I try to be polite – In person. Despite what you might read here, I am not a phlegmatic compulsive venom machine when at work. So it’s not terribly surprising that I get a lot of points of view applied to me by coworkers. For some I’m an upright Republican. For others I’m a spiritual Christian. For some I am a closeted homosexual. For yet others I’m a slightly racist homophobe. But thanks to my unwillingness to rise to the bait and actually share a genuine opinion, every job leaves me with a trail of somewhat lonely older women who think that we are close, close friends.
Every now and again, one of these women will bemoan the woe of the life they imagine I have, and proclaim that they have a solution. One indicated that it would be to watch the television program Smallville. One suggested I quit my job and bum around europe. The list of these solutions to my woe take on sort of a fevered pitch the longer I allow the illusion of closeness.
This time, the entire mess has coagulated into a) my peripheral involvement in a weirder than average love triangle that involves a Mall Ninja Grade 1 and b) well…. it’s better if I explain it.
I came in to work last week. There were two pictures on my desk, stuffed into my keyboard. And a tiny post it note with the words “What do you think? I’ll be back.” written on it. I assumed that this was someone putting something on the wrong desk. Asked around if anyone had seen who put them there, and then discarded it. One of the lonely ladies walks up and asks… “Well? What do you think?” After stammering a bit, I realized what this was. This was a fucking setup. With her daughter.
I muttered some niceties, and endured a medium-longish… rant is too harsh, but let’s call it a harangue… about her daughter’s husband, and something about a walk out before Christmas three years ago. The takeaways from this speech were that there were two kids, and that the daughter “babysat”. I couldn’t really place her age from the pictures, but I was told to “think about it”. From the second lonely lady, I gained this additional information. The kids are 8 and 10.
I was already excited by this news. A divorcee with two school aged kids and no job? Sign me the fuck up! But in the interest of politeness, I decided it would be best to just give my phone number to her and let it play.
So, a couple days later, I notice a call on my cell phone, and a voicemail. I checked it, expecting a sort of awkward intro, and instead I heard… Well. The Lonely Lady. I will transcribe below to the best of my memory.
“Hi, Aaron. I gave your phone number to my daughter and she told me ‘Mother, I am not going to call some man.’ She’s being a little old fashioned about this, so here’s her number go ahead and give her a call.”
Since I had been having such a killer fucking week already, I chose to again, be polite, and just not call anyone. Because if I did, I would not have been polite at all. A mother of two school aged kids living off of, presumably, alimony and child support? Who is “old fashioned” in her ideas of the interaction between men and women? Listen. If I wanted to fuck someone from my grandma’s generation, I would start trolling for grannies on Craigslist.
So I’ve stopped being polite. I’m not going to let people apply their idiotic theories of who I am to me. I’m going to tell them the mother fucking truth. I will show them my teeth.