Lessons In Being A Terrible Person

I went for a walk to the deli down the street to get myself a tuna salad sandwich, because I had been craving it for the entire day. One of my coworkers says this deli makes its tuna salad with lard and that’s why it’s so good, and I don’t know where she got that, but she’s taller than me and she’s tiny even though she’s had three kids, so I don’t trust her or her assessment of the tuna salad.

I don’t really know how her height has anything to do with anything, but I’m leaving it in.

At the deli, I stepped up to the counter to make my order. I know the drill at this place. I have a Frequent Buyer’s card, and some of the people who work there recognize me when I come in, but the guy I got this time apparently didn’t, so he kept interrupting my order to ask questions I was about to answer, like what kind of bread I wanted, and whether I wanted it toasted, and whether I wanted the cheese melted. And then after he hit TOTAL I gave him my fully hole-punched Frequent Buyer’s card, meaning I get my sandwich for free, and he gave me a look that shot fire into my face and I was pretty sure the wrath of Allah will come upon me in my sleep.

That’s totally not meant to be racist.

As I was standing off to the side, waiting for my order, one of the other guys came by to give someone else their food. This is one of the people who recognize me when I come in. I think he kind of has a little crush, because he gets all awkward when he sees me. He told me once that I look like Ali Landry.

He must have seen me through my window once while I was awkwardly lying across a stone slab in my underwear in front of the fireplace I don’t have.

PS – I don’t look like Ali Landry. Not even a little bit.

As he was bowing his head low and saying hello to me, I thought, “You poor awkward thing. Why the hell do you think I look like Ali Landry?” And then he muttered something I didn’t understand, and I smiled and asked him to repeat it. He looked up at the ceiling as if to make sure he’d pronounce it correctly and said, “Uh, happy holiday!” with an approval-seeking smile. And I did smile at him, while thinking it was strange to be wished a happy Weekend of Remembering Those Who Died In War. By a Japanese kid.

That’s totally not meant to be racist.

He might be Chinese.

So I got my food and started walking back to work, and then I tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk. Probably as karma for being racist and silently mocking a kid who thinks I look like Ali Landry. What kind of woman mocks a kid for thinking she’s a smoking hot sex kitten?

I’m so pissed I don’t have a fireplace.

Also, while I was walking two blocks on a totally normal street, my calves started to ache. This kind of crap didn’t happen when I was not going to the gym for 3.5 years. During that time, I never had a single problem walking.

Then I got back to work and happened to check Facebook while I was eating. One of my friends from grade school had posted that a guy had taken her out and shown her “a good time” the night before. She’s got two kids, both young, one three and the other six months. The baby had to have open heart surgery right after he was born. Obviously, my friend needed a night out, but I thought it was strange that it was with some guy she’s not married to. “Whoa,” I commented. “Does (husband’s name) know? ;-)”

A little while later, I got a message from her. “Hey lady! Hope you’re doing well! I saw the pictures from your sister’s graduation – I can’t believe she’s so grown up! And your parents look the same. I thought maybe I should explain my post to you: (husband’s name) and I are in the process of a divorce….”

There were more words, but I lost them in a haze of being a terrible person. I managed a very apologetic reply.

And now I’m going to just sit quietly at my desk for the rest of the night.






16 thoughts on “Lessons In Being A Terrible Person

  1. I am often a terrible person myself – sometimes I even mean to be terrible, but not usually. I would totally lay in front of the fireplace like that, except for the hot flashes. And the granny panties. And the need for a trip to the chiropractor.

  2. You’re not a terrible person at all. You’re a normal person, and we all have days like that. I get frustrated or irritated or self-righteous or any of those kinds of things sometimes, and make comments or judgements or complain about people…and I know that it will come back to bite me in the ass. Especially if I put it in writing. I always find out there was a good reason for what they did, or my rant had wrong information in it, or their dog just died… In short, that I am a complete ass.

  3. Whoa. I hope your day got A LOT better! I often get stuck between being authentic (as in “I hate you because you’re a totally cut triathlete and I limp going down the stairs” or “Is that dude with the yarmulke seriously eating bacon?”) and, you know, being considerate and kind. For example, there was the time a pregnant client of mine called to cancel care for her other child and I was so concerned about why she sounded so tired that I basically gave her no choice but to tell me she had just lost the baby. Yes, I’m going to hell for that. Sometimes I wish I had a ‘do not talk’ indicator to warn me before I wholly succumb to my personal assness.

    • This whole post took place within 30 minutes. Thank God it was just that much, and limited to it! What often gets me in trouble is my default setting to wry humor; I learn the hard way when it doesn’t work. But you’re not going to hell for cajoling someone because you cared. You wanted to do something to help until you realized you couldn’t possibly. That’s a virtue disguised as a vice. It’s all about the nuance sometimes!

  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up! Where was your friend’s “transition” posts? The ones that gently help everyone realize her relationship status has changed before posting that some new guy “showed her a good time.” That is Facebook Etiquette 101. Also: has she changed her relationship status? I can’t tell you how many times “It’s complicated” has *just* stopped me from inserting my foot in my mouth. Of course, you probably don’t check “relationship status” because somehow it might make you racist.

    • I don’t know if her relationship status was ever posted. What she has NOT done is take her married name off her First Maiden Married user name. That’s tipped me off to more than one relationship change. So really, I was flying blind.

  5. Facebook is the burning hellfire of social awkwardness just waiting to singe us all, so you didn’t do anything wrong.

    If you don’t really look like that sexy young woman in the very awkward pose, is it possible your admirer said you looked like Tom Landry? Cuz if he did, you shouldn’t feel bad about silently mocking him when he’s verbally mocking you.

  6. You need to post something new. Every time I check in on your page and see this headline, I think you’ve posted about it AGAIN and feel like you’re beating yourself up. So now you are also terrible for making me worry about you unnecessarily. See?

  7. We have a talk show host here named Bill Handel whose show, Handel on the news, is politically correct by most standards. The show always ends with an apology read by his sidekick. Example: “We would like to apologize to the following: President Bush, Pope Benedict XVI and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, radical Muslims, evangelical Christians and the Jews, painted elephants … Pete Rose, Chinese men with transplanted penises that have to have them cut off, necrophiliacs, Marine deserters, Iranians, Iraqis and Afghanis, kids who go to Jesus camp, anyone who wears a toupee, gay governors that release their erotic memoirs, Indian givers … and astronauts who release noxious gas in an enclosed environment.”

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