I've never sat at the popular table before. Just sayin'. It isn't nearly as fun as it looks, I'll bet. And the people who sit there? In high school, they're the ones who grow up and turn into the boring women who write blogs about how hard it is to be a stay at home mom while living in their suburban home with every gadget known to man and a nanny who takes care of the kids and cleans the house while Ms. Previously Popular writes boring posts where she keeps showing you different hair styles and wants her readers to pick the one that is "her."
The guys, who looked like Ryan O'Neal in this movie?
Well, now they look like Ryan O'Neal if he was not aging well and sort of fat.
Unfortunately, the entitlement thing never really goes away. They still think that everyone in the grocery store is watching them because they are so interesting when really they are being watched because they have toilet paper on their shoe or because they aren't keeping track of their toddler because hey...that's the freakin' nanny's job and they really just don't know that you aren't supposed to let those kiddies go around licking soup cans or letting green snot drip down their chins.
Or...it goes the other way. They can never get those glory days back. Those days in high school where they were the football team captain who dated the head cheerleader or when they were a fashion setter and icon who wore that dress to prom that every girl wanted but couldn't afford. They grew up, partied too much in college and never graduated and now work at Target and are very bitter about the whole thing.
In high school, I hung around with a group called the brains. You remember high school. The groups. The popular kids. The goths (who tend to turn out really interesting after college, I've discovered....) The druggies. The holy rollers (the ones who decorate the gym for prom....) The nerds (mostly guys and I guarantee you they are making money hand over fist now and really, really happily married...) The bullies. The richies.
My school was really, really small in an even smaller small town. So, our groups were smaller too. Plus, I went to Catholic school for the first twelve years of my schooling and basically, we all can still say The Apostle's Creed and The Act of Contrition in our sleep. But, still...there was a popular group and no, I wasn't part of it.
And I was fine. Better than fine. I went on to college and even higher education and fared well basically because I hadn't been popular. I didn't expect to get my ass wiped for me every time I got up.
The funniest, most interesting people whom I know were never popular. Ok, they weren't unpopular either. Because the unpopular ones carry around a certain aura of pain that never goes away. Kids can be pretty cruel.
But, for some strange reason, I am very, very popular in my office. I run the office with two other owners. I am the eldest by a long shot and not even close to the prettiest. I think that I might be the smartest, though, but that is more a product of age and experience. I am 54. My co-owners are 29 and 28. So, I win Jeopardy because I have been around the longest and know a lot of Shakespeare too.
For the last several weeks, I've found out just how popular I am. We recently hired a new translator for our office. Ours is small. There are three professionals, we each have a secretary and we also have an office manager, a nurse that we all share, a jill of all trades who steps in and does whatever is needed to keep things running smoothly, a translator and a janitor. So, 11 of us.
Our new translator is young, newly married and this is her first real job since college. She worked part time while trying to figure out just what she wanted to do for four years and finally when she got married, her husband decided that she needed to contribute to the monthly upkeep of the house and home. She is Hispanic and her degree is in Spanish, so I am guessing that college wasn't all that hard for her. I mean, she grew up bilingual. College HAD to be a breeze. That's like Harry Potter majoring in beginning spells. Or Beyonce majoring in music. She already knew she'd ace those tests.
But, all in all, I like Elena.
At first, I noticed that she was coming into my office a lot to ask questions. This may be because I did tell her to stop in anytime if she had questions. So, my own fault. But, then, I noticed that she was often stopping in just to visit. This was fine as long as I didn't have a patient or bookwork to do.
She is the kind of person who says things like, "You are the first lesbian person that I've ever met and I think lesbians are so cool."
Good hell, I wonder what she'd say if I told her that I'm actually bisexual? Would this send her over the edge of good fortune? Or would that be just a little too much information to be privy to?
She told me that her favorite television show was Betty White's show about old people called Off Their Rockers or something like that. I thought she was joshing when she told me that, I really did. I mean...Betty White? I didn't want to diss the show, so I actually watched it and thought it was stupid. But, then...what can I say? I watch American Idol, so I don't have much wiggle room.
And then I noticed that she kept turning up wherever I was eating lunch. I like to eat alone. But, I also like to get out of my office, so I tend to bring my lunch or buy it in the building cafeteria and then find an empty conference room and go in and read my book and eat. She started coming in to whatever room I was in and saying, "Oh! HI! Mind if I eat lunch with you?"
Well, yeah. I do. But, I don't want to look like a snob. So, I say that of course, it's fine. And then I spend the lunch longingly looking at my book while she tells me about how her cousin is moving in with she and her husband and she thinks he's a slob.
I noticed that I was eating up that sandwich I'd brought really, really quickly.
Finally, I just told her that I really enjoyed my down time at lunch, liked to eat on my own. She looked hurt.
And if you've read a few posts back, you know that I already have been called a meanie by Amanda from the elevator, so I don't really want to get a rep as a bitch.
I talked it over with Jin, my co-worker and co-owner of our practice. Jin said, "Huh. She's never tried to eat lunch with me even once. I'm sort of jealous. Can you walk with me in the halls sometime and call out to me so that I can be popular like you?"
Jin can be funny in a sort of biting way.
But, she's right. Elena hasn't glommed on to anyone else in the office. Just me. So, I must finally be a popular girl.
And it's hellish, dudes. It kind of sucks the big one.
I wonder if I tell her to bring chocolate fudge cupcakes, if she'll actually do it. Maybe she'll start dressing like me.
Seriously, though. I need some advice.
How do I shake her without having to sneak around with my lunch sack in hand or eat in my office with the door shut and lights off, sitting at the edge of my desk so that she can't see me if she cranes her neck looking in that little rectangle of a door window.
How can I stop being the popular girl at work?
Should I start eating with my mouth open? Maybe bring really stinky cheese to eat? Pick my teeth with the end of my comb? COMB my hair while we are eating?
Because I just want to go back to being one of the brains again and not the head cheerleader.
Unless Lee Pace or Richard Armitage are the captains of the football team. Then, hey...I've got a cheer all ready that I could do.