Boyfriend, I know you get upset when my blog titles are not literal, so I’m sorry that this is not going to be about your student teaching experience, but just go with it and imagine me drawing smiley faces on everything while I write this.
There are lots of things I enjoy talking about; unfortunate outfits, celebrity gossip, Barack Obama, large men, grooming habits and ferocious animals. Note that feelings is no where to be found on this list. I hate talking about feelings. Instead, I prefer to deal with my emotions like any other sane person; I keep them to myself until they become a physical manifestation. It is much easier to faint, vomit or deal with a bloody nose than it is to articulate my feelings in a grown up manner.
It is not just my own feelings that I am opposed to discussing; I am weary of other people’s as well. The second someone wants to have a serious talk and tell me they are angry/sad/upset/confused/tired/elated/hungry/cranky I get all clammy and can’t squash the desire to cover my throat with my hand and make the nervous ticking noise that haunted me in when I took public speaking. Now, obviously, this is completely abnormal behavior. People have feelings and some people need to talk about them. Intellectually, I get it, but I am by no means comfortable with it.
Which brings me to last Wednesday. Wednesday morning, I was having a meeting at work to brief my co-workers about the events we have coming up. No one really listens at these meetings, but I have to hold them anyway so that when the shit hits the fan at the event I can say, but we went over all this at the meeting and pass the buck. Now, the meeting started at 9:30 which means that the co-worker everyone hates showed up at 10:15 and preceded to openly sob for the remainder of the meeting. Fine, you’re having some personal stuff, which is all very sad. I don’t have ice water running through my veins, I can feel general sympathy for you. After disrupting the meeting, failing to have completed the project I assigned her 2 months prior, the garbage pail co-worker asks if we can meet to discuss what she missed the first 45 minutes of the meeting.
Unfortunately, I am already regarded as the office biotch due to my inability to control my facial expressions when I think someone is being an idiot. This means that I cannot just tell this woman that no, if I had an additional hour to discuss this I would have made the meeting 10:30-11:30 instead of 9:30-10:30. Instead I go off with her to re-host the meeting. Two other co-workers come with us, probably to supervise so that I don’t slap this lady. So, by the time we are done recapping the original meeting it is creeping up on noon and I am dying to make a break for it. Old Garbage Pail co-worker is having none of this and asks me to meet with her in private. This can only be bad.
She dismisses the other people from meeting round 2 and pulls up a chair super close to mine. I am not into this at all, as close talking freaks me out almost as much as feelings, but this is work, so I have to smile and pretend its cool that this heinous animal is trying to crawl in to my lap. Just as I am settling in to my frozen smile Old Garbage Pail drops a bomb on me, “I feel like you hate me,” she says and starts sobbing uncontrollably. At this point, I want to run for the nearest exit, but again, it’s work so I can’t. Instead I have to sit there and assure her that all is well with us, hunky dorey, in fact. “I’m not a warm person,” I hear myself say. Immediately, I regret this because just as I say it the woman leans in FOR A HUG.
Lady, if I hate you, I certainly do not want to hug you. Did you not just hear me tell you I am not a warm person? Why would you think it is remotely acceptable for you to start getting all up in my personal space? All of these questions are running through my head as I am forced to sit there awkwardly patting her back as she snots into my dry-clean only sweater. After about 3 seconds of this I sit bolt upright, mumble how glad I am we had this talk and dash out of there before I break out in hives.
If I had not hated Garbage Pail before, I most certainly would now.