Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tragic, The Blathering: Bizarrely Suspicious Girl

I worked with this girl at my desk job. I didn't know her very well because she worked during the day and I worked at night. Our work shifts overlapped by half an hour. I heard things about her (mostly work related) and I finally met her during some crap meeting designed to help us interact better with our coworkers and make better use of them as work resources.

She seemed okay. When we introduced ourselves to the group she acted quite proud that she was studying biology at the university. As if only one in a billion people do that. But when you are proud of yourself for doing something sometimes you can't help it, so I didn't hold it against her. Later in the meeting, I wondered, who in this room is going to act like they are awesome by bringing up the special tools and information databases they use for their specific job like they are so much cooler than the average corporate zombie. Sure enough, it was that girl.

When we were sitting at our table, I asked the girl, "So what made you decide to study Biology?" And she said, "Because I love plants." And I said, "Do you know what would be cool? To have a little greenhouse and breed your own roses and come up with your own special kind of rose someday. Are you into anything like that?" She said, "No. I'm not into roses."

I said, "Are you into trees or vegetables or something?" And she said, "No." And I jokingly said, "Are you way into spider-plants or something?" Because you have to try to kill a spider-plant. It's not really as simple as forgetting to water them. Millions of years from now, when man has killed himself off and plants and cockroaches rule the world, the spider-plant will be king.

To my surprise, she told me YES! She is indeed WAY into spider-plants. She doesn't do anything special with them. She just has a bunch around her apartment and, I guess, when she looks at them she sees the future or something. I don't know. And then I quieted down because I had mocked her love in life.

Back in the regular work-world, Wednesday nights were horrible for me because my friend Gordon was off that night. There was nobody to talk to. Every minute of work seemed to strangle the life out of me. And after that meeting, I noticed that my schedule overlapped for a few minutes with that girl, so I started "Instant Message-ing" that girl for a few minutes every Wednesday. The first time I did, I told her my situation and I asked if it was okay if I chatted with her. She said it was.

I just asked her basic, simple things. I asked her about school but I think I unintentionally stole her academic thunder when I mentioned that I had already taken most of the classes she was enrolled in. I like books so I asked her what her favorite book was. After some coaxing, she told me but I'm not going to tell you what it was because, for some reason, she was embarrassed about it.

We talked about stuff like that, for about 15 minutes every Wednesday night. Right at the moment her shift ended, she would say, "I'm going now" even if I was in the middle of talking. But I hated that job so I can't really blame her.

She told me she had grown up in Utah and felt like a bit of a prude but that she was "working at being more of a party-girl." She told me she had recently watched the movie "American Pie" for the first time and she was sorely disappointed when she later got in a group of people and used the line "This one time at band camp..." and NOBODY laughed. I told her that joke had finished that run. She also told me people were making fun of her because she didn't know who Prince was. I admitted it was strange to make it into your 20's without ever hearing of Prince but that if she had made it this far then it obviously didn't matter. When she asked me about my personal life I emailed her a generic profile I had typed up to put on one of those high school friend-finder websites.

The next time I chatted with her, I tried to strike up a simple conversation and she suddenly lashed out at me: "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!"

It came out of nowhere. I would have expected something like that the first week or two that I had been talking to her but this was months later. I understood what she was getting at and I answered, "Yes. And I have a wife and kids."

She said, "Well... I can't tell if you are hitting on me or not."

I asked, "What exactly have I said that would make you think I was hitting on you?"

Her answered baffled me: "It was when you sent me that profile about yourself."

The profile where I talk all about my wife and kids to a generic world audience?

Then she added: "And it made you sound arrogant, too."

The profile where I talk strongly about how I hated my job and never had time to do anything I wanted to do?

I brought those points to her attention. She didn't say anything more about me hitting on her but in regard to my arrogance, she said something like, "You sound arrogant in BEING, not necessarily in SETTING." I think she was basically saying that I think I'm too good for the world around me. I DO think I'm too good for jobs that treat me like crap. I don't think of it as arrogance. I think of it as self-respect. I think to be truly arrogant a person would NEVER admit to anything that didn't make it sound like their life was amazing.

Once that was settled, we moved on with the conversation. But I ruined things again. She was talking about Halloween and I think I ripped her apart by asking, quite innocently, "So let me get this straight... you're boyfriend, who has been in the police academy for a couple of years now, is going to a Halloween party as A POLICE OFFICER?"

I didn't have to say anything else. I didn't have to ask, isn't that like a chef going to a costume party dressed as a chef or a lawyer going to a party dressed as a lawyer?

So she proved that I couldn't go more than two seconds without being a jerk and I guess this is my attempt to prove that I was set up as a jerk. Because how could I possibly respond to all of this stuff as if it was not only normal but also cool?

Some people just ruin everything.

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