“I’m still in a bit of shock,” Lizzy said breathlessly as she stared wide-eyed at Vicki.
“I mean to call me that? ME??? Can you imagine? I mean who does she think she is, anyway?” Lizzy went on, shock growing to outrage.
“In all my life, to be referred to as that? Of all the four-letter words, I think that is the most offensive. No I’m serious, Vicki,” Lizzy said as Vicki made signs of protesting. “I’ve been called a lot of things, a lot of not-nice things, but I have never felt more insulted then I did today,” Lizzy leaned back as if she meant to catalog aloud all the ‘not-nice’ things she’d been called in the past.
“I totally understand what you mean,” Vicki quickly interjected before Lizzy could continue her rant. Taking a sip from her Diet Coke, Vicki continued, “I almost lost it on one of the interns at work today for something similar”.
Putting down her beverage, Vicki scooted to the edge of her chair, “So there I was, finishing up some emails I’d been putting off, when in waltzes “lil miss I-think-I’m-too-cute-to-work-but-my-dad-thinks-its-good-experience” in her best “Business Barbie” get-up. I swear, Lizzy, I thought I was going to puke,” Vicki made a retching sound before grabbing for her Diet Coke. “So she’s asking me all these questions about what I do, blah, blah, blah, and as I’m listing off some of my main responsibilities her eyes get all wide and she interrupts me and says, get this… Oh wow, you do all that? That’s so much responsibility and you look so young? You must feel really lucky to have been asked to do all that and stuff, right? I mean you even have your own office and everything! Can you believe the nerve of that twit?!?” Vicki looked like her eyes were about to bulge out of her head as she took a reflexive pull from her Splenda-enhanced drink. “It was if she didn’t believe I was capable of doing my job! Like there had been some sort of mistake down in Human Resources and somehow I had been awarded this “sweet gig” as she called it,” Vicki rattled the remnants of her soda and peeked through the mouth of the can to confirm that she had in fact drained every last drop.
“You think that’s bad? That’s nothing compared to what that nitwit called me today,” Lizzy said, jumping at the opportunity to commiserate. “Like I was saying, I was just getting out of my car, heading to class and I see this blonde chick out of the corner of my eye coming up behind me from the bus stop. Before I know it, she’s yelling that word at the top of her lungs. Naturally, I didn’t think she was referring to me, why would I, so I just kept walking happy as you please. Well the chick wouldn’t stop so I finally turned to see what deaf person she was trying to grab the attention of, and would you believe it? She was talking to me,” Lizzy was overcome by a visible shudder.
“What did she say, exactly?” Vicki wanted to know. Now that her Diet Coke had expired, Vicki was giving Lizzy her full attention.
“Oh I’ll tell you. Those words will be burned into my memory forever. Her exact words were, Excuse me ma’am? Could you tell me where Engineering II is? Imagine it! Calling me ma’am?!?! I mean, do I look like a ma’am? Seriously, I couldn’t have been more than a few years older than this chick. And to assume I’m old enough to be a ma’am?” Lizzy held out her hands as if there were no more words in the English language that could properly illustrate her bafflement.
The two girls sat and stewed over their individual assaults, each wondering if what they beheld in the mirror each day was the same visage the rest of the world saw.
“I’m old enough!” Vicki thought contemptuously.
“I’m still young!” Lizzy screamed silently, willing it to be the truth.
Neither of the twins dared to think of tomorrow, the day they would ‘celebrate’ their 30th birthdays.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: I’m just going to say it- being a thirty-year-old woman-child is really confusing. I don’t feel old enough for many of the responsibilities I find at my doorstep (I still keep thinking someone older and wiser will pop in and give me advice before scurrying on to the next thirty-something in need) and for other things, I feel as if I have completely outgrown then or at the very least paid my dues to deserve them. Part of me was hoping that once the bell tolled ‘thirty’ I would magically feel more competent and confident… eh, not so much. I’m definitely crankier though. This conflict of I’m old enough/I’m too young manifested itself today in such a way that I had to laugh a little. First, as I’m walking from the parking lot to my building on campus, I’m stopped by a student who was in need of directions. “Ma’am, can you tell me where Engineering II is?” I was so disoriented by being addressed in such a way, all I managed to do was mumble something and point at the giant campus map not two yards in front of us. I remember thinking, “how does she know I’m not a student?” and “do I really look that old?”. Very demoralizing. I mean, I kind of pride myself on looking younger than my years. Then, later this afternoon, still not quite over the ma’am incident, a student I’m advising keeps making comments about how young I look, and she can’t believe I have my own office, and how lucky I was to have such an important job and such a young age, blah, blah, blah. I found myself puffing up life a defensive peacock and told her with much pomp that I was older than I looked and I’ve had responsibilities like these before, yada, yada, yada. So first I’m upset because a student thinks I’m old and then I’m all faklempt because a different student thinks I’m too young! There is no making me happy I guess… of course, had either of these students had had the foresight to offer me a Coke or a piece of chocolate they could have called me anything in the book. Just sayin…
Love & Squirrels.