You’d think I’d know better by now than to feign interest in the lives of those around me. At this point, it should be obvious that I’m incapable of good advice, unable to offer substantial help, and I tend to wander off for food when I’m supposed to be listening.
Honestly, even if I never learned such things, you’d think everyone else would have. Does no one pay attention any more?
“I just don’t have the right sort of equipment for those maneuvers — what with owning a penis and all. You might as well ask me to breastfeed a toddler while you’re at it.”
Anyway, I had to run by the office today. Thanks to the holiday, most of my coworkers were elsewhere, no doubt enjoying their long holiday weekends. One girl was there, though. And she was obviously not enjoying herself. Obviously and audibly. Not exactly a winning combination.
I followed my instincts initially, and steered well clear. The woman was obviously angry or frustrated about something; for all I knew, she may have even been scorned. And I’m clearly not someone with the capability to talk reason into a female under those circumstances.
I can cause such problems, sure. But prevent, improve, or ameliorate the situation? Sorry. I just don’t have the right sort of equipment for those maneuvers — what with owning a penis and all. You might as well ask me to breastfeed a toddler while you’re at it.
(Please don’t ask me to breastfeed a toddler. The only thing scarier than trying it would be actually succeeding at it.
And I’m a very competitive guy. For the love of god, don’t encourage me.)
For the first hour or so at the office, things went just peachily. I got a few things accomplished, and the girl — well, as far as I could tell, she spent the time sighing loudly and banging on her keyboard. I couldn’t tell whether she was typing, exactly, or practicing some sort of finger-based martial art on her space bar. But she was definitely noisy, in precisely the way that screams, ‘Run away!!‘ to your average red-blooded male.
Still, she obviously wanted someone to ask her what was wrong. And there was no one else there. And I was on my way out the door. What possible harm could there be in reaching out to a fellow human being, to let them vent for just a moment? How, I thought to myself, could that possibly go wrong?
The answer, it turns out, is that it could go wrong more or less like this:
Me: Um, hey, Carla. How you doing?
Carla: Oh… *sigh* Fine, I guess.
Me: Okay, well, I guess I’ll just be go–
Carla: It’s just my boyfriend. Boys are so stupid.
Me: Yeah. Look, this seems like a bad time. I should really g–
Carla: He just thinks he’s god’s gift to women. How can he act that way?
Me: I’ve really never met the g–
Carla: It’s not like he’s so perfect. Because he’s not.
Me: I’m… sorry?
Carla: You know, the sex isn’t even all that good.
Me: Whoo! Look at the time! I have really got t–
Carla: You know how, with some guys, making love is like a symphony? There are rhythms, and subtleties, and a final, overwhelming, swelling, crashing, crescendo.
Me: I’m really not sure I can–
Carla: Well, sex with him is more like an ad jingle.
Me: An ad jingle?
Carla: ‘His baloney has a first name; it’s O-S-Cee-eee-eee-ungh! It was good for you, right, baby?‘
Carla: And don’t get me started about that ‘size doesn’t matter’ bullshit.
At that point, I ran. I just ran. Down the hall, through the fire door, and down three flights of stairs. Maybe she was done talking, and maybe she wasn’t. All I know is that I didn’t need to hear any more. And I would’ve slept better if I’d heard a whole lot less.
But no. I had to try to be ‘sociable’, as though I could possibly help. And what did it get me? One exquisitely awkward conversation, a coworker I can’t look in the eye any more, and a wiener commercial that’s either going to make me nauseous or turn me on next time I hear it. And possibly both.
Next time I decide to show concern for a fellow human, could someone beat me over the head with something large and heavy? It’d just be simpler for everyone involved — and I wouldn’t have to give up hot dogs. Yow.Permalink | 1 Comment