Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Letter from Pouty Face
Pouty Face was my first friend at the Enemy but it became pretty clear that he wanted more than just a friendship. I made it clear that it wasn't going to happen and tried to remain the friends that I thought we'd become. I even invited him to vacation with me and Mervis in California. That was clearly a bad idea, as California made it clear that Pouty Face not only wasn't my friend, but wasn't my style. As Mervis likes to point out, while I read Trotsky, he doesn't read. While I finished college by 20, he at 27 has yet to get a degree in anything. He doesn't seem to do anything on his own, for himself, with ambition. But in California, it was not only his passiveness but also his passive agressive pouting that drove Mervis and I to our collective wit's end. And so, I told Pouty Face on our last night in California - after a week of putting up with his bad attitude and his uncomfortable efforts to get in my pants - that we could no longer be friends. It was my only option.
Upon return to work, I was still so disgusted by him. But after a week of glaring and silence, I decided to clear the air. I told him that I didn't want things to be tense anymore and that I didn't want to mean... I told him that I wanted to be pleasant but that it would take time for us to be friends again. I told him that one of the reasons I was so mad at him was because he has had everything handed to him - a job from his father, a house from his parents - and that he expected me to just hand myself over to him as his girlfriend. I also told him, sincerely and with him in mind, that he needed to change something about his life - that it wasn't making him happy and that it was job to do something about it.
Things were going okay for a couple weeks. We were working together as colleagues and I didn't always want to tear his head off, but as I'd warned him, we weren't best friends again. That time had passed. But it really was going okay. We were pleasant. Until last week, when I did the unthinkable. I didn't order him a sandwich.
One of the things I do at work is prepare for lunch meetings for wholesalers who come to meet with the brokers - which means ordering lunch. Often, I order more sandwiches then are needed - for extra and for people that I like. This past week, that meant Mervis and the Addict. I didn't get one for myself, for Pouty Face or for any of the other people not in the meeting. When Pouty Face saw that Mervis and the Addict were chowing down on their sandwiches of choice, he threw what can only be described as a fit. He confronted me with a "WHATEVER!," marched into his office and slammed the door. Literally, slammed his door. Over a sandwich.
The next thing I knew, he was having a closed door meeting with Family Money (the boss) for over two hours, while I worried about my job - as I wasn't technically supposed to be ordering sandwiches for anyone other than those in attendance of the meeting. To make amends and explain the situation, I brought an extra leftover sandwich into his office after the meeting - but still angry, he said "I don't care" and threw the sandwich into the trash. He then left his office door closed for the rest of the day, disappearing when he could and sulking when he couldn't.
The next day, Family Money took me to lunch - not mad at me - but requesting that I be "sensitive to Pouty Face and his needs." I've spent the last week or so trying to do that. Put this behind us. But Pouty Face was still giving me the silent treatment. Ordering me around when he felt like it, and making every moment we had to spend together uncomfortable, mean, and definitely unpleasant.
Then, two days ago, I found this note in my bag:
I am so disappointed with the way things have turned out. I really cared about you AS A FRIEND
even though looking back I can see it was only a once way Friendship. I feel like all I did was give and all you did was take.
I'm really not doing very well. My life is basically falling apart and work is unbearable.
I wish things didn't need to be this way. I want and expect nothing from you. And I don't even know why I care what you think, but I do. I just wish you could understand.
P.S. I still don't know why you turned on me in Cali. I feel like you tried to ruin my vacation.
Maybe I never will.
And then yesterday, he never came to work. He didn't call in, he didn't check in, he didn't tell anyone he wasn't coming. He just didn't show. Leaving all of us - me, Man's Man, Baby Daddy, Trophy Wife and Family Money - to cover. Of course, Family Money was more concerned about Pouty Face's anxiety levels then about the Enemy and the work being done by other's covering for Pouty's drama. Or about the incredibly uncomfortable childish behavior that I had to put up with. Today, we were back to status quo. No talking, no interaction, and incredibly high tension. All Pouty Face does for me now is make the Enemy even more unbearable.