I have a new sworn enemy. It’s been a while since I’ve made that declaration. Probably since I left the workforce. I had a pretty solid nemesis at my last job. And the job before that. And the job before that. Both my husband and my mother will tell you that it’s because I can hold a grudge like nobody’s business. That’s because I believe in consequences and if you’ve done something to wrong me, well then I brand you with the Scarlet N and declare you dead to me. Sometimes there is a burning of an effigy. It take this all very seriously.
There was the girl who, upon my first few weeks in the office, openly talked shit about my spinach dip that I had brought for a work party. She sat two feet away from me and told everyone within ear shot how horrible it was and how she couldn’t believe that somebody would bring something like that to share with other people. She then went on to tout the deliciousness of the spinach dip that guy that was sitting directly in front of me brought. This went on for a good ten minutes while I sat staring at my computer, too flustered to even say anything. The only bright side of this exchange was that at the end of the ten minutes it turned out that the terrible-awful-abomination dip actually belonged to the guy sitting in front of me, while my dip was the one that she sang the praises of. I’d like to say that I just sat there quietly and enjoyed the turn of events, but what actually happened was that I screamed out “HA!” triumphantly and then immediately pretended that I hadn’t heard a thing. I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be mature. Obviously she was immediately on my shit list.
There was a man once that I began on good terms with. We would even take breaks and lunch together. One day his feelings about our friendship changed, and mine did not. In response to this he requested that his seat be moved away from mine. Then he requested to be switched to an entirely different team. When I would pass him in the halls he would literally act like I didn’t exist and look up in the air as if the ceiling had suddenly opened up and was showing him the meaning of life (and in all honestly it could have been, how would I ever know because he never spoke to me again, even though we worked together at THREE DIFFERENT COMPANIES). I suppose he wasn’t so much my nemesis as I was his. I mean, I at least had to have cost him a pretty penny in chiropractic visits for the crick in his neck. And I am sure there was an upcharge for the removal of the stick from his ass.
My all-time favorite one had to be a woman that I worked with years ago. We were friendly enough in the rare instances at work that our paths crossed. She was an administrative assistant to our operations manager and our job functions had little to no overlap. The only real reason we ever even had to speak was when I, ever the warm and kind person, would say good morning to her when I passed her desk. At the time we were all working about 70 hours a week in the office (can you believe I left such a fun field?!) and the company had taken to providing dinner to keep us in the office later. Since I was basically living there at this point I had a lot of supplies stored there, including dining utensils (because I literally ate all three meals there Monday through Friday and on occasion a weekend meal or two). There must have been a shortage of paper plates in the conference room so this woman, we’ll call her Tammy, walked up to where all my supplies were and took the entire pack of paper plates. We’re talking about 300 plates. I said, “Hey, Tammy, don’t you want to ask me if you can use those first?” Tammy did not. Instead, Tammy scowled at me and threw them on the floor and walked away. I absolutely would have let her use the plates if she had asked. I didn’t think I was out of line, and to this day I still don’t. It doesn’t matter that they were only paper plates. They cost seven dollars. I wouldn’t expect her to take seven dollars out of my desk without asking. From that day on she scowled at me every time she saw me. If she was with someone else she would lean over and, much like in a TV show about teenagers, hold her hand up in front of her mouth and whisper into their ear while looking at me and laughing. I, for obvious reasons, stopped saying hello in the morning.
That brings us to my brand spanking new nemesis.
I was getting ready to leave my house and head over to hang out with my grandmother as per usual. Our daily departure procedure is that I carry the diaper bag and let the toddler walk herself to the car. Almost every single day she runs to the flower bed next to the driveway and smells the flowers while I put the diaper bag in the car, and then she runs over to the wrong side of the car and makes me chase her around, well, because she’s a toddler and it’s what they do.
I’m in the middle of this little dance when I hear my neighbor across the street talking to someone. In the instant before someone becomes your sworn enemy they usually just look like a regular person, which is how this guy looked. I had never laid eyes on him before but my husband assures me that he is over their house all the time and that he is, in fact, a dickhead. So this regular looking guy looks over at me chasing my daughter around the car and then proclaims loudly to my neighbor that he better move his truck from where it’s parked (directly behind my driveway, as it is every other day) or else “that girl over there is going to hit it”.
First of all, girl? Come on, I’m closer to being fifty than I am to being a girl.
Second of all, I am amazed that the stereotype that women can’t drive is still a thing. Although, it may only be alive and well in this guy’s life. I’m sure he also has some AIDS jokes that he finds hilarious.
Thirdly, and probably the thing that I’m most pissed off about is that I didn’t say anything to him. Part of it was because I was a little caught off guard. Part of it was that it took a little while to get under my skin. I don’t know if it was being called girl or if it was the implied inability to back out of my driveway because I lacked a penis. I mean, is there some top secret rule to driving that I don’t understand where you need a dangling appendage to correctly back down a driveway? Is that how you are supposed to shift into reverse? Is that how he thinks you are supposed to shift into reverse?
If you are a rational human being you may be thinking, jeeze, he was probably thinking that his friend was parked in a really crappy spot and maybe wanted to help you both out by letting him know that he should move his car before he caused you both a lot of grief. You’re kind of a bitch. To that I say, keep any thoughts that a reasonable person may have to yourself. They have no place here!!!
I could be over reacting but we’ll never know. All I do know is that I can add being called “girl” by strange men to my list of things that irk me (along with shit talking my spinach dip, being a jerk because I didn’t want to go out on a date with you, and trying to steal my dang paper plates). The list may not be long, but I obviously take it super seriously.