To be clear that’s “being the subject of targeted annoyance” rather than “being in a free-floating annoyed state”. Because apparently there is at least one guy in the complex where I work who takes the sight of a woman walking down the hall and being engaged in something on her phone as a reason to pretend he’s going to run into her.
Not even joking. Direct quote: “I was just bugging you. Acting like we were going to run into each other. Because you were on your phone.”
Yes, sir. Yes, I was on my phone. And you successfully interrupted what I was doing, motivated by seeing that I was on my phone. For your next trick, perhaps you will interrupt someone who is not available to pay attention to you in a completely different way.
I am mostly over the irritation about this, but it feels like the week is shaping up to be a long week and this didn’t really help.
I was walking home today and I ended up waiting at a streetlight next to two other people. One of them was trying to talk about his writing, and the other was interrupting. A lot. I’m sure he thought he was scoring very clever points.
“What do you mean, a book is forty thousand words?”
“Of course I’ve read a book. I read!”
“How can the internet screw it up? How can a book be ten words?”
And he was just badgering. And I wish I’d said something. I didn’t, because it was a private conversation and because the oh-so-clever man struck me as belligerent and possibly slightly drunk, and I was very tired and afraid of starting an argument.
But the other man was just trying to explain that he’d written forty thousand words, and that it was time to start trimming it down, and getting dragged into a discussion of work definitions by length, and…
I wish I’d said something. I wish I’d said excuse me, sir, you wrote forty thousand words? That’s amazing. Congratulations. Or something. Something to weigh in and let him know that deserved better than someone trying to chew at him over wordcount.
Never undervalue your work. Never undervalue the words you put down and hang together. Not everyone will know that it’s hard, not everyone will listen when you try to tell them.
But please know you’ve done something grand.
In the last four days, I have
- cruelly abandoned my cats in a place that is one step down from being a kitty spa,
- travelled to Ohio (border crossings, dear god, border crossings. And why are the railings on the Ambassador Bridge gently crumbling away into rust like piles of cigarette ash?),
- caught up with people that I haven’t seen in person in six years,
- visited a fireworks store in Michigan (for the record, it smelled like bath bombs–not scented or perfumed bath bombs, just the dry and powdery ingredients that seem like they should end with -ate),
- had a couple of pit bulls be absolutely adorable sloppy cuddle-puppies,
- had a ridiculous amount of very good food,
- hit the Toledo Zoo,
- had a giraffe chew on my shirt (to be fair, he was going after the lettuce I wasn’t giving him fast enough),
- seen jellyfish and bioluminescent fish and a very boredly dismissive kudu and really they are gorgeous in a very elegantly understated way,
- learned three new campfire games,
- stayed up very late playing a homebrew blend of Zombicide and Betrayal at House on the Hill,
stopped to have a sushi dinner with a friend I had never actually met in person before (who reads this! Hiiii!),
- and gotten most of the way back home.
(Not all of the way. Self-preservation and the schedule of the cat boarding place dictated not driving all the way through, so we’ve stopped at a hotel. I am actually typing this last night–I cannot be bothered to wrangle hotel internet RN–so the last four days are “July 1st to 4th inclusive”. I’ll post it in the morning. It’ll still be “the last four days” when I do.)
I’ve also rediscovered that yes, I apparently am a person who gets squirrelly without a certain amount of movement in the day. It keeps surprising me; I never think I’ve been making a concentrated effort to walk long enough for it to have become any kind of habit.
I have brought back a not-to-my-mind-ridiculous amount of Cock & Bull caffeine free cherry-ginger soda, and a small stuffed green tiger from the Toledo Zoo. Whose name is Lymoncello, by the way. I will need to get a photo up.
Turning in, given how soon the alarm is going off. May all the roads you go down be kind ones.