You Never Know


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Our receptionist is a lovely blonde in her early forties. She is terribly sweet, dresses nicely and is quite good at her job. She's always cheerful and rarely ever complains about the dozens of cranky people she daily has to pacify.

She and I always compare latest shoe finds and the latest sales. Occasionally she'll pop in and each lunch with me and we'll chat. Over time, she has shared with me her struggles with low self esteem, stemming mostly from childhood sexual abuse and a husband who would beat her and locked her in the closet. Like any female, I battle my demons of inadequacy. I have been able to share with her different things that helped me and simply encourage her and cheer her onward. Because, let's face it, life as a female can be rough.

Today she stopped by my office and asked to speak with me for a moment. She sat and twisted her hands nervously and started by saying "Please don't take this the wrong way."

This always makes for an interesting conversation opener.

"When I first started here, I saw you and thought 'I cannot work with her every day, I will feel inadequate and ugly'. You intimidated me! You were so perfect and pretty!"

At this point I insert some sort of comment which ended coming out like a strangled surprise.

"But then, it turns out that you, the person I was most afraid of, makes me feel the best about myself. I always feel confident and beautiful after talking to you. You make me feel like a wonderful person. And I just find it quite ironic, I was so sure that I was going to hate myself every day. I have mornings where I hate myself and I feel hideous and feel like I should be locked in a closet. But you always have something to say to me that cheers me right up. Out of all the people here, you have helped me grow the most. And, well, I love you for that. Because your kind and sweet and beautiful and---"

She was cut off by an irate manager stomping in my office to yell at me.

But it really gave me pause. I guess you never know who you touch and it what ways. And it encourages me to know that I have talents other than enmasuculating men and stuffing their testicles in their mouth.


7 Responses to “You Never Know”

  1. Anonymous lara 

    you think your life's an embarrassment, then someone finds encouragement in it.

    i agree w/ every word that woman that i don't know said.

  2. Anonymous steelcowboy 

    Hmmm.. might there be a certain Someone saying "Well done, good and faithful servant"?
    Proverbs 12:18
    Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

  3. Anonymous schmims 

    Ooooh! Please teach me of this testicle stuffing. I know of several pair which could use a good cramming.

  4. Anonymous Hipchick 

    That's very cool. Nothing like getting your flowers while you're alive!

  5. Anonymous Pauly 

    Have I ever mentioned to you how much you've encouraged me at times, PC?

    You have.

    And I appreciate it.

    If I could, I'd kiss you.

  6. Anonymous Memphis Steve 

    During my senior year of college there was this beautiful blonde girl in 4 of my classes. EVERYONE loved her and followed her around. I wasn't exactly the happiest person at this point in time. I assumed she'd be a bitch to me and never talk to me. So I just avoided her. But somehow we ended up having to work together on something. We talked and found out that we had both graduated from the same high school just a year apart from one another. She had been Miss Popularity, but I didn't know her back then. She was the nicest person I had ever met. We started studying together for all of our classes. We stayed up until 4 a.m. one night flying high on coffee and talking away about how oddly similar our lives had been, except for the being popular part. I was completely wrong about her in thinking she'd be a snob to me. She turned out to be the best friend I had that year. You just never know.

  7. Anonymous lara 

    i miss you.

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This odd narrative is my life. I ended up in Pittsburgh, of all places--from the beach. I have no hobbies, other than cooking excessively and eating microwave popcorn. I enjoy shopping, the Food network, hiding the remote so the Food network cannot be turned off, find ethnic food stores and restaurants and reading voraciously. My life is decidedly pedestrian.


I worked in the car business where I was required to be ruthless and soul-less wench, which is when I started this project. Since then, I've kept it up because secretly, I've always wanted to join the military. Every male in my mother's family has joined and I quietly entertain thoughts of joining. I haven't yet and don't know if I ever will, but sending the troops cookies keeps me sane. it makes me think I still have a shred of human kindness left in my withering soul. it's a small way for me to salute the men and women who are brave enough to fight for freedom. And makes me feel like I'm contributing toward troop morale--even if I'm not. So if you want to help, send me addresses of troops you know stationed overseas. you may also contribute toward the cost of chocolate chips, but don't feel obligated, that link is here only by request.


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