There is a woman who works in my office building. I know her name is Amanda. Not Mandy or Amy. She is AMANDA. I know this because I always seem to get stuck riding up in the elevator with her in the morning and she is a talker. I know many things about Amanda. She regales all of her fellow elevator riders with true tales of herself.
She likes to be called AMANDA. Once, a co-worker called her Mandy and she told them that she was not a "freakin Perry Manilow song." I would have corrected her and told her that his name is BARRY not PERRY but I didn't want anyone to know that I knew that name and the song (although, privately...I do heart me some Barry, especially songs about weekends in New England.)
She has a car that is always conking out and her father drives her to work and picks her up. I know this because she describes her car's problems in detail.
She likes cats. She once spent an entire elevator ride describing her "pretty kitty's" distinctive meeeeooooooowwwww!!!!! By the time I got off the elevator, I was ready to throw kitty litter at someone. Her clothes are also perpetually covered in cat hair.
She does not dye her hair. I know this, because....yes....she announced to no one in particular (because I swear to baby hey zeus, NO ONE talks to her unless they have no choice) that she thinks that hair dye causes cancer.
Amanda also told us that two people in her office were having an affair and one (the guy) is married. She thinks that is shameful and she told him that if his wife ever came to the office to meet him for lunch again, she was going to tell on him. She laughed and said that the wifey hasn't shown up since. I wonder if she's sitting home wondering why he never wants her to meet him for lunch anymore, but this is all pointless as I DON'T KNOW THIS FORNICATING PAIR.
I don't even know what office Amanda works on, except that it is on a floor above mine. I sometimes see her at lunch in the cafeteria with a group of women who all seem to be very chummy. I imagine they spend their lunch hours debating things like hair dye and car problems. And fornicators.
Every year, our building has a crafts fair around Christmas time. I stop in, not because I like crafts, but because they serve free hot fudge sundaes. I walk around, slurping up my sundae and looking, but I seldom buy. In fact, I've only purchased one item and that was a few years ago when I bought a cup that said I WUV U!!!! It was a joke gift for my partner, Bing. I put it in her stocking. It now sits on her desk in her office and holds pencils.
This year, when I was browsing, I noticed that AMANDA had a table set up. She had lots of jewelry displayed. The kind that I never buy. Big, giant necklaces that look like Cleopatra or Nicki Minaj would like them. Earrings that had polka dots on them. Also earrings shaped like little turtles or bunnies. She also had lanyards. Very ugly plastic beady ones that were sparkly in a Liberace sort of way. I smiled at her and moved on quickly even after she told me that she thought the poodle shaped earrings were "so you!" THEY WERE NOT ME! I SWEAR IT!
So...cut to the elevator ride this morning. I had purchased a few lanyards online and happened to have one of my new ones on to hold my office photo and id that I hate because I look like I am getting goosed. But, the lanyard was lovely, all amber gemstones.
Amanda zoned in on me. She got all up in my face, which I think is a really, really mean thing to do to someone on an elevator at 7:50 a.m. when that person got in an argument with her partner over how to place knives in the dishwasher (FACING DOWN, DUDE!) just an hour before.
Amanda has done this before. She does this to everyone at least once. I think she feels this is socially acceptable since she seems incapable of riding up silently and sullenly with the rest of us. Once, she told me that my shoes were "hot." I'm 54. I have no business wearing hot shoes. But, okay...they were a little edgy, a little Pat Benatar. Another time, she asked me if I knew how good my hair smelled. And yet another time, she told me that I was a "spring" person and should not be wearing yellow as it sallowed up my face. Well, fuck her, I thought, although I simply smiled at her and thanked her, telling her in my best fuck you voice that I always wanted to know what season I was. Amanda smiled back at me and said that every woman owed it to herself to know her season.
So, today was apparently my turn again. She told me that my lanyard was "very classy." I thanked her and pointedly looked away, hoping to diffuse her from talking to me any more.
She got close enough to me so that I could smell the egg mcmuffin on her breath.
"I saw you checking out my table at the Christmas craft fair," she said. "Where did you get your lanyard?"
I told her that I ordered it online. Didn't say the name. It's best not to encourage her in any way.
"How much did it cost ya?" she asked.
I heard Javier snort. Javier is a translator who works on my floor. He is one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen. He dresses like he should be on a Vogue cover. He has helped me out many times when I've needed a Spanish translator, so I know him enough to know that he thinks Amanda is a pain in the ass too.
In private, we have snarkily referred to her as Mandy. This entertains us way too much. Javier sometimes will also sing out about how Mandy came and she gave without taking. But we sent her away. Oh...Mandy.
I sighed. Debated for a second about telling Amanda that it is rude to ask someone how much something costs. Decided to just be nice. Shut her up.
I told her it was around ten bucks, I thought.
"Plus shipping too?" she pushed.
"Well, my lanyards are only 8 dollars and they are every bit as much as pretty as the one that you have on. Why didn't you buy one of mine? I saw you looking at them."
Another quick debate. Another choice.
"Well, Amanda," I said. "I have to admit that I didn't see any that I liked. I'm sorry."
She looked shocked. Stricken. You would have thought that I'd hauled off and smacked her right across the kisser.
Her bottom lip trembled.
Our floor dinged. Javier and I got off. Amanda was saying something when we stepped off, but I missed it.
I asked Javier if he'd heard it.
"I did," he said, with his gorgeous melodious voice.
"I believe she said that you were a meanie."
But, I've been so patient with Amanda. More patient than most.
I hooked my arm through Javier's offered arm. Asked him if he thought I was mean.
No, he told me. But, he had seen her jewelry and thought I'd look lovely in her necklace that spelled out SHE CAT. And then, he threw back his lovely black mane and laughed as only Javier can, his perfect white teeth gleaming under the florescent lights of the fourth floor.
So....my question for you:
What would you do if it had been YOU instead of ME in that elevator? Would you have lied? Been truthful? Feigned that you couldn't seem to remember her lanyards/jewelry?
Javier jokingly suggested that he could use some dice cuff links that he saw on her crafts table...that I could make it up to
I think I'll take the stairs for a while. Need the exercise.