antisocial tendencies, revisited

So, I’ve never republished a post of mine before, but special circumstances warrant it this time. Namely, a special kind of insanity brought on by:

  • This last-minute planning for a bachelorette party in Las Vegas this weekend. Today I actually considered purchasing a pair of shiny silver zebra-striped tights from the Kardashian Kollection. I am not sure who or what I have become.
  • WORRIES. Am I doing enough for the party? Is what I planned special enough? For instance, did I write the bachelorette’s name on 14 hot pink tank tops using glittery puff paint and then arrange to have the girls wear the shirts while standing in a circle and hollering in appreciation as a naked man leaps out of a giant cake and hands the bachelorette a suitcase full of $100 bills? NO? I DIDN’T? HOLY SHIT I AM FAILING MY DUTIES THIS PARTY IS RUINED.
  • The fact that I deeply dislike Vegas, and feel about as enthusiastic about the prospect of participating in this party’s activities as I would spearing a fork in my eyeball. I’m not sure how an introverted twerp like me ended up planning a big traditional bachelorette experience, but that’s the power of friendship for you. 
  • The fact that I went into the office today and my boss was playing Enya, and I consequently had to endure flashbacks to college when I worked in that picture framing store for a highly unstable woman who would jam three Enya CDs into the stereo and hit “shuffle,” and also ENYA, WHY.

I originally wrote this post in 2010, when I was working at a different job, but it just feels appropriate right now. Also, this has for some reason always been one of my favorite posts of all time. I’m quietly hoping some of you have never seen it before and can wring a few leftover drops of enjoyment from the soppy mess.

I’ll be back next week with some new content for a change.

In the meantime, please pray for me.

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If only I had me a sharp knife.

If only I had me a sharp knife, I wouldn’t have to go downstairs to the main kitchen at work to prep my food. Slicing tomatos, apples, avocados, rinsing lettuce — all that could be done up here on the second floor, at the semi-abandoned coffee bar near my desk.1

And the most important part of not having to go down to the main kitchen for every single meal, of course, is that I wouldn’t have to experience… my coworkers.

My coworkers are the bane of my existence. Coworkers? They come up to you in the main kitchen where you are minding your own damn business slicing up some vegetables, and they say things to you like: “WHATCHU EATAN FER LUNCH?” Oh, yeah. These people talk like that. Definitely in my grossly exaggerated imitations of them, they do. They talk weird and they are maybe 1.5 times the size and height of normal people and their features blend together into one lumpy mashed-potato-like mass and they probably inhale through their mouths. I don’t know, I am usually too busy trying to desperately hold myself together to really notice.

Time slows during these moments. The moments where you frantically try to appear intensely engrossed in the task at hand in hopes that they leave you alone, but no. You sense that they’ve sighted you, and now they are moving closer, and now they are hovering just over your shoulder. My breathing gets shallow, the world gets fuzzy at the edges. The knife in my hand moves of its own volition, rising up and then sinking down again, like a seesaw or one of those oil pumpjacks you see perpetually pecking at empty fields. Up. Down. Chop. Chop.

“THAH SHURE LOOKS HELTHY!” they chirrup brightly. These coworkers do not know anything other than blind optimism. They have never felt the cold grip of reality tighten in their chests as they sit up in bed in the black of night, bitterly confronting the smallness of their own existences. They remain eternally surprised by ordinary occurrences, especially as they relate to meteorological phenomena. And their worst infraction of all, perhaps, is that they speak only in all caps.

“KIN YUH BUHLEEVE HOW CHILLY IT IS TODAY!” they shriek, grins permanently clamped in place, guffaws echoing across the room and back again like boomerangs. “BOY IT SHURE IS CHILLY! I HEAR IT IS SPOSED TO BE CHILLY THROUGH TOMORROW! IZ THIS UHLASKAH OR IZ THIS CALIFORNIA! HAW HAW!”

Haw.

Yet despite their outwardly friendly and welcoming nature, my coworkers remain inherently suspicious of anything they do not immediately recognize. “WHAS THAT?!?” they inquire, leaning over my lunch plate like they are examining evidence at an anthropological dig site, or maybe just absorbing a particularly compelling panel of a Cathy comic strip. Through gritted teeth I manage to choke out: “A tomato.” This causes them to furrow their brows at the purply-red heirloom fruit below. “UH TOMAYTO!” they snort derisively. “AH NEVER SEEN UH PERPLE TOMAYTO!”

Never seen a purple tomato.

All the things I want to shout in return come flooding through my head.

Stop breathing on my goddamn purple tomato, motherfucker!

and

You think I’m so goddamn healthy? You don’t know me! I had macaroni and cheese for dinner last night, motherfucker!

and

Of course it is chilly outside! It’s almost goddamn winter! Motherfucker!

But no. No. I can’t say any of that, of course. So instead I just show them my teeth in what I hope passes for a smile, and say weakly: “Yeah, it’s a pretty weird tomato, huh? Maybe it will warm up soon.”

I really, really, really need to get me that sharp knife.

Maybe tonight.

***UPDATE: I did. I got a sharp knife tonight. Badow, how you like me now?

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1 It has a sink, a counter, and a coffee maker. Brilliant.

12 Responses to “antisocial tendencies, revisited”

  1. With your sharp knife you will be UNSTOPPABLE! Or, you know, able to cut up your weird tomatoes in peace. (Side note: I miss my former landlord’s bountiful heirloom tomato garden and the bags of tomatoes they used to give me. My god those were the best tomatoes ever.)

  2. Did you used to work in San Antonio, Texas? We all look and sound like that here.

    Wait, no, you clearly said Californya. Sorry.

    Ah whale…ifnya ever get back this way now you holler, ya heer? Ah’ll be happyta carreeya downtotha Alamo ifnya’d lahk to see it?

    😉

  3. Oh Vegas. I tried to be into you. I gave you a chance after avoiding you for years, resisting the allure of $150 getaways to a place where the sun still shone. I thought I could look past the glitter and the lights and the endless gambling. I could, but turns out I couldn’t look past the piles of porn on the street, the general joy taken in degrading women at every turn, and perhaps most of all, I couldn’t look past the ridiculous prices to do nearly anything that I might find fun. Like eating. Sigh… I tried.

    The only fun I did find in Vegas was hanging out with good friends. So hope you get that, but without the shiny silver zebra-striped tights from the Kardashian Kollection.

    P.S. I think that might one of my favourite posts. I’m still at that job.

    • My friend once said that the whole of Vegas is aimed toward what we are told should be our fantasy, but it’s a fantasy for people who don’t really know what they want or aren’t creative enough to come up with something else. I thought that was a really good way to put it. My fantasies and Vegas’ just don’t happen to line up. At all.

  4. I never read this first time around (*quietly mumbles something about reading exclusively wedding blogs in 2010*) so I’m glad you reposted it. I hope you managed to refrain from stabbing anyone with your sharp knife.

    • Yes, there’s a reason I’m not at that job anymore.

      *clears throat*
      *narrows eyes*
      *shuffles feet*

      And I hear you. In 2010 I was still writing my own wedding blog in addition to reading everyone else’s, so I’m pretty surprised I managed to squeeze out a piece that was non-wedding-related.

  5. Oh I remember this post! This also reminds me of the one where you go and eat free cake and get into ‘talking’ with co-workers which just NEVER ENDS WELL, DOES IT?

    Hope Vegas isn’t too dreadful.

  6. Vegas. Don’t ever need to go back. Ever.

    And the tights are probably a good idea. Get into character. The one who enjoys VEGAS.

    I did buy gold skintight pants once for New Year’s in Barcelona. I quite liked them.

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