Thursday, May 2, 2002

Sorry Sack of Shi...Shi...Shillings

I think it's terribly sad that England did away with its picturesque monetary system back in the 70s and went metric. Sure, pounds and pence makes better sense, like dollars and cents...but it seems a shame to get rid of all those amusing denominations, shillings and guineas and florins and half-crowns and sovereigns and tuppence and ha'pence and all that. It may have been impossible to remember and mathematically unsound, but it had a nice literary ring to it. Great Britain is becoming all practical and prosaic, like the US used to be (now we're prosaic and pointless), and is losing all its charm. It's just sad, is all.

Unfortunately, I am too busy feeling sorry for myself to spare a great deal of pity for the guinea and the florin (not to mention the House of Lords...don't even get me started on that). Today was just one of those days where nothing I did was quite right. Nor was it specifically wrong...but for some reason everything unpleasant that happened at work today was in one way or another my fault.

I started the day delivering newsletters to all four campuses (spread around a thirty-mile circuit) and picking up cakes and shopping for snacks for the Exec meeting. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary, except that I decided to start the day with deliveries instead of trying to squeeze it into the middle, and started from my house instead of from the office. Apparently, my coworkers became concerned that I hadn't come in by 1:30 (I usually show up at 11), and one was afraid that I hadn't picked up the cakes (two of our Exec members are retiring this summer), so she drove over to the bakery to get them herself...departing less than ten minutes before I arrived from the rest of my errands. I couldn't get her on her cell-phone, so she drove halfway across town and spent half an hour in line at the bakery just to discover that I already had the cakes. She was understandably infuriated with me. The other coworker wondered why I hadn't called in, and I really couldn't think of why I would have. I never call in to the office...I am the one who's supposed to answer the phones, and I can't very well call myself, now can I? It never even occurred to me that the phone gets answered when I'm not there, or that people might be interested in my movements.

So then later, at the meeting, it transpired that I forgot about a certain important document that was supposed to be passed out at the innocent mistake, of course, seeing as how I handed the last draft to the boss-lady to get it approved and she never gave it back to me; and since I had other things to do (assemble the snack tray, prepare the coffee carafes, continue answering the phone, etc.), I forgot all about it. Then I of course didn't bother printing out an agenda...nobody ever reads them or follows them, so why bother? But then there was a bit of a dust-up during the meeting because action items were proposed without being officially agendaed (if that's a word), which is in questionable constitutional legality. So of course I caught crap for that, too. Thank god everyone liked the cheeses and fruits I chose for the snack, or there would have been a bloodbath.

So after having to apologize to pretty much everybody around me three or four times (I will spare you an account of the things I was blamed for today that weren't my fault...), I found myself getting a little depressed. There were other things involved in this mood besides just email and some other conversations that made me not only a little irritated and a little regretful but also made me think about reprioritizing certain facets of my existence...and so all these combined things got me into a place of feeling very sad and angry and unhappy. When I came back into the office after moving my car (the boss-lady was parked in front of me in the driveway), I slammed the door, but it bounced in its sill and came flying right back at me and banged my wrist...which so infuriated me that I slammed the door again, this time leaning into it and holding the door to make sure it closed, taking the full shock of the slam right on the pained wrist. It hurt so bad I just sat right down in the foyer and started crying.

I closed up the office for the day, drove over to the drugstore to buy some laundry detergent and fabric softener (we ran out right in the middle of my laundry chores the other day, so I still have five loads of that to get through), then went to pick up the Chinese food I had promised but failed to get for dinner on Tuesday night, about which I have been feeling incredibly guilty. I realized as I was driving around in evening rush traffic that I had forgotten to call all the mailroom people at the campuses and tell them that the newsletters had been dropped off this morning, and so they won't get distributed until tomorrow afternoon...which nullifies my having driven all over Hell-and-half-of-China this morning. After that, I remembered three or four other things I did wrong this week which haven't been noticed yet. So all through the evening, I just kept weeping off and on (I never can maintain a good solid just comes and goes like scattered clouds), feeling really profoundly sorry for myself.

The worst part of that feeling is that I never can communicate with people when I'm in that thoughts get all jumbled and I can't explain myself, and it's just easier to pretend everything is OK until I can sit down and sort out my I'm doing now. I mean, I could have unburdened to Grandmother instead of sitting silent through dinner, or I could have unburdened to Dalton when he called a little while ago, or I could have called up my sponsor and bitched a little while...but I just couldn't. Thank God I have a writing outlet, or it might have become unpleasant.

Well, anyway...tomorrow I have to go and get my front tire fixed, which I have also been failing to do all week, and then do about twenty things at the office instead of taking a half-day as I intended, then as soon as I can start out for my Fourth Step Retreat up in Camp Meeker...if I don't get out of the office before two, I'm going to get stuck in Friday-Get-Out-Of-Town Traffic, which is always hateful, turning a pleasant two-hour drive into a hideous four-hour ordeal. Then I will get to the retreat late, which means I might not get the accomodations I want, and might even miss dinner.

Oh, but then I'll be there, and there's no better place to be when you're feeling sorry for yourself and resenting the whole world: tucked away in a beautiful country retreat with 65-or-so gay men in recovery, all of us working on our resentments and shortcomings and morals. Looking over this post, and yesterday's post, and several others before that, I see I'm going to have puh-lenty of material to work with, so I'm looking forward to quite a productive weekend!

Well, I'll be checking in tomorrow for the Friday Five...but I won't have access over the weekend, so I won't be able to blog again until Sunday, which is, by the way, Oakland's 150th Anniversary. If I can't squeeze a couple of paragraphs out of that, I will simply have to go and hang myself.

Pray for me, darlings!

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