Dear Aunt Reader
Ever felt like you are being watched, watched like a hawk, by a colleague? It’s the little things she does, silly things. Like wanting to know where I have been if I am not around. Like being loud and cluttering around my office when somebody invites her for lunch (once every month or so), or has some place she has to go on lunch time.
Except for being created ‘beAmssale Silase’ and having husbands in the states, this person and I don’t have anything in common. We don’t think the same. We don’t talk the same. We certainly don’t act the same. When I tell you she was already having her first crashes while the undersigned was busy playing “eQa eQa” with her peers, you’d know the game was over before it started. But the fact that she perceived us as being in a competition of some sort, gets chocked up every time somebody complimented something on me, and looks tense when I ask somebody else to go out to lunch with me, bothers me somewhat.
It’s as if she’s made me the sole purpose of her existence (an existence I admit can be quite depressing on anybody). But I have a life of my own, making looking over my shoulder so I do not offend her by mere being there, an added task I simply don’t have the time for. If I have done anything remotely deserving, the fact that this colleague goes around me “like a lion looking for whom to devour” would have made sense. I’ve gone out of my way and waved the white flag more than a dozen times for her advantage. I’ve defended her, uninvited, every time a situation presented itself where I sensed people were cornering her over things her husband did or didn’t do (for I, unlike them, know she coulnd’t be held responsible for the way he chose to act). Taken her out for lunch, and done a thorough damage control work by pretending I wasn’t being paid enough attention by my husband neither, just so she could feel better about ‘her’ situation.
But these lunches, filled with her going ‘me me me’ like a broken record (I don’t like this, I don’t like that, and that other thing), proved tiresome soon. I asked her why, then, she wouldn’t go to a language school when she mournfully talked about how happy she would be if she could speak better English. She got mad. As if by suggesting she go to an evening school I was implying she didn’t have anywhere but home to go after work (which we all know to be true). Then somebody talked about the new DV applicants’ education requirement. I told her she should try to get atleast a certificate incase her husband started the process for her. She said that was for the actual lottery winner and nothing to do with her. When the girls that were having lunch with us insisted she gives it a try anyway, she said she won’t get a taxi home after 8. I said I go to school and manage to get home safe. That’s when she did a little righteous dance of “I don’t know about you but..” etcetra, silencing me in amusement over the audacity of people who take pride in being ignorant to the world outside their home.
The last straw came yesterday. Somebody started talking about how you can be CNN on Arab Sat these days yesterday afternoon. They asked me, again, why I don’t have a satellite dish. And, again, I told them how the lack of verandah on my apartment forbade me from doing so.
“Why wouldn’t you buy a sattelite dish soandso,” I said good naturedly, turning to her “it would keep you company, I know it would me!”. She said she hates movies with such venom that I have to appologize and leave sthealtly.
Now, I’m wondering if coming out with it and telling my colleague to get off my back isn’t what the doctor ordered. I will sit her down and ask her to get herself a hobby, a hobby that has nothing to do with me (hey, it even rhymes!). Or a life. Or a neck message. Which one do you think would sound less offensive?
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