Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Reduction of Hate Gift

There are only three people in the world that I have ever fully hated. And every single one of them is for good reasons. Like they were mean to me. Or they pulled an earring straight out of my friend's ear. Or they are stupid beyond reasonably stupid standards.

Anyway, I ran into one of those three people at Target and I acted like a complete and utter ass-clown and maybe now I can only hate two people.

Hated person number three (HPN3, for the purposes of the rest of this post) falls into the "stupider than dirt" category of people-I-hate. I hate ignorance in general, but specifically hate the source when it interferes with my daily life and gets turned back around on me. For instance, I worked downtown for the central offices of the Chicago Public Schools for a year, (which is laden with examples of idiocy) and to get to my cubicle on the second floor, I had two options - elevator or inconveniently-located-behind-the-security-belt stairs. I took the stairs. And was stopped by the security guard. Every morning. Clearly I am not memorable or I pose a high level of threat that cannot be demonstrated in the elevator. Whatever. This I can chalk up to total dedication to the job of maintaining security, even if it is just stupid and tempts me into taking an elevator up one floor. (Which is not only a waste of electricity, but also I hate elevators. They freak me out like the idea of doing heroin freaks me out.)

Anyway, HPN3 was also fired from the bar, which makes hating her even worse because now I fall into the same category as her. Except she was fired for being exceptionally stupid, and I was fired for no apparent reason. Which makes me feel stupid. So now I am paranoid that we are the same. HPN3 was maybe the worst server ever in the history of bars. I won't go into details because the details of her fuck-ups are not important - it's the totality of her incompetence that matters. So suffice it to say that she sucked at life in a way that made you question how she even made it into work. Amelia Bedelia would have made more tips.

It was no secret that I did not care for HPN3, mostly because I have a terrible habit of eye-rolling. But also because I do not believe in fake-nice. I think it's mean to be nice to someone's face and then talk about them as soon as they walk away. It's lying. I much prefer to just avoid them entirely. Which is what I did with HPN3 and which is what got me into a long conversation with the manager over not "being nice." Technically, though, I just "wasn't being mean." Plus if you want a commune-hippie-love atmosphere where everyone gets along, DON'T HIRE MORONS. Eventually management began to see the validity of my argument and fired HPN3. I haven't seen her in two years.

Until I went to Target. (Why, Target? Why must you betray me so?) Between the kitchen aisles and the furniture, I spotted her. Well, not so much spotted as heard her familiar cackle crashing down the tiled floor. I ducked in between aisles and immediately became engrossed in the plates. If there is anything at Target I don't need, it's plates. I mean, this couldn't have happened amongst the shoes? Really, Target? But apparently HPN3 really needed plates herself, because she and her friend stopped at the end of the aisle for a good seven minutes. My thought process was as follows:

"I could duck around the back of the aisle...but she's on the end. I'll just turn the other way and now I am looking at this bowl. I wonder if this bowl is microwave safe. What is the difference between microwave safe and dishwasher safe? Which one is stronger if, say, they both were run over by a car? And is she still there? Seriously, it's a plate. Pick one and move on. If I were registering for a wedding, I would pick none of these plates. Would I even need plates? Maybe I could replace plates with something more urgently needed, like spoons. Can you even register for spoons by themselves? I mean, people register for board games. I could register for new books! Oh, thank God, she's gone." 

At no point in my tangent-riddled thoughts did I think of just saying hi and moving on like a normal person. And since I totally, obliviously engrossed myself in thinking about wedding registries, I'm sure she probably saw me. Talking to myself and staring at plates. Like I said, ass-clown. And with this ridiculousness that is me-in-public, the hate has become greatly reduced.

I wish I had a gift that relates more to giving someone I formerly hated a nice, un-mocking present. But as demonstrated above, I do not think in straight lines like this. Instead, the Reduction of Hate Gift includes a gift for my best friend K - something she used to loathe but has now embraced. Running. I can sympathize because running and I used to not be friends either. (Much the same way Target and I began a falling-out over the plates.) Running is a weird brand of being in that it takes a lot of mildly awful experiences to actually be friends. If running were a person, it would be the guy in the romantic comedy that you HATE and keep bumping into at parties and roll your eyes about because he is SO obnoxious. And just like in the romantic comedy, there is no explanation for why this changes, other than you stop feeling nauseous halfway through and you can't stay away.

Running is that guy.

So K started running recently, and she is just about at the run-in-where-the-girl-sees-the-guy-and-he-smiles-at-her-and-she-stops-mid-eye-roll part. She's getting used to it but doesn't LOVE it yet. As part of her Christmas present this year, I found a set of red laces - fun, beautiful red laces that double as a donation to help AIDS relief efforts in Africa. (See how we think alike without planning it?) It's my contribution to her reduction of hate in running.

As for me and Target, that guy made it up to me by offering me the Muppets Take Manhattan DVD for $4.75.

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