Back in 2005, I had been at my job 6 months by the time Christmas rolled around. I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed little program evaluator. For Christmas, I made cookies and put them in little Chinese take-out boxes for everybody in our division. Imagine my perplexion [word?] when the following occurred.
Upon handing the little take-out box to our administrative assistant (whom I thought liked me), she said - "Oh I got you something too." She kind of looked around, then opened a drawer. She took out an unwrapped item and handed it to me. "I got this for you. Sorry, it looked so good I had to listen to it before I gave it to you." "Oh thanks" I murmured and scampered off.
It was open. The case was broken. It was this:
It was clearly not new. It was clearly not bought for me. It was clearly not a Christmas gift.
It was one of the strangest things that had happened to me by that point in my life. And I had done and seen some stuff.... especially in the Peace Corps.
Well, the feeling I had that day was kind of like I've been feeling lately. Like, innocence lost. Here are some lessons on what life is really like, kid. I go on my little naive way, la-dee-da, and then somebody or something rears its head and says "Oh you think the world is good and you want all these nice things and for people to get along - well, eff you!"
I hated the feeling I had that day. It's a feeling I can't name.... like, being left out of the loop. I felt like there are unspoken rules and peccadilloes that just elude me. My brain just doesn't process them or know how to react. Like, if I know somebody is being fake-nice, or doing things just to be polite not nice, I feel kind of paralyzed to respond. I don't know what to do. When do you all people out? When do you let it get to you? When do you let go?
I still don't know why she gave me that gift or what it meant. Did she secretly hate me? Was I the butt of some joke? Did she think there was a gold watch in that take-out box instead of 5 cookies? Would any excuse warrant giving somebody a broken duets CD?
I just know it made me feel crappy. I never talked to her about it. I just had a good laugh(cry) about it with a friend.
Plus it really hurt my feelings that people think I like Barry Gibb when I really just liked a few of the Bee Gees songs because really, that was the strongest moment for any of the Gibb brothers. I mean, doesn't anybody really know me at all, geeze??!
So... dear reader.... when life gives you a broken Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb duet album, how do you make Streisand-and-Gibb-ade? Do you insist that the music is sweet sweet sweet, when it was possibly given to you in malice, cynicism, or crazed delusion? Do you say to the gifter, hey, this sucks, what gives?
Or do you (like I did) give the crappy CD to your parents, try to forget it happened, and move on about your business?
This post is vague on purpose. Just been dealing with a number of disappointments in recent times on a number of levels. Trying to hear the sweet music despite the brokenness....