Thursday, August 21, 2008

Clearly, no real problems

I need to start by saying that this blogpost will prove to the basket that I have no real problems. Anyone with actual problems would never devote any energy to bitching like this.

There is someone in my world who is making me bat-shit crazy.
The conversation goes like this.

We need to pick something up for lunch. She only eats soup for lunch so I start by saying, "okay, soup. Where would you like to get some soup." Twenty minutes later I try to shorten the conversation by offering concrete suggestions.

"Well, there's a Red Lobster. They have chowder and bisque. Would you like Red Lobster?"

"You know. . . I have only ever eaten at a Red Lobster once in my life. My entire life. I can't even tell you which one I ate at. I know that sounds funny, but I can explain. You see it was when I was working for blahblah doing contract work on the blahblah in blahblah county which is in blah part of the state. And I can tell you which county I was in but it was one of those places that you only know you're in a new town because you pass a small sign that says, "welcome to blah town." So it was one of those places and I guess I wasn't paying attention to the signs because I have no idea which Red Lobster it was that I ate at."

they're all the same! that's what's wrong with america, right?! the same exact restaurants no matter which town you're in! it doesn't MATTER which FUCKING RED LOBSTER IT WAS! they all have the same menu that's why they have the SAME NAME!

"Oh well, we've passed it. I know Applebees has soup. Let's pull in."

We pull up to the Applebee's to go and have a 15 minute conversation about how remarkable it is that they have a "to go" parking area. And they have the phone number posted so you can just call it in, but how do you know what they have? Surely they have a different soup each day, don't you think. . . . ?

Or consider that we are two hours away from home. Our meeting gets done an hour early. We go to "pick up some coffee" on our way out of town before heading home. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER we are actually getting in the car to head home.

At some point, I just can't engage any more. Scully bought me an i-tunes card specifically so I could download old this american life episodes. She did this specifically so I didn't have to converse as much on these lengthy and frequent work trips. And that works, it works well. But sometimes it backfires.

We were listening to one called "Family Physics." The short version, a woman is dating a white guy while also screwing around with a black guy. She gets pregnant & isn't sure who the father is. Her family makes her marry her boyfriend (the white guy) and the baby is born looking "white enough." The truth comes out 20 years later, the family does fine and the biracial kid meets his bio dad etc.

She looks at me stunned. "What a good story. Really good story." pause & I know its coming. "Do you suppose that's why adopted kids sometimes seek out their birth parents? Do you think its about identity?"

I couldn't even make eye contact. "I don't know. I guess I don't know." because I was simply unwilling to engage in a conversation about identity, race, adoption, family etc. for the next FOUR HOURS that it would have taken.

There's more. There's so so much more.

See? No real problems.

1 comment:

laurharr said...

oh my bleeping jeezo I have the same exact personality to deal with at work but she works right across the hall and we have to keep our doors open all day. one day I counted - she came in my office to interrupt me 8 times in one hour to tell me random shit such as the info in your blog. but ohmygawd at least I wasn't in a small space with her for four hours. damn. i ache with you.

love, Mulder