you behaved reprehensibly towards this person for an extended period of time, with a handful of truly inexcusable incidents…
you know why they don’t want to talk to you.
And you don’t need to be clairvoyant, or particularly intelligent, or even possessed of a scintilla of integrity to figure that out. Which is good, because that last one might’ve been a stumbling block.
And you certainly don’t need an explanation that you certainly don’t deserve.
July 23, 2009
Or a zombie. I’ve actually slept a bit more, as of late. Thanks go to Claritin, newly washed sheets and blankets (lavender fabric softener, yay!), a significantly lowered thermostat, and W.
I am, however, trapped under something large and heavy, work-wise. It is insanity here, and also in my head, so anything I’d write would be even more banal than usual.
Like, you know, some comment about how I actually *swam* to work this morning, or how the little guard booth outside my building was rendered useless by the condensation on the windows, or how I’ve never been quite so acutely aware that our fair capital city was built on a swamp.
Yeah. I’m going to get back to work now. Happy Thursday!
July 21, 2009
I hear it all the time, people complaining about laundry. And yes, it *can* be a pain sometimes, I suppose, if you don’t have a washer and dryer in close proximity to your abode, and/or if the ones that are available only take quarters and it’s just HARD to accumulate quarters in sufficient quantities for two weekly loads.
But to me, that’s really all background, it’s prep work. Laundry is actually kind of awesome, at least the tail end. When you take it out of the dryer and it’s all warm and smelling like fabric softener and then you start folding it, making the towels all the same size, putting them away in the linen closet. You’re a superhero, battling entropy by restoring order to your universe.
So the next time everything seems all haphazard and you find yourself reenacting some comedic movie scene in which the female protagonist is rendered a sobbing mess who doesn’t know WHY she’s crying but is clearly not going to stop anytime soon, try doing some laundry*. Because later, you might find yourself getting into a lovely-smelling, slightly warm, clean and comfortable bed, and you might find yourself getting 8 whole hours of sleep for the first time in weeks.
*It’s been suggested that cleaning out one’s car and taking it to the car wash can have similarly soothing results.
July 20, 2009
I’ve taken oral contraceptives since 1996. There’s a few things I like about this arrangement. There’s the whole thing about not getting pregnant even if one’s primary prophylactic fails, the lovely, regular confirmation of that lack of pregnancy, and an amelioration of the myriad symptoms that accompany said confirmation.
Ahem. I SAID, “amelioration of the myriad symptoms that accompany said confirmation”!!! In other words, little pills in a little purple envelope, I’m not supposed to be crazy right now!
And actually, technically, I’m not crazy right now. Not anymore. And as much as I’m all in favor of exercise and everything? I shouldn’t have to run 4.5 8-minute miles and top it off with a dose of The Shred just to generate enough endorphins to keep myself from crying for no reason at all, in a fashion that would alarm the most stalwart of men. I wouldn’t have to, if you stupid little blister-packeted pellets of progesterone substitute would just do your job.
And honestly, I’m really starting to think that you’re not only NOT doing your job, but that you’re making things WORSE!
So unless there’s a VERY good explanation for this, consider yourselves (and I’m including you, medical practice who refuses to listen to me, or prescribe me anything outside of this “family” of pills) on notice.
July 17, 2009
“I don’t remember how it even came up, but we were talking about you”
Translation: I know exactly how it came up, but I don’t really want to admit that I’m a gossip or that I was shallowly dissecting you with someone you don’t know.
“She said that your tattoos are pretty… typical.”
Translation: She’s like one of those indie music freaks for whom your taste will never be sufficiently obscure or esoteric – judgmental AND pretentious. And, I’m passing this along because I want to see how you’ll react, and that’s more important than sparing you some potentially hurt feelings.
“I mean, I was just telling her I thought they were pretty hot. She said something about how you wouldn’t be able to see them if you wore clothes that fit.”
Translation: She was totally implying that you wear unflattering, slightly skanky clothes. And again, I’m a gossip who enjoys stirring up controversy between people, just a regular old Leland Gaunt.
So tell me – if you were conversing with someone who constantly snarked on another, not present party, would you then relay those comments to the subject of the conversation? Why or why not?
July 16, 2009
“Who needs sleep? Well, you’re never gonna get it. Who needs sleep? Tell me what’s that for…” ~ Barenaked Ladies.
If I could have more than one night in a row of more than 5 hours’ sleep, that’d be great. Thanks.
Any thoughts? A little help? I’m not worried about anything in particular (trust me, I gave THAT some serious thought, because it is me we’re talking about after all). Work is pretty much fine, the place is lovely, nothing particularly new or stressful on the social front. WTF is going on?