live, love, loafe

December 15, 2003

Is eavesdropping bad news bears?

I overheard someone talking about me this weekend. Obviously, that person didnít know I was listening. If she DID know, I guess she didnít care. But I am fairly certain she did not realize I was within earshot.

I am not sure if I feel bad for eavesdropping. On one hand, it is troubling to hear someone talk badly about you. And who wants to feel guilty about listening in on someone elseís conversation? But on the other hand, it is good to know how someone truly feels about you.

We all have to pretend, to a certain extent. We all have to deal with people we do not particularly care for or enjoy. But we pretend. We play the game. We do it because we know that sometimes it is easier to act the part then be honest. Sometimes it is necessary; people at work, family members, a friendís husband/boyfriend, children, old people...the list goes on and on. The effort it requires to be completely forthright is too much. Maybe we want to avoid hurting someoneís feelings. Maybe the benefit of being nice to the person far outweighs the cost of telling her off. Maybe we are just manipulative jerks. Simple cost-benefit analysis stuff here. But the end result is the same: not a single one of us can be 100% honest about another person 100% of the time.

The disturbing thing about what I overheard is that it came from a person that I believed genuinely respected me. I think it tripped me up so much because I was wrong, because I made a mistake, because I greatly misjudged someone. I am okay about it now, though. I bounce back pretty well. I am glad I heard what I heard. I feel empowered by it.

Actually, you know, now that I think about it, this entire weekend was a nice eye-opener for me. I gained a better perspective all around about those who respect me and those who just go through the motions...

We had our company holiday party on Friday night. I work at a small office, just 6 people. You would think that a small office would not have such drama, such tension, such politics. But it does! I think it might even be worse at times than the shit that goes on in a bigger company. And when you give people who work together in close quarters a bunch of alcohol, people who are all very different and donít really like one another that much, then things are bound to go sour.

To be fair, nothing went horribly awry, but as I sat looking at everyone, watching them talk and eat and drink, I finally understood my place, I saw how THEY all see me. Everyone I work with grew up with certain advantages that I did not. They all come from families in the upper-middle class and higher. They all have a good bit of money and they all consider themselves ďhigh culture.Ē

They look at me as a lesser person. A flaky girl from the west coast, someone with ďmental issues.Ē Low class, no money, a MEXICAN for chrissakes. What could a Mexican possibly know about the finer things in life? I donít wear makeup or dress fancy or act girly and frou-frou. I drive a shitty car. I donít play by their stupid rules. I am a drippy hippie who doesnít eat meat (which isnít true, because I eat tuna!), the weird one, short and frumpy and bitter. I have liberal views and I am a feminist and I have no intention of getting married and having kids and settling down, just because that is what everyone else does.

I am carrying on a little here but my point is that no one at work respects me. Because of all those things and more. The posturing and the placating they did a few months ago when I was ready to quit was just that, nothing more, nothing sincere. I did not get the respect I demanded, just a pretty cake with sugary sweet icing and a hollow core. It is not in my nature to remain still for great lengths of time. What I have known for quite time was simply confirmed on Friday night. Time for Christa to move on.

Posted by christa at December 15, 2003 04:41 PM


christa sista, can we kick that persons ass? I don't like when people are mean to you. i love you. i hope you know that.

people suck. seatbelts are good.

Posted by: Neely at December 15, 2003 09:22 PM

The Queen Bee must be protected at any all cost......Swarm Swarm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: DG at December 16, 2003 11:51 AM

maybe they don't respect you. maybe they're envious of you. well... maybe not of the shitty car.

Posted by: Morgan Montgomery Schlaline at December 16, 2003 01:46 PM

Everyone is envious of the cavalier, Morgan. Everyone.

Posted by: christa at December 16, 2003 02:21 PM

I like you enough to make up for that stupid bitch at work.

Posted by: gina at December 16, 2003 03:55 PM

You know, some of us like low-class Mexicans with mental issues.


Waitaminute ... that doesn't sound anywhere near as romantic as I thought it would.

Posted by: Dan at December 17, 2003 09:22 PM

Overall, I liked how you said "bad news bears." That is some good times. The idea behind using it, bad times though.

Posted by: Stephanie at December 18, 2003 04:00 PM

Am I only supposed to type a line or two? Because I thought of quite a bit to say. Christa, if you need to be the tough bartender and cut me off, just say so.

As a non-native of the East Coast, I've encountered some of that same ill will. The complex levels of derision are fascinating. One day they hate you for being "rural," and the next they LOVE your adorable Southwest accent, and you hate THEM for condescending to you. But one day, I had a revelation that made me pity the New England lifestyle (in its cliche' state, not as real people live it -- people I actually don't detest), and that pity made me feel superior and in the mood to stick around for a while longer in the NE, and that revelation was this:

I encountered a New Englander who told me that Boston was "the hub of the modern cultural world." That's all well and good, but this guy has NEVER LEFT Massachusetts. That's weird, isn't it? But he's not the only one! The six NE states are FILLED with people who've never been away from home. And why should they? NE is the cultural fucking hub! And you know what word we use in the sticks to describe these kinds of people? REDNECKS. No, East Coasters don't have red necks, but am I so wrong to compare the carnival freaks in Alabama with those bizzare urbanites who've never been off the island of Manhattan for four decades? These guys are inbred, ignorant retards! And that goes double for the trust fund babies (to whom Christa refers) who equate a big bank account with a conduit into the Cultural Hub. These people wear $30K worth of jewelry but don't know to brush their goddamn teeth.

Texans, on the other hand, buy recreational vehicles and visit 45 of the 50 United States, and have the spoon collection to prove it. Now you tell me, Zippo, who's got more culture, the elderly couple with the spoons, or the Harvard grad who don't own a single opinion they didn't acquire from CNN on the TV in the hotel bar where they get wasted every Friday night before they throw up on their own Gucci shoes?

As for treating Christa badly, well, I'm guilty. So the rant I just gave has nothing to do with that. People suck, generally speaking.

Posted by: Schmatrick at December 18, 2003 04:32 PM

People suck. Get used to it.

Doesn't anyone blow anymore?

Posted by: insomnia at December 19, 2003 02:55 AM


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