Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Small Chunk of Holiday Bitterness

So I mentally wrote this last night as I drove home, only to walk in the door and promptly forget it. And it was GOOD - really good... THEN. Let us see if it can be re-created, shall we?
So, last night, I went to TJ Maxx to buy Christmas presents for my new part-time co-workers over at the AEA. I'm sure it's perfectly clear to everyone that I'm in Straitened Financial Circumstances at present, what with the Unemployment and starting my own business, etc. But on Tuesday I came in to find 2 gift bags on my desk and the realization that in this office, everyone gives little presents to everyone else "but you don't have to if you don't want to," what with the fact that I just started 3-4 weeks ago. Well, of course I don't want to! But I must. 

Why? you may ask. Because it's necessary. Because I'm going to be working with these 9 women for some time to come, hopefully, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Because we're not to the place where I would share the information that I'm perpetually broke and borrowing money to pay bills from my family. Because they are all best friends from childhood and later, and although they aren't cutting me out in any way, I don't need to set myself apart from the group any more than I already am, what with the part-time aspect of my job, and the fact that I don't come in til 9:30 and leave at 6 (they're really good to me here!) Because they have asked me to come with them to Boston for the AEA Conference in January, are paying my way and my salary, and I'm going to be working with these women all day, every day for a week. Because they are Nice Women. Because I am a Nice Woman too. 

So I spent $40 on some (really pretty) Christmas ornaments, $5 on giftwrap, and spent my one precious free night at home this week bundling, wrapping, and ribboning a dozen gifts, when I can't even afford presents for my family (who have strictly forbidden me to give them anything at all this year) or my best friends. I have to give presents to a bunch of women, some whose names I don't even know yet, instead of to the ones I really care about. And I really wonder at times like this, if being a Nice Woman is a good idea. 

Dang. My invective has lost power since last night, when I was still fuming over this. Why is it that my best writing is when I'm mad? I don't like being mad! 

My work has really picked up lately! Thanks to all the folks who've been spreading the word about me. Of course, I'm always tired and never have any free time to relax, but there's a bit more money coming in. Now my eyebrows are above water occasionally...

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