And the Winner Is…

My boss. For the most appallingly rude personal comment directed at me in years.

Here’s what happened. On Friday we received an outstanding résumé from a potential freelancer. It turned out that she had freelanced from us years about fifteen years ago and had since gotten her PhD. From the looks of things, she had not been able to find work in her field and was trying her hand again at freelancing. This is certainly common enough, and my boss, my coworker, and I were talking about the lack of work being a major deterrent to getting an advanced degree.

“I thought about getting a PhD after my master’s,” I said, “but I looked down that lonely road and saw years and years spent in my head, forming no real attachments and not having a real home, only to have to find a job outside the field. I decided that for me, it just wasn’t worth it.”

My boss looked at me and said sarcastically, “Well, you had all that time. Do you have any real attachments or a real home?”

Well, you know the answer to that one, Bitch. My life is completely meaningless, and I spend every night home alone with my fifty cats, eating ice cream out of the carton and plotting how to foil the neighborhood children.

I checked that reaction and used my schmoozer skills to take the “high road.” “Tell me when to stop,” I said, laughing and waving my fingers in the air. I then explained what I meant, which didn’t have anything to do at all with finding a man or buying a house but instead about living in a place and forming a community of my choosing. I didn’t love my subject enough to sacrifice the best years of my life for it—and that’s not to say that other people couldn’t decide to make those sacrifices and have it be the right decision for them. We joked for a few more moments, and then she went into her office.

And that’s when I started crying. I’d like to say that digs about my single life don’t hurt and that I’m just able to laugh them off, but they do. I know that I have a full life now, and I am enjoying it, but still. This isn’t my first pick. I really don’t need my boss’s judgment to remind me that it isn’t my first pick.

My young coworker, who was part of the conversation and was just as shocked as I was, offered a lot of support, and I managed to recover myself enough to enjoy my weekend anyway. In fact, I’m sure I had more fun. Single people get to go to parties and go off on their own adventures without any guilt whatsoever. Still, her words came to me this weekend, and I did think a lot about how this wasn’t what I really wanted.

And now I have to go in today and face the winner of the prize for most appallingly rude personal comment directed at me in years. Wish me luck.

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14 responses to “And the Winner Is…

  1. Good luck, Sassy.

    Just be grateful you’re not skivvying for some sad sack husband while trying to raise the kids he didn’t really want but made you have anyway and stuck with a shitty mortgage on top of that.

    You’re cool and sassy and can go partying without having to argue about it.

    And your boss sucks huge ass.

  2. What a fucking bitch! Back to her ten fold. She’s probably bitter with wretched kids who drive her nuts.
    Don’t apologize for being single, Sassy. You’re not the problem, she is.

  3. Sassy, one of the problems with working where you do (and I can say this with authority, having worked there for five years as well), is that those people live in their own little world, completely sheltered from the outside. Over the years, I discovered that, for the most part, they are socially awkward, with no concept of social cues, no tact at all. None. They don’t have any clue.

    Might I offer some advice? Next time you have a cold, lick your palm and then smear it on her phone or doorknob. It really works. I have done it before.

  4. Pffft, what a total c-u-n-t, and probably a really unhappy person in her own life.

  5. Elizabeth Penmark

    Aw, lots of luck your way. She sounds like a very unhappy woman. Unhappy people tend to like to bring down everyone else to their level. Sorry you had to experience that.

  6. That was not a very nice comment. Did she perhaps have the need to feel self righteous or maybe build a block by crushing you?

    I have no use for people like that in my life. I do have a saying that helps me a lot though.

    No matter what I do, the next 5 years will go by anyway.

    I may not do what I first choose, but I will make whatever I do worth the time.

    Hang in there lady. She is not worth your tears.

  7. You need an Irish mammy to hop up for the day and put some manners on her? The wagon!
    Just say the word.

  8. I’m happy being single, it’s not my first choice either but we make the best of what we have.
    I agree with all these comments and can only suggest you try the following line from a friend, who is The Grand Master of Wit, Sarcasm and Repartee,
    “Fuck off you sad twat”

  9. I have a friend who responds to comments like that with, “Don’t make me call you a cunt in front of all these people, because you know how I feel about that word.”

    But…”fuck off you sad twat” works too.

  10. I want to go right over there and scream at her. Then I’d give you a big hug. Ohhhh I’m mad.

  11. Thanks for the wishes and support, Everyone. She wasn’t there yesterday, and that gave me a chance to collect myself.

    Terroni, you get extra credit for providing me with the best comeback ever. I’m using that one.

  12. Jesus Christ. We ALL have interesting lives. When I was single, I had an interesting life and now I have one too, it is just different.

    I hate the smug way her words resounded in my ears, as if she had something you didn’t.

    We all get to our destinations in time. And sometimes, yes…I read your blog and think to myself how NICE it would be to not have to worry about babysitters. I also sorely miss flirting. Not just the harmless kind. I mean the serious kind.

    I MISS that so much.

    We all have interesting lives….

  13. I was in a bar one time with some women friends, when my buddy Joe walked in.

    One of the girls said, Hey Bock, there’s Joe. Aren’t you going to call him over?

    And I said, Fuck no! Didn’t you see the look he gave me when he walked in?

    Well, see, the ones with a sense of humour got it immediately and laughed, but the others were baffled.

    Now, if a man asked me what your boss asked, I’d take it as a question and answer it. But you take it as a remark and feel hurt.

    Why didn’t you just answer the question and move on? I know this is a man-thing, I know. I know. I know. But still: is that a two-different-planets concept?

  14. Oh, Sass….I’m so sorry. I really like Before Girl’s strategy. And knowing how your boss feels about germs I think even if she didn’t get sick you might get some bizarre satisfaction out of watching her touch some spot with your saliva on it. Bwa ha ha.

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