Thursday, July 9, 2009

The meaning of mean

"Here you are," he said, putting one finger down on my desk. "And here is your life," as he carefully drew a line passing by the stationary finger.

This was told to me today, by one of my wonderful co-workers. Who has, just today, decided to take a keen interest in my life (or lack thereof, according to him) in order for me to come out with him tonight. We've worked together now for a couple of years, and I guess he thinks he knows me pretty well. We have an odd relationship that I can't quite define - flirty, old-married-couple, brother-and-sister type, friend - I honestly don't know. It's all hard to read and confusing. But it's gone on for so long, and I know him well enough to know that I wouldn't be interested in him for anything more than just a co-worker/friend. There's too much of a catty streak (not exactly sexy for a man to have), too much of a bitterness, lifestyle differences, and oh yes - this need of his to somehow push all my buttons.

He likes to convince me of how "mean" I am and I guess, to him, I am. I don't cater to him and his (or anyone else in that office) crazy paranoid theories (our office ceilings are bugged, anyone?) and I certainly don't pat him on the back when he does yet another bitchy thing to someone else and comes to brag about it.

All of my co-workers (there are 8 of them, but 4 most predominantly) treat me as a combination of mother and counselor. I can't tell you how many phone calls I get per day (and no, I'm not their boss). These questions, in the past week have ranged from work-related to "Will you look at this rash on my side and see if it's serious or not?" "Do you have migraine medicine?" and "Will you feel my forehead and see if I have a fever?"

No, blog-friends, I am neither a medical professional nor the secretary. I am the writer, using my words as our message - and my meal ticket. I am also the mother hen (even though I'm the youngest of the crew, I might add) and they all crowd around me chirping, scratching dirt and demanding that I find them something to eat (or a band-aid).

So yes, I get frustrated. I give them tough love and I am constantly running interference between their fights and their tears and trying to remain the calm, steady voice in the storm. The one that tells them all to chill the f*** out because I'm trying to job.

I say all this to go back to today, and the comment above. Because I'm so "mean," he tries to be mean back to me. Or, at least, turn my 'honesty' card against me and be honest back. He and another co-worker of mine are going downtown tonight to this outdoor food/drink/music thing that our city does every Thursday night. Which would be just fine, but I'm stuck at home working since I have to work on a presentation to give tomorrow to about 150 people via conference call.

When I said I wasn't going, he decided to flip his shit. He went off about how I never get out and do anything (keeping in mind this is the very FIRST time my co-workers have ever collectively decided to go anywhere together) and that's when he gave me his helpful visual aid of my life passing me by.

Normally - this guy doesn't phase me in the least. Today? If I had balls, he would have kicked me in them.

As if I don't have enough issues. As if I don't worry privately and fret on this blog and to close friends that I feel a little bit like a failure. Or, at the very least, like someone who is sitting on the bench for whatever reason. Not only do I feel like I'm sitting on the bench, I feel like I'm tied to it. I am leading a bit of a quiet life lately, in terms of where I'm living. I feel like every weekend I skip town, going west or south, to see friends in another town or see family in another. Do I miss having friends around - at least a group of them? Hell yes.

But, I feel such a sense of disconnect to where I'm living now. Since I'm actively trying to leave, I don't want to pick right now to get plugged into this community. I don't want to start dating someone, only to have to wrestle with either heartache (additional heartache to what I'm suffering from now) or have a reason to stay.

I don't want to pick now to get involved, only to bind myself to this place for more years of my life. This place where I am clearly not happy. Rocket scientists and preschoolers alike could tell you I'm not happy here. Happy with some things, yes. But feeling like my life is going in a positive direction - no.

And I'm trying. I'm actively trying to change my situation so that I can force a change in environment, no matter what. Even if that means staying here, and feeling freer to invest my time and energy into this community.

I suppose that for now I really am a finger stationary on a desk. With a swipe of a finger-life passing me by.

But it still hurts.

1 comment:

Ms. Moon said...

Oh honey. That was so unfair. You are who you are with all the nurturing and sweetness and toughness. But it is up to you to decide who to give all of that to.
And when it's time to give all your gifts to someone, you'll know it. Until then, keep whatever you need to close to your chest. Just because someone works with you, it doesn't give them the right to own any part of you.