Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Bad Run (aka "I'm an idiot")

A bad emotional run for the past two weeks.

On a day-to-day basis, I'm always mentally torn between "tell the truth" and "well, sometimes if you tell the truth, things get ugly -- especially for yourself -- and so just shut up!" (But then I hate bullshit, so I can't stop piping up.)

The bad run started on a Friday two weeks ago, on the last day of my last temp job:

FRIDAY, MAY 17: Went to a close-by Tex-Mex restaurant for lunch, which had usually been a perfectly pleasant/fast place to eat. The waitress this time was harried. Which, of course, I'd normally have patience for. EXCEPT: There were 4 groups in her section; two of the "groups" were single guys who had come in AFTER me. Those guy-tables had their chips/salsa re-filled constantly... I ran out of chips and salsa and I couldn't catch the girl's eye to get more, all the while watching tables around me being fully serviced! At the end of the meal, I asked for a couple of to-go containers and my check... The same type of thing: No containers and check forthcoming, while the waitress was very attentive to the guys in her section. I finally had to get up and go to the main counter and ASK for my check.

SATURDAY, MAY 18: Time for a pedi. Showed up late, around noon, so I knew there'd be waiting time. The weird thing, though: The second I walked in the door, I spotted "the Sylvia Plath woman" (that I've written about here before, from my bus) sitting in a chair... Of course (!) I got seated right next to her. But then my chair, with its poking-out massage implements, hurt my back, and the wait-time with my feet actually in the swirling water went on for another 45 minutes past the first 30 minutes in the non-water waiting area... and being right next to the Sylvia Plath woman was freaky... I got up, wet feet and all, and sloshed out in my flip-flops.

SUNDAY, MAY 19: At a birthday cookout for my 11-year-old nephew's birthday, got into an argument with my sister-in-law about Ted Hughes. She'd recently seen the old movie "Sylvia" and, from it -- and it alone -- deduced that Hughes was a scumbag and that anyone who felt any sympathy for him whatsoever was also a scumbag. (My arguments that I'd studied Plath/Hughes for 30 years/had read every bio about them and so knew a bit more about their situation than she did, and that Hughes had sent me a card praising my poetry, held no sway with her!)

MONDAY, MAY 20: Got the June 1 bill for my apartment rent. A brand-new addition of $8 for "gas" to the bill. (The apartment is electric.) Last month, such a charge had shown up for the first time; when I talked to management about it, the new girl in the front office said it was a billing mistake. This time, though, when I again went in to ask about the charge, the same girl said: "We already contacted you about that..." (They had not!) And another huge argument ensued.

MONDAY NIGHT, MAY 20: Called Sandra. She -- completely immersed in a battle with random stewardesses, et al, for her long-time (now decrepit) lover's money -- completely blew me off.

OK...wow. Just now stopped and re-read the above, realized that my irritations were just that -- irritations. Sandra's worry was a bit more serious: While I might think her relationship with her sugar-daddy stupid and phony (she'd been seeing the man for 14 years, had always declined to marry him, had refused to sleep with him for the past several years), it was, nonetheless, a mainstay of her life for the past 14 years: Yeah, he was paying her rent (which I often mocked -- I, on principle, despise anyone who lives off another), but he was also a genuine emotional base for her. And now he's dying. The concern about the stewardesses, et al, is stupid to ME, but -- in the midst of some very real monetary negotiations going on among the man's associates (family, friends, lovers) -- it's not so lightweight to HER. In fact, it's a darn serious matter.

Was I just complaining above about chips and salsa? about a pedi? about a poet's reputation? about an $8 gas bill?

What a complete, simplistic fool I am.


e.f. bartlam said...

I think this list of frustrations is sufficient.

It's especially infuriating to have your expertise dismissed. It's fine to have someone disagree but, often there's no respect for what you know...or even what it takes to know things.

Once during a discussion, my father-in-law, says "you've got your information and I've got mine." What I really wanted to say to him, at that moment, was yes "you've got your's and I've got mine but, one of us has been trained at an extremely high level to collect, organize, and interpret information...the other has been laying bricks for the last 40 years."

Instead I just went and got more bourbon.

The chips and salsa things aggravating as hell too.

Beth Austin said...

RE: "you've got yours and I've got mine but, one of us has been trained at an extremely high level to collect, organize, and interpret information...the other has been laying bricks for the last 40 years." ! ! Ouch! :) I'm kinda torn about that internal argument, though, having grown up working class and now having a Masters degree...seeing both sides of the coin firsthand and realizing what bullshit artists many of those "educated people in charge" can be/are! :)