Monday, July 25, 2011

To exist.

To physically exist, I have lunch sometimes. With the people whose office rooms are next to mine or below mine or across from mine. I rarely see them.  I prefer to write during lunch break or just stare at my twitter-feed until my eyes hurt.

But they are nice people and they know I am nice. We exchange countless e-mails during the day bursting with niceties such as "noted with thanks' and "appreciate it" and "sorry for troubling you".  If I'm lucky we get to see each other on the hallways and I can compliment how much weight they've lost. When I'm feeling particularly personal I like to get creative and say "girl you are hot!".  When a girl says this to another girl it is a compliment, not a harassment. The recipient smiles and slaps the general air in front of her shyly, dismissively. 

Nobody really knows how to take a compliment. You can't say, "Thank you," because you are afraid that people will think that you agree with their compliment, which means you are full of yourself. You can't say, "No I'm not," because you're afraid that will sound like an outright disagreement with someone who just paid you a compliment, which isn't very polite.  You could say, "Amen. I hope that is a kind prayer that will be granted by God," which really works most of the time as it shows you are not only religious but also humbly cultured, but then again it only really works on old people.

The safest easiest way to take a compliment is to make a nonsensical gesture or meaningless utterance in what you hope is a humble manner and let it just float vaguely past the audience. Like slapping the air.

Of course, she isn't really that hot.  I probably just envy her legs.

Every self-help self-guide self-psycho-analysis book always says that one must venture out of one's comfort zone.  So when I start to feel too comfortable in my little office room with my choice of artwork on the wall with nobody I need to physically talk to except for the random hallway encounters, I have lunch.

When I do have lunch I realize two things:

1.  I have missed out on so many things. 

A group of colleagues have made a mailing list linking their personal emails together. This is to enable us to email each other when we don't feel like using the default office email to email each other like we do all day. An added value to this is that we can continue emailing each other even when it is the weekend, a luxury which office emails cannot facilitate.  I ignore these emails.

Another group of colleagues have made a blackberry chatgroup linking all the blackberry messengers together in one chat window. Here colleagues can exchange gossip, photos of their lunch, photos of naked celebrities, and other enlightening pieces of information.  I joined for two straight days and then kicked myself out, telling everyone that it was making my blackberry go slow.

I can't bother analyzing why, I really can't.  Perhaps I am a closet introvert. That is not the point.

Apparently one day a colleague posted a picture of himself and another colleague, in the middle of having a cozy candlelight dinner in what appeared to be a skyscraper in another country. He is married, she is not. The picture was posted on the blackberry group. Several months later it became apparent to everyone that they were having a full-fledged affair.  Everyone knew that they were doing things that everyone thinks everyone shouldn't be doing. Everyone knew that they fucked, in hotels, on neatly arranged weekly schedules.  Everyone knew that his wife had called her a slut  and everyone knew this because the wife had said it on twitter.  Everyone knew that she had responded to the wife by tweeting "I've already won the war".

Everyone, that is, except for myself.   Until a few days ago when I had lunch.

2. I don't really give a damn.

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