Good pants and desperate women
I am wearing my favorite pants. The Jawa has his particular faves -- a pair of Old Navy corduroy cargos, brown, bought for $9 at the friends and family sale last fall. Mine are Banana Republic (Gap brands cradle to grave, baby, cradle to grave) dark khakis, flat front, and I wish I could remember the actual model name. It's not written on them anywhere; otherwise my entire closet would be full of them. I love them enough to be happy wearing them, even though it's Friday and I have no real reason to not be wearing jeans.
The other day this older single mom at work got angry at me for not thinking she was funny. Alright, I admit, I was baiting her a little bit. I am not entirely innocent in this case, it is true, but what if people who weren't funny were just allowed to run around spouting stuff off, thinking that they were providing a service for anyone standing nearby?
Why don't they just get blogs?
So I thought I would try to quell the flames a little bit. I threw out, "You said something funny to me once. You said you'd never date another man whose mother was alive!" I thought that would bring her around, a reminder of her own occasional funniness, but no. She focused on the "once" part of it, and slammed me back with, "I didn't say that to you." Ouch.
Then she spun away, full of confusion and anger behind her sort of hip and definitely hilarious cat's-eye glasses, asking everyone in the room if I had ANY sense of humor.
Now I found that part ironic. Because she's not very funny, I have no sense of humor. I think I've found myself defaulting to that defensive position before myself, which makes it no less pathetic. If you are not laughing with me, it must be because you cannot recognize humor. I am proud to say that I have not adopted that aggressive pose since high school.
Then she returned. I was still standing at the front desk, sifting through the candy dish, hoping that a Werther's caramel would erase this unpleasant scene. Unfortunately, she was not finished. "Do you have ANY sense of humor?" she demanded.
So, in this case, what do you say? Do you defend your humor honor? Is that possible without explaining that she's just not that funny? Of course not. Sometimes, when someone has already decided that you're a jerk, it's best to just ride it out.
"No. None at all," I said, feeling my body surround itself with the impenetrable armor of the truly obnoxious.
Sadly, I was not able to continue this. A few minutes later, when she appeared at my desk and pleaded, "You seemed offended by me!" I folded and said, politely, "No, I thought you were offended."
This is the great part, because once you take that stand, and you seem apologetic and truly concerned, you are then allowed to assume that you are off the hook, no matter how awful your real thoughts are. She flounced away and I thought, "Insecure much?" And lady, if I'm calling you out for insecurity, you are indeed in a sorry state.
Yesterday she brought her 2-year-old kid into the office. I made all the right noises. Then she gave her kid a can of Coke.
Man, I love these pants.