I was about to take the deep route on this one. I was going to reflect on some of the more difficult times in my life and reveal that the person who actually made my life a real living hell during all those various times was in fact…myself. It’s true of course, but then I remembered someone better and maybe more interesting to talk about. Two people actually, who qualify as making a portion of my life miserable: Charlene and Cornelia.
Charlene and Cornelia were two legal secretaries who worked at my first law firm. Highly qualified and well seasoned they supported only the firm partners and the most valuable associates. They were good at what they did and I considered them authorities on all things pertaining to court filings, WordPerfect (awww, remember Word Perfect? Damn I miss reveal codes!), indexing pleadings, proofs of service…basically anything that related to my work as support staff. Charlene and Cornelia were always really supportive of my work and enjoyed sharing their wisdom with me. Which made their treatment of their treatment of me in the firm lunch room all that more confusing. Because once lunch started, Charlene and Cornelia would turn into total mean girls.
The firm lunchroom was typical for a 30 person office. There was a refrigerator and microwave and a table big enough to sit 6 people. Located in downtown San Francisco, there were plenty of great food options so it was rarely used except by those of us on limited budgets or thrifty at heart. ie: me, Charlene and Cornelia.
I was in my mid-20s at the time, naively in love and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound. They were a good 10-15 years older, divorced and, um, how can I say this? Well, let’s just say I get now why they may have acted like they hated me. At the time though, I was completely devastated. They criticized what I ate, they made fun of the books I read, they cackled and exchanged glances at every little thing I said. And while specific examples have long left my mind, proof that really what was going on was probably not that big of a deal in the big picture, at the time I felt ganged up on and victimized.
Now that I look back I realize I probably said some pretty dumb things. I know I had some pretty dumb ideas back then. That was when I assumed I would be married before I was 30, and the mother of two perfect children before I was 35. That was when I thought life was easy and my biggest decision each day was which pair of shoes looked best with my outfit. So yeah, I probably deserved the cackling and knowing glances from two ladies who had tasted a lot more life than me.
Which brings me back to my original idea. Maybe the person who actually made my time in that lunchroom so miserable was in fact….myself.