Stretched Out

Hooray, our tickets are booked for Seattle! One of us gets to sit in a middle seat next a morbidly obese person/recently arrived Eastern European immigrant/crying baby, but the other gets an aisle seat for each leg of the trip. Graham is the bigger giant, so it’s likely that he’ll get the aisle and be allowed to extend at least one leg in an angle that is slightly more generous than 45 degrees. I’m not super interested in sitting wedged next to some human monstrosity, but I am a nervous flier, so I guess the more limited view of a window I have, the better.

I’m excited to see so many of my friends in the same place; for years now, we’ve only been able to see one or two at a time during trips home, and then only fleetingly due to obligations with family and other friends. I lived away for years and remember trying to cram everyone I knew into a 2-day period when I came home to visit. My family was pissed that I wasn’t hanging out at home and I did things like drive to West County during a blizzard just to see one friend during her shift at a bar. But this time we get to see three Steitzeseses, one Puglisi, and Robin all at the same time. And we get to be there for the French Letters CD release party! And we found a place in Fremont that makes apparently awesome sausage! And the flight is an excuse to get more books for my Kindle! Everything’s comin’ up Milhouse!

I have 12 working days left until Seattle. I count down the days every morning when I wake up, every time I walk through the doors to my office building, and every time someone who works nearby does or says something disgusting.

Clipping their nails at their desk, for instance. Or spraying that dusty rose perfume better suited for funeral home carpets than for women in their mid-50’s. Or talking graphically and at great length about childbirth and nursing, which is what one co-worker did today.

I should clarify that the co-worker in this story isn’t the Sturgis-attending grandmother I wrote about before. The co-worker in this story works nearby but not directly with me, so while I can’t comment much about her actual work performance and therefore have no real indication of how useful she is as an employee, I can say that I’m so fucking tired of hearing about her kids and house renovations.

While my scruples (or something) prevent me from sharing her real name, in my head, I’ve started to call her Miss Piggy. She’s not really fat or anything, but she does have these tiny, squinty, piggy eyes that make me insane. I don’t know why they bother me so much, they just do. Maybe it has something to do with the way she walks in during Morning Quiet Time (ahem, before everyone shows up at 8:30) with a fresh milkshake coffee whatever from Starbucks and just. Starts. Talking. And if she’s not wearing her glasses then I have to look at those dumbass piggy eyes when she starts in how funny her kids are or why won’t the contractor call her back or, at least today, how “breastfeeding really stretches you out, y’know?”

No. I don’t know. I don’t know because I don’t breastfeed, and I don’t breastfeed because I chose not to have kids. I chose not to have kids because kids don’t interest me. I’m not interested in their faces or their speech impediments or their bowel movements. I’m not interested. Most people aren’t interested in most aspects of your children’s development, in fact, and it would behoove you to keep this in mind before you broadcast these details to anyone within earshot.

It’s not just the kids, okay? I know I seem like a barren old bitch most of the time, but this isn’t really about kids. If you want to have kids, go nuts. Like marriage and pursuing a career in human resources, hey, if you can make it work, then who am I to stand in the way of your nutty dream? It’s not the having kids part that’s the problem, it’s the talking about them to the point where they become your entire being, to the point where there is nothing left of you but the kids, and that includes your understanding of what is and what is not appropriate to discuss in an open office.

I don’t want to hear about the state of your post-breastfeeding tits any more than I want to hear about some 40-year-old manager’s vasectomy. Just as I assume you don’t want to hear about the rigors of unmarried sex causing a UTI that left me sitting on the toilet all day with a jug of cranberry juice and a stack of magazines. This is my blog so I can say that here, but would I say it at work? Hell no! Babies haven’t ruined my brain.

Also, she hums. No melody or actual song. I think she hums while she reads things, although the pitch changes are really bizarre and she doesn’t seem to know she’s doing it. For hours.


About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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4 Responses to Stretched Out

  1. Carmen says:

    Yes, I’ve noticed it, too —– serial breeders are also nonstop talkers, particularly in office settings. I’m sorry, Mommies of the 9-to-5 Across America, but your endless narrative about all your dismal daily activities and those of Tiffany, Madison, Michaela, Justin, Corey, or [insert trendy kid’s name here] just BORE THE LIVING SOUP out of me. I’m also not interested in hearing about how you navigated your way through childbirth and breastfeeding, about your sister-in-law’s supervisor’s cousin’s Episiotomy From Hell, about all the weight you gained with your “youngest one,” and about your latest trip to the pediatrician’s office for a strep test, etc. I dream and pray that one day, ALL YOU MINDLESS BREEDERS will board a shuttle bound for Outer Space and never return……

    • erineph says:

      What sucks is that there are just as many working moms who talk about their kids only sparingly, like I talk about my life outside of work. These moms have an idea of what’s appropriate and what’s not, and would never DREAM of telling everyone about an episiotomy. I was once reprimanded by my boss for vocally opposing episiotomy talk, because according to her, “it’s natural.”

      No, dummy, “natural” is that kid tearing one big canyon in your crotch.

  2. Carmen says:

    Sounds like there’s a real bias in your workplace toward Breeders of America, with their interests and needs automatically taking a higher priority over everyone else’s, of course. Unfortunately, this same environment is duplicated in workplaces across America. The assumption is that everyone is living the typical American lifestyle….breeding, driving minivans, spending their weekends at Sam’s and Costco, in short…buying, buying, buying. Ultimately, it’s all about mass programming and consumerism, which disgusts me. Episiotomy talk…and even vasectomy talk…or colostomy bag talk….is personal, graphic stuff, not free-for-all office chatter (unless you work in a hospital or medical office setting). Folks, PUH-LEEZE save that kind of talk for private discussion with a friend. Some of us don’t want to hear how the botched episiotomy ruined your twat and made your 5th wedding anniversary night an excruciating disaster……

  3. Becky says:

    I am the ONLY one in my office without a child. I feel your pain.

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