I loved yesterday — until I went to leave work. Two of my students, who always help me carry my stuff to my car, were performing our usual Monday evening ritual when I saw a post-it note stuck to the window of my car. I walked up recognized the hand-writing and went, “ Are you serious?”
My life is intentional. I prefer relationships and conversations I’ll remember instead of those that discuss the daily migration of the clouds and sun. I’m more likely to ask my students “What sustains you on the inside when all else falls away,” than some random awkward time filler of a question.
My jewelry is intentional. I wear a silver necklace with a star chain. It is the same one I gave one of my favorite (yes, we all have them) students. My bracelets all have stories. The silly bands are from my girls, I bought one in China, one in Thailand, another at place in Chicago, another at the The African Art Museum at the Smithsonian, and yet another is from my trip to Jamaica. My love for stories decorates my body like a Christmas tree.
Yesterday wasn’t difficult for me at all. Well, I did tear up when I drove past the Reese’s plant and the smell of peanut butter and chocolate nestled into my sinus cavities. I almost cried again when a co-worker came in on his day off to give me gluten-free cookies and say goodbye. But, for the most part yesterday was a blast. My kids chased me with water balloons (some of which burst, a lot that didn’t), helped me create a playlist of their favorite songs so I can remember them, I skateboarded like a kid for three hours with shoes and even barefoot. At devotions the girls shared their favorite memory with me. I was kinda surprised that 99% of them were violent i.e. “Ms. Whit remember when I stole your shoes, hid under a van and you drug me out screaming like a crazy woman and then we wrestled?!” When I see myself through the eyes of others I realize I’m a complete maniac. The girls loved it when I was driving a van down Springboard drive, screamed at the top of my lungs, “ROADS ARE FOR PANSIES!” and drove off-road into a baby cornfield with my sweet little cherubs screaming like recently acquired kidnap victims.
That being said…
The past three years of work has been reallllly weird for me. I dated a coworker (…yeah yeah I know don’t shit where you eat…whatever… lesson learned). I also became friends with another coworker. During our relationship for reasons that are drizzled throughout this blog, their relationship became inappropriate. I handled it well. We talked about it in therapy, discussed how he was just reliving the cycle of every other failed relationship, and then we tried to work through it. We broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together, broke up yada yada yada et al infinite.
They started dating 3 months after we broke up. That was hard, not gonna lie. Something like four months later they got engaged. That was hard, not gonna lie. Granted, I did call it like 4 weeks into their relationship, and my coworkers were super sweet. They called me at home so I wasn’t blindsided when I got to work the next day. Even though I shook their hands and offered my congrats things were super weird …like really weird. With the help of friends, my journal, and lots of conversations with myself in my car, I got through it. I got to a really healthy place. There are some things that stung. Like when I had to use a laptop at work, opened the lid and found a note that read, “You are loved,” in her handwriting. It was his computer, oops. I remember leaving that same note and others like it throughout his things for him to find. I was lame.
I’m a big believer in the “Woman code,” or the “Bro code.” Don’t get involved with a friend’s ex, sleep with their significant other, or use their underwear. She violated that and it hurt for a really long time. It hurt more than anything he’d ever said or did to me. She and I sat down and talked about it and I asked her for the space and time to heal. She consistently had a hard time honoring my requests. She’d rub my back, or caress my arm at work. She’d insert herself in my conversations. She’d call me after work and say asinine things in an effort to rebuild our relationship. She would talk to my coworkers about my relationship with him and tell them things he’d said to her. It was weird she was weird. Because she didn’t give me the space to heal and be okay it took three times as long for me to get over it.
So yesterday when I saw this note on my car window I was like Seriously?! I read it and the words were nice, but really? Stop trying to hijack my day.
So I went over to the mailboxes, and wrote a reply that read exactly like this:
*insert her name here*
You don’t get it.
You’ll never get it.
Then I placed her printed oddity into an envelope along with mine and put it in her mailbox. The end.
Seriously? Get out of my life. You’re like the gnat that flies in my face that I can’t swat because PETA will come after me with bloody paintbrushes. When I’m not at work or on campus I don’t think about either of you. When I’m there, your presence permeates my skin like an acidic lotion because you continue to spew yourself down my throat. I’ve been mature. I’ve ignored the angry part of me that wanted to cuss you out, slash your tires, and put sugar in your gas tank. I’ve reminded myself that you’re just naïve and I can’t hold it against you. I’ve remembered that we have to work together and I have to humor your stupidity for the kid’s sake. I’ve kept the lioness behind the electric fence. But I’m not on payroll anymore. Knock it off. If you cross the line again like say I dunno show up at my door in Seattle, send me text messages, or even email me. I will weather the sting of that electric fence. You will see me for who I’m completely capable of being. You will understand boundaries. All bets are off. No holds barred.