Names, games, and pain


It’s easy to write about Mondays – it seems they almost always suck. At some level, anyway. I always feel rushed on Monday. Nothing bad happened—at least not to me personally.

One of my employees is having house issues. Like the building itself has issues. We sat in my office at lunch trying to be  supportive, we all feel for her. She is part of our little family. But we felt helpless.

Appointments made, appointments cancelled. Contractor for the new space called, called again, and then called a third time. Students cancelled, students added in.  A bombardment of phone calls. Teaching, monthly paperwork, quarterly paperwork, last minute I-didn’t-know-I-had-to-do-it-paperwork. … Teacher issues, last minute teacher scrambles.

It was a juggling sort of day.

I came home weary and in pain. I thought about reading last night; I am halfway through March, and reading slowly. I really like it and recommend it to any history buff or literature lover. My goal is to get myself back up to two books a week. But I was to the bone tired last night, so that goal will have to wait. I thought about writing, but that really is a morning activity. I don’t know why, it just is. So I took a Percocet for my back pain and a Benadryl to offset the itch it creates. And that was pretty much the end of my night.

I had thought to write about a young, angry, jealous, insecure woman that is on the fringe of my daily living. I had thought to rant in the most negative of terms. But I decided that would serve no useful purpose. She doesn’t read my blog. I have blocked her on my Facebook page.

On Sunday, we had a less than pleasant exchange on Facebook (Actually, in the decade I have known her—and her family—there has never been a pleasant exchange). And now she’s blocked on my Facebook page. On more than one occasion, in this particular conversation, she called me “Mel.”

And I was offended.

Yes, yes, I know that’s my name. It is a familiarity thing. It’s something earned by a certain level of intimacy and trust. My students all call me Mel, or Miss Mel. I was so very tempted to insist that this young woman call me Ms. Jones. An appellation that demands distance and respect. Distance being the operative piece. Respect, I believe, is beyond her ability to comprehend. Before you can respect others in any sort of mature, meaningful way, you have to respect yourself. And, despite her shows of bravado and arrogance, she doesn’t. I don’t want to be on a first name basis with her. I don’t want her on a first name basis with me. I have never felt this way about anyone before.

I have no choices about this woman’s proximity in my reality. I cannot control the relationships that other people have. But, this is the year of no bullshit. People need to be warned that if they step into conversations I am having with others – I won’t be polite and silent about their feigned (read immature, ridiculous) injury or insult, their arrogance, their willful ignorance. And she did insinuate herself into a conversation I was having with someone else.

The discomfort about my name carried into my Monday and left me feeling at odds. This is not a good way to start a Monday. A Monday when the Japanese Electric Company started dumping radioactive water into the ocean, when four more murdered women turned up on a beach in New York, when severe weather lashed the south, and our government is faced with [another] possible shutdown.

I wanted to shake her and scream, “grow up! There are bigger things going on than your imagined jealousies and insecurities!” I wanted to smack myself for being drawn in the games she plays.

And in the end, I suppose I did. Stress translates, almost immediately, into physical pain.

Word Count: 660

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3 thoughts on “Names, games, and pain

  1. The bain aka bane of Mel’s existence? Sorry, 1st thing that came to my head.

    EDITED by Mel Trying to keep names out of it…

  2. Yes, you are right…the body holds the emotional score. And the seed of dissolution is there in every problem. Sometimes, writing lets the emotional debris float up and out without anymore effort than the writing itself. I am glad you are writing for us, words we all know ring true, because we feel them in our bodies, in our bellies. Be kind to yourself, Miss Mel. Be kind to you.

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