My father-in-law has this saying, “the world is your health class.” I went to an all-girls Catholic high school so this analogy doesn’t ring as true for me, but I guess the idea is, the entire population of the school had to take health, so it wasn’t segregated by the smart kids vs. the non-smart kids. EVERYONE is there.
And once you’re out of high school, you’re basically out there with everyone. There’s no avoiding the weirdos, the bullies, the people who you worked very hard to avoid. Naturally, you’re going to run into people you don’t like – maybe even have to work with them. Maybe marry into a family of them. It’s just part of being in the grown-up world.
We also have a joke in our family … we were at some kind of family gathering, sharing some of our run-ins with idiots, and my brother-in-law, who was at this time still in college, shared one of his. My husband asked, “Do you hate people yet?” And his brother replied, “No, not yet.” A few years later, a similar scenario took place and my husband asked his brother again, “Do you hate people yet?” And this time, he gave an enthusiastic nod.
Most of the time, I see the good in people, and in general I like everyone. However, right now I’m in a dark place and I am disgusted with just about every person I know.
It all began last week on vacation.
Note: I thought I’d have plenty of humorous anecdotes from my family road trip down to Florida, but everyone pretty much behaved. It was boring. We saw cows. End of story.
We went to the beach and had to park in this parking garage which – conveniently – emptied into this complete tourist trap of a surf shop. Visual overstimulation galore for the kids – colorful shirts, candy, beach toys, and other beachy amenities were overflowing this large store. It was fine when we were going to the beach because we just got off the elevator, figured out which way the ocean was, and then guided the kids through the store and promised we would buy them some crap later.
On the way BACK, however, you are at the mercy of the godforsaken elevator. Not only that, but you have to feed your parking ticket stub into the self-pay machine before you can leave. Two elevators, two parking machines, a lot of people. And the elevators maybe fit a family of four plus two other normal-sized individuals.
On the second day of this, one parking machine was out of order. So quite a large number of people was building up by the elevators. There was no formal “line” or anything like that, it was just, stand in front of the elevator and wait for it to come.
We had already allowed the kids to pick out some stupid souvenir, which was a painful process because my 5-year-old is the most indecisive person on the planet when it comes to making choices. He had selected something AND we were in line at the cash register TWICE before he changed his mind. I was ready to blow my lid when we finally got to the elevator. Being that one machine was broken, I tried to find a spot “out of the way” to wait with the kids until my husband took care of the parking. But keep in mind, this is a freaking tourist trap store with a ton of people around, and the elevator is basically in the middle of the store and there’s no “lobby” area or anything like that. You’re basically walking from the salt water taffy section right into the elevator. I’m sunburned, dehydrated and generally worn down from the experience of getting my kid to choose a toy car with “Florida” emblazoned on the hood, and the elevator doors open to let off a herd of people and accept a new herd of people. My husband is still three-deep in the parking ticket line, so even though my kids advance to go in, I grab them both by the back of their shirts and pull them away from the doors.
This gross, overweight lady wearing a denim muumuu appears behind me from out of nowhere and says, “Are you getting on the elevator?”
I say, “no, not this time.”
She makes some nasty noise of disapproval and says, “Then why the hell are you standing there????”
I tell you, it took everything I had left in me to not unleash on this toad of a woman. Excuse me for existing! She pushed past us and ended up not making it into the elevator that trip, which I’m sure she blamed me for. So then she was just standing there with us. And I glared at her. Daggers of evil were protruding from my eyes.
THEN she tries to be friendly with my 5-year-old and ask him about his toy that he got! I felt like Madeline Kahn in “Clue.” Flames … on the side of my face …
As we’re standing there uncomfortably, and I’m trying to think of something nasty to say but feeling it’s becoming more and more irrelevant the longer we stand there, and my husband finally gets the ticket thing paid. So then it’s just the four of us and this fucking troll. I basically want nothing to do with this woman or my family at this point, so I’m ready to just scale the side of the building and get to the car (because of course there aren’t steps!). The second elevator opens and she goes to that one. I gave my husband a look and we waited for the next one. After her and her 10 yards of stonewashed denim were safely behind the elevator doors, I told my husband, “That B-I-T-C-H (yes I spelled it, the kids were right there, even though one can spell) was pissing me off (I actually said that, somehow it’s ok to say that in front of the kids but not “bitch”)!” He took one look at my face – it’s a face he knows well – and knew that it was best not to antagonize me any further because the consequences would be steep for all of us.
So that was my first foray into people-hating rage.
Secondly. I’m back at work and all that stress has returned. But for the most part I enjoy my co-workers and would even go so far as to say I missed them a little bit while I was gone. But I was in an hour-long meeting yesterday with my team, and when I got out of it, I had eyeliner smeared down a good portion of my cheek. Do you think one of those assholes even thought to let me know? Either by giving me the hand signal for “you have shit on your face” – or taking the more subtle approach and texting me to let me know? No. Instead, I looked like Tammy Faye after a good crying jag for a full 60 minute meeting, and lord knows how long before that I had this hideous makeup disaster going on. So I was pissed at every person in that meeting. And still am.
Third, I have been trying to make lunch plans with a good friend and it’s just not coming together. I also feel like I’m putting in an inordinate amount of effort to make it happen, and this person maybe could not care less. Which pisses me off. If we’re friends, you should probably want to have lunch with me as much as I want to have lunch with you. I guess not. They can go screw themselves.
Yeah, I could probably use another vacation – one where I’m alone – to cleanse myself from the people-hating rage I feel inside.