Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm working. Is she? (Updated)

It's a beautiful day outside. Sunny and 60ยบ. My livingroom windows are open and I can hear the kids next door playing. I would love to be playing with my nephew, who came in second with his Yellow Submarine Pinewood Derby car. But no, I'm working, juggling a writing assignment and my laundry since 2:30.

Please don't view the above paragraph as a complaint, for it's not. My months-long fear of being laid off hasn't been entirely obliterated. In this economy, in my industry, too much work is far, far better than not having enough.

I'm grumpy because I'm worried about something I can't control. Is the art director also assigned to this project -- the weepy one who gives me agita -- also working on it this fine Sunday? I told her to. She promised she would. But that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

For her latest boyfriend broke up with her Thursday night. I found out about it when I got in on Friday morning. My boss told me. He told me to "do what it takes to get work out of her." He said he saw "hugs in my future." Yes, upon coming into the office on Friday morning, she unburdened herself to our boss. It was, in his words, "another knot in the noose."

Now my boss is not a hard-hearted man. But she has not been working to the best of her capabilities for nearly two years now. First it was tears because her husband was cheating on her, then it was tears because they got a divorce. Then it was hangovers and sleepy time as she got over her divorce by staying out late and acting like a 20-something when she's really just a breath away from 50. Now it's staring off into space and starting to cry unexpectedly because her boy toy "moved out." (It's important to note they weren't living together; they weren't that serious. All he had to take were a couple of shirts and his toothbrush.)

I gave her a pep talk on Friday. "Let's have this project done for Monday morning! Won't it be great to show everyone what you can do when your back is to the wall? Aren't you LUCKY that Chris won't be around to distract you?" Rah! Rah rah!

The due dates for this project are hard and fast. A new one is being kicked off tomorrow morning. It would be nice to know that she cares. The irony is that she really does like this job. Our agency is well known within the industry, and she is proud of having an office that overlooks Lake Michigan. It's the sense that she no longer has to prove herself, that somehow is entitled to it that I don't understand.

I suppose if we were really friends I should call her, check up on her, make sure she's okay emotionally and on track professionally. But she makes me too crazy. She has very passive-aggressive ways of letting me know that she doesn't really like me, or at least that she feels competitive, and I don't feeling like getting a dose of hurt feelings on top of this exasperation.

Oh well. Venting feels good but it's not getting my porttion of the project done, is it?

THIS JUST IN! It's Monday morning and she did work over the weekend. Yea! Sometimes it's spectacularly great to be wrong!

A barren spinster's reflection on matrimony

My best friend's sister-in-law (wife's sister) felt her husband slipping away. She was sure her man was too fond of his career and his grown-up toys (electronics, new car and a private plane) and ignoring her and their toddler son. So she told him she had a fling, that she slipped away for an overnighter, under the guise of a business trip, with a coworker from another city who was desperately attracted to her. She referred to her one-nighter as "Plan B." Her husband moved out and began dating. She is distraught because there was no "Plan B." She made the story up to make him jealous, to make him value her more because other men wanted her. She and her coworker did go away together on a business trip, but nothing went on between them. Her husband doesn't believe she made it up, and there is no hope for reconciliation.

These two are in their late 30s, college-educated, professionally successful, and complete dolts.

My oldest friend, a woman, was upset because her lover forgot they had plans for Sweetest Day. I recommended that she just tell him he hurt her feelings. How could he know she was hurt if she doesn't tell him? Another friend of hers -- a married woman in her 40s -- advised her to give him the silent treatment, to freeze him out until he begs her to tell him what he did wrong. I don't understand the effort that goes into the manipulation. I'm also reasonably sure that in my oldest friend's case, it would fail because he wouldn't notice "the silent treatment."

What's with these marriages? Tricking your man into believing you're wanted by other men, punishing him with the silent treatment?

When I hear these Lucy/Ricky tales, I am very glad to be a barren spinster. Because if this is what marriage is like, I don't want it. Oh, I love Lucy, but I remember that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz ultimately divorced in real life.

Three Dead Presidents

Look what I won in this week's Illinois State Lottery. Sure, I had to spend $2 to make $3, but that's a shitload better than my 401 (k) is doing. Perhaps I should put my faith in chance ...