19 August 2010

SHADDAP! ....just.....shaddap...please....you're killing me, here!



(Photograph copyright 2010, all rights reserved.)

Ok. I'm finally getting it together-ish. I have a problem combining "Summer" and "writing". Summer, you see, is my favorite time of the year. I want to wallow in the sun, bask in the heat, get a tan (and no, I DON'T feel in the least guilty about that), drink gin and tonic.... you know, summer stuff. Sitting at a computer is difficult, and it gets harder and harder for every degree of heat over 75. Today it's 88 and I'm grooving. But I owe you some answers. Source material is here .

Then, and as an extra special bonus JUST FOR YOU.... I have a dilemma of my own and YOU can tell me what to do. Even if it's SHADDAP!


1. You accused someone of cornering you in a bathroom when you were six years old, so you could avoid going to your father's house for a weekend of drunken abuse. Now that you're an adult, you feel guilty.

SHADDAP!

You did one thing spectacularly right here, kid. You avoided getting in a car with a drunk. You survived your fucked-up family. I understand the impulse to apologize for your actions. If you want to know what happened, ask your mother. Then decide. In the meantime, get some help.

I suspect this has more to do with your feelings about your father than anything else.


2. Oh boy! Your nasty family member who gets fired a lot for nastiness is applying for a job where you work and you're wondering whether you should give HR the heads up about this lunatic?

SHADDAP!

Given that this person has issues with everyone, not just you, odds are good that she wouldn't get hired in the first place. That said, there's nothing wrong with tipping the nod to whoever's doing the hiring. Look at it this way. If your company has to find out the hard way that your relative is an unholy bitch and has to fire her, it's going to cost them a fortune.

I noticed too, although others haven't, that you say, "...this family member would put my career in jeapordy."

You didn't say COULD, you said WOULD. Definitely tattle on the bitch. Then cut her out of your life entirely. It sounds like she's been upsetting you for a long time. Why give her the chance to continue?


3. Bloody hell! WTF? ANOTHER round of, "my boyfriend is the perfectist perfect boyfriend on the face of the planet yadda yadda yadda .......BUT?!"

SHADDAP!

Heaven help us all when stupid people decide that assholes are "perfect". What part of "insanely jealous" did you miss here, sugar? You know that's just going to be code for everyone to tell you to DTMFA, right? Right?

You don't owe him a "number". Period. He never should have asked. It's none of his fucking business, it's intrusive, and if he cared about YOU, your past would be meaningless to him. So do us all a favor, send him back to whatever assholeland he sprang from and go find yourself a grownup.

But do some growing up yourself, first.

Duh.


4. You sleep in the same bed as your son for the FOUR DAYS A MONTH you get to see him, except when you're fucking whatever boyfriend you have at the time, and you think this is somehow ALL RIGHT?

SHADDAP!

Get your son a sofa bed. Tell your boyfriend that he'll have to take care of business himself four times a month. Duh, fucking duh.

Better yet, sign off all parental rights to your ex, since he's the parent with the brain in this case. Then you can screw like a bunny any old time you want with the bedroom door open, even, and your son will at least have half a chance at not being a complete head case because of you.

It's probably too late.


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Now I know you're all just DYING to know what my dilemma is. I have to say, I just can't wait for Tonto to tell me I'm fulla crap! Are you ready for this? Are you?


Dear Readers,

As a lot of you already know, I'm a Clay Person. I've been doing this for the better part of a decade now, and I finally feel like I've hit my sculpture groove. People are noticing my work, which is slightly shocking to me, since in the past I've heard things like, "What's it for?" a lot. It's not FOR anything. It just is. One day I'll post some photos of the recent stuff. On to the story.

I have to work in a studio, of course, and since few people have the money or the space to work at home, we congregate at facilities where we can take classes, mingle with other Clay People and generally get some work done in a relatively convivial atmosphere. It's generally a pretty mellow group. No one gets wound up about the small stuff, and while there are some personality clashes, we're a civilized bunch and just choose not to deal with people we don't get along with.

So here's the problem. In the class I'm taking now (and that I'm planning to repeat because I adore the teacher), there is a Fly in the Ointment. This fellow student is just impossible to deal with. I tried to be friendly. No dice. I tried to be polite. Nothing. I tried to ignore her. She's being even MORE obnoxious. She has a permanent frown and a foul attitude.

I asked around and several people have told me that they have issues with this broad. Some who have been cornered by her, have been subjected to literally HOURS of misery as she drones on about her near-death experiences and life-threatening illnesses. Frankly, if she's been as ill as she claims, I don't know how she's still breathing. Everything with her is a downer. She NEVER smiles. Nothing she ever says is positive, even to the people she calls her friends. She's bitchy, she's rude and she sucks the energy out of every room she's in because of her perpetual whining.

I felt I'd dodged a bullet, what with the not getting trapped by her and all. When I go to class or if I just go to use the studio I generally use my IPod to zone out and work and the people that know me know that I'm not being rude, I'm just concentrating. If someone wants to talk to me, they either tap me on the shoulder or wave at me when I look up. It works.

The dilemma? I've been ignoring the Soul Sucker. I'm a pretty upbeat person (yeah, go ahead Tonto), and I'm there to work, so it's not a big deal. SHE on the other hand, has been hard at work on the rumor mill. Apparently I offended. There are people I've been friendly with for years that now give me shifty looks. The other day, I heard her lecturing a couple of people about what a "stuck up bitch" I am and how "mean" I've been to her. I think I've said ten words directly to her in the last five years.

So what to do? You all know that I'm the first one to tell anyone not to rent space in their heads to assholes. I don't have time for nasty people. Then again, what do I do at the studio? Let her spread her nasty little rumors? I suspect by now I eat babies and kick puppies according to her. Frankly, it's been a long time since I've had to be around anyone that's actively malicious towards me.

Do I call her on it? Do I tell her to piss off? Do I kill her with politeness? Do I shake her until her teeth rattle? Tell the boys I DON'T have cooties? My instinct is to not engage and let her shoot off her mouth. Eventually she'll yap to the wrong person and get told to shut up, right?

Sigh.

Comments are always welcome! I'm unavailable to write here next week, but I'll be checking in from time to time....

Messy

36 comments:

  1. Frankly, if it were me, I'd not say anything to her until/if she actually says something to you directly.

    For the people you've been friendly with for years who are now giving you "shifty" looks, if it were me, and we'd been friendly, I'd ask them if I've somehow offended them, and then base my continued conversation/etc with them on their response.

    DO NOT confront her out of the blue, without witnesses who have heard what she's been saying and have listened to your perspective. If you say anything to her that is not sweet and nice, you will only give her ammunition to talk about what a horrible **** you are and how you hate everyone, but especially her, since she's like, so way more talented than you, and you're just jealous, and stuff. *RME*

    Meanwhile, if you talk to a few of the people you used to be friendly with and they a) refuse to acknowledge they've been treating you differently, b) already have sided with her and are now reading your concentration as rudeness, or c) tell you word for word everything she's said behind your back; you can a) apologize for mis-reading THEIR concentration, b) ask if there's anything that you can do to cool the tension in the studio between you and them, or c) express surprise that she would say such things, as you clearly haven't been investing such time and energy into her.
    If they d) express some concerns based on things she's said, but are willing to listen to your side of things, be careful not to say anything that could be construed as badmouthing her. Save that for us and the Boy.

    Any direct interaction that is necessary with her should be so polite it is "chillingly" polite, and done at a volume that is just slightly louder than individual conversations usually are there, so others can easily observe that you are being nothing but polite.

    Basically my advice boils down to, only attempt to mend things with the people who you want to still have cordial relationships with while there. Anyone else can just listen to her or not as they choose, but if it's already reached a point where some ARE listening to her, then ignoring it is no guarantee that she'll eventually be told to shut up.

    But if you make certain that those you care to have a cordial relationship with realize you don't spend any time or effort trying to offend her, they will ignore her, and eventually tell her to shut up, or she'll look foolish for trying to be the center of attention.

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  2. Good answers on the letters, although I do disagree a bit with #3, sounds like they're both pretty young, and those sort of questions do come up when you are young and immature in relationships (which he being a virgin would obviously be) and she's the one feeling guilty over the answer, she doesn't mention him bringing it up repeatedly.

    She needs to put that down the memory hole, or if the relationship really is that strong, she can sit down and tell him if it still bothers her. But do it now, don't put it off 5 years cause then you're looking at a divorce not a breakup if he reacts badly.

    As for your problem, my advice is talk to your friends ask if there is a problem, and let them know that while you may not be friendly with Miss Drama Queen and they may be, you haven't changed who you are. Then its up to them of who they prefer to believe. Or not. I've never gotten petty office politics.

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  3. Gracious - you seem almost mellow this week. Very efficient (which, being completely inefficient myself, I always applaud), but I was half convinced you'd incite LW3 to give us a good Lorena Bobbitt. I find the time line vastly disconcerting there. Either LW3 is going beyond the acceptable limits of a glossover in masking the continuation or acceleration of his attitude, or this is a very weird time for LW3 to be going on such a major Guilt Trip.

    As for the Pestilence, you might be able to consider her a gift in a surprising package. In one way, she is doing you a strange sort of favour. I find it hard to believe that people who know you both would give any credence to her little antics, but what do you want with those who do? You may get an unpleasant surprise now and then if she succeeds in peeling away someone whom you took to have better taste or brains, but is that worth more than a moment's regret?

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  4. Re Pestilence--
    High road, high road, high road--
    though it would also help to have a few friendly spies..., er, witnesses to her groundless attacks on you.

    In the long run, it's clear who's Rick and who's Ugarte--
    "You despise me, don't you, Rick?"
    "If I gave you any thought, I probably would."
    No reason to say it out loud, of course, but that's the attitude you want.

    And I do get annoyed, as you do, at the number of times we have to wear the Big Girl Panties because the other person couldn't find a pair with a flashlight and a map. But hey--would you trade places in a million years? would you want the rep she's surely getting for whining and tale-carrying? Naah.

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  5. Ah, the fifty-plus-year-old whiney baby! I did speak to my friend and she advised as you all do. High road indeed. Since Pestilence seems to be happy to spew her bile in my very presence, I'm sorely tempted to ask her in a loud, clear voice whether she'd like to "share" with the rest of the class.

    I will refrain, though. I'll settle for letting her suffer her own foot-in-mouth consequences. Funny how she thinks that if the earbuds in, the IPod must be on, though. It's going to be hard to keep a straight face you know.

    Grrr. I'll work on it. No guarantees.

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  6. What I'd do with Miss Snippy? Next time you overhear yourself being talked about, say in a loud voice - because after all, you're there to work and don't want to abandon your work - "Excuse me Snippy (or whatever the name is). Did I hear you mentioning something about me?" At this point she either will be emboldened to repeat it, or she will deny having said anything. The 2nd is worse, because she will only accelerate her whisper campaign.

    I think if she repeats it, you can handle yourself well. If she denies, say something along the lines of, "Oh, good. I must have misunderstood what I was hearing. I certainly wouldn't want to upset anyone here, and I know that you would come directly to me if you had a problem with me."

    You've now thrown down the gauntlet. If she says anything further to the others, they'll know you've opened yourself up to her speaking to you directly, so she now looks like the backstabbing overaged teenybopper she's acting like. If she takes the bait, however, and actually addresses you on any issues, you can deal with it. It's the whisper campaigns which are hard to handle, not the frontal assaults.

    Just remember. Calm, collected, polite, and factual. Don't color outside the lines, or you'll be handing her ammo.

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  7. No, Peter, Aunt Messy (and Prudie) got the answer for letter three right: a man who is "viciously jealous" about his girlfriend's sexual past demands a number in anger, during an argument? This is not a "young" or "immature" way to explore a relationship. The fact that she gave a false (i.e., lower) number is itself a signal: she calculated what the "acceptable" answer might be.

    That is, his anger was controlling her response. Think about that. And now she's worried about what might happen if the true number comes out--and she knows that the response will not be one of acceptance. She calls her feeling "guilt," but I'd bet the farm that it's really "fear."

    She needs to DTMFA, but we all know that she will end up isolated, browbeaten about every man she talks to (that slut!), and finally, married to the monster. She will have children. And ten years from now she will write a quizzical letter about the wonderful, perfect man who beats her in front of the kids.

    Youth is indeed wasted on the young.

    About the Clay People...maybe try some outrageous humor if the right moment ever comes up? You know, if one of the "shifty-looky" people only want to deal vaguely with their change of 'tude, ask (as if a lightbulb has just gone over your head):

    [Warning: no claims for actual humor are made here]

    "Oooooh, wait! Pestilence told you about my skeet shooting hasn't she? Well, rest assured, the puppies are dead well before they're loaded into the traps! Oh, that Pestilence..." Walk away, shaking your head and chuckling fondly.

    Okay, it was a lot cleverer when I first thought of it...Anyway, the point is to 1) show that you know she's talking about you; 2) that you are not going to engage in any kind of struggle for hearts and minds (this kind of fight always ends in a draw anyway--everyone will believe that you must have done sometbing, right??); 3) that you are anyway deeply unconcerned because; 4) she's a bit of a nutter telling tall tales.

    Well, that's how I will the encounter to go, here in my world where I'm *never* at a loss for a snappy comeback...

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  8. "You despise me, don't you, Rick?"
    "If I gave you any thought, I probably would."

    Love that one, Cantahamster.

    The general feeling I get here from all the responses, all of which I tend to agree with, is this little nugget isn't the right kind to take a pick to. Your space is still yours, because you occupy it with intention, and her presence is like most ill-intentioned locals: she's the human equivalent of a pimple, and eventually they just go away through the vehicle of time. Pick at them too much, though, and sometimes you leave a mark.

    I like #4 above, BTW. I had a similar issue years ago, a woman and I were newly entangled, and she and her son were in a small space. As I had no children at the time I was aghast at the idea of not getting any simply because her child would need to hit the sofa. The deal worked out more simply - if we needed a moment and she had her boy, I'd show up about 10:00 (he was catatonic starting about 8:30 or so) and *we'd* spend a few moments together on the sofa. Then I'd leave.

    In hindsight, staying would have been too confusing anyway in that household.

    Nice morning glory too, Messy.

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  9. Peter and Radegunde, welcome! I'm glad to see you both.

    Radegunde - It IS tempting to call Pestilence on her nonsense. It would make ME feel better for sure, but it could also look very, very bitchy. I think I'll take part of CoolOne's approach and just ask her to speak up if I overhear again.

    Peter - LW #3 needs a swift kick in the pants - why she feels the need to accommodate someone she's only dating is beyond me.

    Schuyler - You're right about Pestilence, too. This made me cringe when I first heard it, but the woman is a substitute teacher! I figure she'll be around less when the school year starts. I feel sorry for the kids, of course, but she IS just a sub. They don't have to contend with her all year.

    I never did understand why it is that a little nookie seems to require sleeping over. It just isn't that big a deal, especially when there's a kidlet involved. I get an icky feeling that the LW's child is a little older. Too old to crap out at 8:30.

    I planted morning glories on my glorified balcony - which is Chicago parlance is a "deck" - in containers and they were spectacular. I took a couple of photos before I cut them down. They were starting to go to seed and were looking pretty sad. If it stays warm, they may bloom again.

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  10. Channeling Vincent Price for your dilemma. Gotta' ask yourself, "What would Vincent do?"

    Well, he would use her for a life size clay project. She can be dead or alive, sculpt your clay over her entire body, paying attention to the facial details. Throw in the kiln, bake as usual & You will have the most amazing, life like statue of her.

    As to the other people, just look at them & give them the most evil Vincent Price paugh you can muster.

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  11. Hrumpole has a great point. A friend (actually, two friends, but one not as close) of mine was the subject of a vicious rumor a few years ago. I, being slightly out of the main loop, only heard about it when she asked a few of us for advice about what to do about it.

    We were both amazed at the ones who seemed to endorse this rumor, even if they themselves never helped disseminate it. They began avoiding her, her family, the other person, and his family. When she'd walk by, people would stop talking, turn their heads, look quizzical, etc. She finally was forced out of her job, and moved on to a better opportunity.

    One thing about it though. She knew that those of us who refused to participate in the rumor-mongering or who told those who did that we flat-out didn't believe it and didn't want to hear any more on the subject were the friends she could count on.

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  12. Here is a truth as old as... uh... I don't know - think of something really old, and it's as old as that. Anyway, the truth is this: When a person speaks ill of another person, the words reflect on the speaker, not the subject. And while people may listen and nod and smile, it's not necessarily agreement, but rather them going through the motions of listening while mentally putting together their to-do list for the day or wondering if they unplugged the iron before they left the house. I know it's maddening to hear blatant lies being spread about your character and be powerless to do anything, but it really makes no difference to the people hearing these things. The ones who like you will continue to do so (and I know you'd like these people to speak up for you, but maybe they see this person's bile as so inconsequential that it's not worth stoking the fire), and those who didn't like you (or were just indifferent) will go on feeling the same. As for the sideways looks you perceive from some people, don't read too much into it. I remember once in high school I almost got beat up by a senior because she thought I was giving her dirty looks all through French class. In reality, I was studying her eye makeup trying to figure out how she'd done it because it looked really good, and lost sight of the fact that I was staring. You just never know what people are really thinking when they're looking at you.

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  13. CoolOne, Amy - My friend tells me that this person obviously has issues - no kidding.....eh?

    I'm trying to figure out how I pissed her off in the first place, but there's nothing... Unless it was my habit of asking people if they want anything when I'm heading out on a beverage run? I thought that was called "committing a niceness", but you never know.

    I think what's confusing me is this woman's age. Who the hell doesn't outgrow that shit? Sigh.

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  14. I didn't know my sister was taking pottery classes!! Oh wait ... you are in Chicago and she isn't. Scary to think there are 2 people so much alike. *shudder*

    I think if it was me and I caught her talking about me as I play in the mud I would look up, make eye contact, pull the earbuds out , smile and say "I'm sorry. I was conentrating on getting this piece just right and I thought I heard you say my name. Did you want something?"

    The 2 key points of that is making a show of removing the earbuds and mentioning that you were concentrating. If that doesn't work you can resort to the big cheery hello BEFORE class or the "Great to see you. Gotta Fly." routine.

    Good luck from Brunhilda!

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  15. Dicey - Several things like that occurred to me. The whole thing is so childish and petty that petty revenge is very appealing to my sense of symmetry.

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  16. Welcome Colleen! I'm a big fan of the giant smile routine. I've done it before to great effect - people just can't stay mad at someone who busts out a smile every time they see them. Hmmm.

    No, I don't thing this is your sister, either. I've never met anyone this sour before. But I have this aunt....

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  17. Happy to comment, I do read most of your stuff but I'm a bit shy in offering my opinions (not that I lack them - as my wife will attest). The sense I got from LW#3 is they want to take the relationship to the next level, but she is still all teen-angsty about her (little?) white lie. Thats why I say 'fess up, if he is mature enough to accept then they have a chance at a future. If not, its better than having it come out some years down the road and after a huge wedding with all the frills borrowed money can buy. (I actually know of an ex-couple who are paying off wedding expenses after their divorce)

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  18. My dear friend Messy, let's end the suspense. You are full of crap. OK! That's taken care of.

    It's Employee Appreciation Day here, our annual tribute to hypocrisy as the people who can't afford to give us raises or cost of living allowances and who keep cutting our benefits tell us what a great job we are doing.

    About Ms. Pestilence; I must have worked with her twin brother once. I like the suggestions by Hrumpole and CoolOne and I like Dicey-Slicey's Vincent Price comment as well. (Kill her in the kiln.)

    A little bit of "Oh, how clumsy could I be?" as you pirouette while flinging a handful of slip towards her feet and then look as completely startled as if you'd seen a unicorn, might be entertaining as well. Then give her a vacant stare, point at her shoe, and ask "What the hell is that stuff?"

    Seriously, I agree that the high road is the best option. It's not satiffying in the short run, but it's the best bet over the long term.

    You could corner her and invite her for a drink after class - if you had previously selected a few other reliable people to be there. Then you could ask her, in their presence, if there were any juicy rumors that you needed to hear since you have been working hard and feel like you're missing out on the juicy stuff.

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  19. I still have a problem with the LW who said her disagreeable relative WOULD put HER career in jeopardy. The implausibility warning lights are all lit up. Who is the bee-yotch, anyhow?

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  20. Peter - I'm afraid I'm in the "nunuvyerbizness" (thanks, Ann Landers, for coming up with that one) land when it comes to "the number". She should DEFINITELY postpone any hint of wedding plans with this little turd.

    (Remembering that I'm already older and wiser, I'd have told that moron to pound sand within 15 seconds of the question leaving his mouth. )

    Your comments are ALWAYS welcome here. We all know I'm fulla crap most of the time - just ask Tonto - and if you have opinions, then spit them out! That's why we created this magazine, you know. Germy over on the Fray kept deleting us.

    Tonto - Thank you! Somehow I always feel better when you tell me that. I know, I know. The high road it is. I just wish I could tell her (in front of witnesses, natch) that I overheard what she said about me. Sigh.

    Nasty relatives are nasty. These two have never gotten along and it sounds like there was active malice there, so it's no wonder the LW has built her up in her mind as some sort of monster. Winking and nodding to the Hiring Authorities has to help, though. If the LW is that upset about it, then she should try to head off the hiring.

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  21. Oh, and tonto? WE appreciate you. Even though you write here for free....when you write.....

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  22. Oh, and as for LW3 and the number--sometime we should have a contest around here for questions the correct response to which is, "What could I possibly gain by answering that?"

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  23. OK, it's true. I haven't been doing my share around here. There are just so many stupid people and so little time to make fun of them all. Some days I have to stand in front of a mirror and remind myself of all that.

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  24. Tonto, I'm not doing much better than you these days, and with less excuse. It's the Summer Mellows, I think. It's hard to mock when I'm drunk on the sun. I promise to bust out the bestest mockery ever when it's cold outside.

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  25. Greetings Auntie!
    Sorry to hear about Pestilence invading the pottery studio. I'd go along with all the advice to ask your friends what's going on and why has their behavior changed. Also, you'll get to know who your true friends are. It's also possible that Pestilence is insanely jealous of your success....

    Like many other people, I have experienced Pestilences before. There are individuals out there (clones of each others?) whose hobby it is to create conflict wherever they go. I've seen it happening in an academic dept where a single person was responsible for creating major rifts and for getting one faculty member to quit (she right away found another job, luckily) and one administrative assistant to get a nervous breakdown as the majority of the dept. got into a bullying trance towards her...

    Another instance happened in a neighborhood where no one knew each other to begin with. This one guy moved in and within weeks got his neighboors, and then the people on his block and then all the people in the neighborhood to not only know each others' names but to be at each other throats. He claimed he used to work for the CIA doing this sort of thing and he was just keeping in practice. The guy was delusional as well as manipulative but I can see how much harm such a person could do if unleashed on an "enemy"...

    Love that flower pix. It's a perfect composition and you also translated so well the poignancy of the flower delicate and transient beauty against the contrast of the hard wood, that it almost brought tears to my eyes..... (by the way, did you notice that in van Gogh's paintings of flowers, he almost always has at least one in the process of dying?).

    As for the advice, good ones. I particularly agree with you about the woman who feels guilty about denouncing someone for something he might or might not have done and for denouncing herself for something she might or might not have done at age six. The real issue was no doubt her abusive and alcoholic father.....

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  26. I think you should just make a point of giving her a lot of back handed compliments. You know, things like "Oh, Eyore, this ___ you made is *so* much better & more refined than the last ___ you made!You're really improving!" Then smile really big and give her a pat on the back. Or, you could say, "Oh, Eyore, I just *love* those shoes! Isn't it funny how orthopedic shoes are in style now? Fashion is just crazy!" Then chuckle as you walk by her to your seat. Then, if someone confronts you about it, you can simply tell them that since she's already gone to the trouble of making you out to be a bad person, you were just trying to live up to her expectations of you.

    Or you could just wait until people leave for the evening and smash all her work to hell.

    Of course, I have a tendency to get vindictive and mean when confronted with situations like that, so you may not want to follow my advice.

    :)

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  27. I think - although it's hard to think through the Windex fumes today, I've been cleaning - that I will say nothing directly to her. I do get along well with the woman I overheard her talking to last week, though. I think the next time I speak to HER, I'll end my sentence with, "But what would a stuck-up bitch like me know, anyway?

    Then smile and ask if I have cooties, too. She'll get it.

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  28. I know that person - I worked with him. There's a little cloud over his head following him, and that sucking sound you hear is all light and goodness in the world traveling into the black vacuum he creates wherever he goes. Be kind, he runs you down; spend time with him, he depresses even Pollyanna (Annie committed suicide because he convinced her that there was no tomorrow).

    You cannot win with this individual -- you can only provide contrast. Make sure you smile and connect with every person she has talked to, and if they repeat her slander, just shake your head, roll your eyes and smile. No other communication needed -- they felt the tug on their souls in her presence, and they know what she is like. Otherwise, stay the course (I feel sorry for the kids she teaches, but they are younger than us and recover faster).

    BTW -- thanks for the support and advice. I started my new blog here: http://muggerspeak.blogspot.com/

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  29. Welcome Kevin! I refuse to waste my time cultivating that soul-sucking leech known to all here as Pestilence (thank you hrumpole). I shall be my usual charming self and ignore her whining and bitching. After all, if I'm looking for someone to crap on me, I can always visit some relatives, right?

    I read your blog and it is Great Fun. I'm looking forward to seeing you on The Fly!

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