Let’s hop in the way-back machine and take a look at this past Friday. Not really “way-back” but that sounds better than “not-so-far-back”.
Text to husband: “Lunch?”
Text from husband (paraphrasing): “Sure. Might be late. Middle of project.”
“Ding” Neighbor office-mate’s IM: “Lunch?” She sits right next to me and I notice it’s from other neighboring office-mate. Both are literally within arm’s length from where I sit.
Neighbor (#1) office-mate’s IM reply: “Sure! Where?”
I’m all what the fuck? Why not just pass a note back and forth behind my back. That would be SO less obvious. I get it. You didn’t want to invite me to lunch. Whatever. Fuckers.
They leave, all together. I’m alone in the office waiting for Sparring Partner to let me know when it’s OK to join him for lunch. Soon, he calls, “What do you want for lunch?” I figured he was going to go to the place I picked and order for me since it takes a while for me to get there from where I work. I tell him and then leave.
I get to place and he’s not there. I call him. “Where are you?”
“On the bridge on 1st Street, half-way to Place of Work. Where are you?”
“I’m at Lunch Place!”
Mass confusion over the fact that we were not clear in our plans: his being the plan to BRING me lunch, and mine being the plan to MEET him for lunch.
Rejection from office mates + botched lunch plans = me crying in my car in front of Lunch Place.
Minutes later, Sparring Parnter pulls up to Lunch Place and I get out of van, intent to take the food back inside and eat. SP wants me to sit in his car and eat. I don’t want to eat my soup and salad in his stupid car! I want to sit at a table! I cry some more. Wild gesticulating outside his car outside Lunch Place (aka – Losing My Shit).
“What is your problem?” SP asks (paraphrasing).
“No one likes me!” I answer (paraphrasing). More crying. “I don’t want to eat in your car! I want to sit down at a table!” more gesturing, more crying, more over-reacting.
“Do you know how stupid that will look for us to walk back into Lunch Place with our to-go bags?” SP reasons – illogically.
“Who gives a shit how it looks! I’m sorry if I’m an embarrassment to you!” (Yeah. That came out of left-field, didn’t it?)
I take my food, get in my car, and drive back to work. On the way, I pull over into an empty parking lot and eat my soup that I didn’t want to eat in a car with my husband. I’m an asshole.
Get back to work. Put untouched salad in fridge. Pitiful text messages back and forth between SP and myself. Me still feeling sorry for myself because I’m an outsider at work because I’m not “one of them” and how my friends from my 10 year job make me realize I’m not “one of them” either.
Finally, a sobering text message from Sparring Partner (not paraphrased):
“I was there for you when u got fired and still want to kick Ex-boss’s ass. So don’t go there. The people you work around don’t know you. And it sounds like they’re all up in themselves. I on the other hand want to know you. That doesn’t mean across a chat thread or what-not. I plan on sitting on the porch 40-some years from now looking at what WE did. Not how many people read your blog. They DON’T know you like you think. You share your tragedy in common and that sucks that it is that bringing you closer together.”
And the balloon of fury and outrage and indignation and selfishness deflated in a rush of expelled breath and suddenly I was calm again and only a single thought – a revelation – to contemplate.