So the other day I was having lunch with my mom at Ukrop’s Martins and we were eating in the little atrium eating-in area and there were these guys around my age washing the windows. Now, before you go jumping down my throat a whole bunch, I have nothing against those who do physical cleaning or fixing type things for a living. I’ve often thought that I might should (yes, I did that just there) do such things, as my brain gets awfully tired, and I once worked in warehouses and found great pleasure in lifting, placing, packing, and putting. Alas, I love writing and researching and playing with the interwebs, so I do what a I do and I say thank you for it.
Anyway. I’m sitting there, noticing that the windows are being washed, appreciating that fact, thinking about that commercial where the guy who washes windows has a cold and that wee older man gets blown on to the platform where he’s washing windows and gives him this big pep talk. Have you seen this commercial?
I’m thinking about this commercial, and I’m thinking about the panes of glass on the TOP of the room, and guessing that these guys aren’t going to clean those because if they were they would have done it BEFORE they did the bits they were doing just then (drips would have dripped, you know) and I notice that one of the guys is outside, squeegeeing, and he has a Camel dangling off his lip and a T-Shirt that says “Quit Work, Make Music.”
So I comment to my mom, “here is a guy who is not afraid to present to the world the typical Richmond stereotype of guys my age.” Because a lot of guys my age would much rather play music than work at jobs where squeegees are involved. Heck, who can blame them?
But I felt bad for saying that. The second it came out of my mouth. Because who am I to judge that guy? Do I think he ought to have been doing his job whilst burning a heater right there outside the Ukrop’s Martins eating area? Probably not, but if nobody at Martins complained, it was nunmy. I know that in my husband’s business, carpenters and contractors are not allowed to go about their business in that manner, but whatever, right? Was it any of my business that the guy wears to work a shirt that says most definitively that he would rather be doing something else than what he is doing? Nope. That’s none of my business either. Was it kind of me to say that the guys of my generation comprise a stereotype that supports the sentiment of said t-shirt? No. It is simply none of my business. So, I’m sorry, Smoking T-Shirt Squeegee Operating Man. I shouldn’t judge you any more than you should judge me for all the things you could judge me for, which are numerous and too depressing and wordy to list here.
I don’t want to be a cynic, or bitter, or jaded. I used to be a person who was full of wonder and believed the best about everybody, even when they proved me wrong a hundred times. I need to find the balance between nativity and kindness. Keeping the kindness whilst ceasing to be a sucker. Because since there’s one of THOSE born every minute, I think I’ll drop out of the ranks.
**incidentally, it’s the Hubs’ birthday today, so even though he never reads my blog, Happy Birthday, Hubs. I wish I could buy you a boat.
***also, the other night, for some unexplained reason, I went back and read a bunch of myspace messages from 2004. boy, was that a mistake. I thought about making that a whole post, but realized that I’d have to go into detail, and I don’t really want to because it wouldn’t really accomplish anything and I’m already depressed about the messages I read, so why make myself even more depressed? It just sucks to remember that at one time you had a friend who, though professing to love you and think you were great, was also willing to believe the very worst about you, because that person pretty much believed you were delusional and a big fat liar. So. That lends credence to that whole idea that I might be a jerk, but based on my late night past myspace message research, apparently this jerk thing is not a new development, so I shouldn’t be too surprised.
**Also, I don’t want a lot of comments about how you don’t think I’m a jerk, or how you’re so glad that I wrote this, because you’ve been meaning to tell me what a jerk you think I am. I mean, if you feel super compelled to leave one, leave one, but nothing to stroke my ego because I’m really not looking for validation here, I just had a deep thought to share and thought I’d share it. Maybe you have thoughts sometimes about your generation and think “Hey, does that make me a a traitor?” Or maybe you really wanted to watch that Halls commercial again, and you got to just now. So you’re welcome for that.
**Also, in the suggested tags for this post, “role playing” and “video games” were suggested, so who is profiling now, hmm?
2 thoughts on “I Might Be A Jerk”
Now put on your “Quit Work, Make Internet” shirt, pour yourself a tall glass of red and browse through your AIM chat log from 1998.
One of the reasons I loved doing construction work is that I didn’t have to wear a uniform. By the end of the day I looked (and probably smelled) really bad but, I didn’t much care. I would go to the daycare to pick up Cait and many of the other moms (in their nice dresses) would just glare at me. That was fine because I really didn’t care since I was a single mom and was working my butt off to pay rent, utilities, and food. I was proud that I didn’t fit the stereotype of a single mom on public assistance or living off of child support as MANY said I would be.
There is a chance that the guy washing the windows was LOLing at the people inside the restaurant eating. There is even a chance that he was making more money than most of the people there and he didn’t have to follow as many “rules” while doing it. I always LOL’d at people who worked in offices, they had to dress in heels, pantie hose, smile, put up with people, and work inside.
So, you weren’t being a jerk…you just see the world through a different window.