Wednesday, February 27, 2008


What a difference a day makes!

The rest of my birthday went rather well. I got a couple of calls from Dad (missed all of them, unfortunately). After work, I went to a knitting group and had a beer (we knit at a bar—awesome, right?). I didn't remind them that it was my birthday and it was a stress-free and pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. When I got home, I had a message from my brother in NJ (B1)—well, not just from B1, but from the whole family! They all sang a non-traditional happy birthday song and then each kid said a personal, "Happy Birthday Aunt [Jamy], I love you!" Aww. That might be the cure for everything.

I settled in to watch an episode of "The Wire," eat the cake Nancy brought me and do a little more knitting on the never-ending-scarf for Dad. (Current scarf progress: 62 inches! 8-10 more inches and I'm DONE and it will only be one-two weeks late. Not too shabby.) All in all, it wasn't a bad day. I could have lived without the Mandy drama, but at least the good stuff helped balance it out.

Surprisingly, when I walked into my office this morning, a box of Trader Joe's Non-Pareil's was sitting on my chair and a vase of tulips was on my desk. A tiny post-it on the candy let me know they were from Mandy, "Happy Birthday [Jamy]! May you have a wonderful year ahead!" Huh.

This is the deal with Mandy: she's thoughtless and selfish and the result can be slights and exclusions. However, I never thought she was acting out of overt hatred or maliciousness. That's ascribing way too much intent to her narrow way of functioning in the world. If I knew that yesterday, then why did I have such a strong reaction? Because it's a pattern of behavior over several years and it was too damn much to swallow easily on my birthday. Fortunately, I'm not walking around actively hating her all the time. What a drag that would be!

In the past, I've complained to Diego about Mandy (he used to work here and knows the drill). He always says, "Don't get so upset. You're better off not having to go to her things anyway." Of course, he's right but it still rankled. I felt the sting of the insult.

However, in the clear light of day, I'm not angry anymore. I'm a little amused at the lengths Mandy's gone to "redeem" herself and I seriously wonder if she knows why I was upset. But I do not feel the need at all (amusingly, a need I felt quite keenly yesterday) to give her a piece of my mind or set her straight. I'm sure it would do her no good and it wouldn't make me feel better.

What I haven't done yet, and desperately need to, is thank her for the chocolate and flowers. She made an effort and I need to acknowledge it. After that, I will discharge myself of all but the most basic need to be civil to her. I'll also be grateful that I don't have to deal with too many people like her.

Grateful for: a new day.

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