Monday, January 22, 2007

The sameness of it all

To say that I have been moody lately might be an understatement. It's probably less so on the days during which I actually feel rested. There haven't been too many of those days in the last week though.

My irritation started with Sports Guy. After our conversation on Thursday night, he has continued to call at least once a day. I have been letting the calls go to voicemail. I haven't listened to last night's message yet but on Saturday the focus of the message was, "I'm not sure what's the best thing for me to do." I screamed at the phone, as the message continued to play, "You could not call anymore, you fuckhead!" How many days of leaving messages will it take before he stops?

Friday night I headed across the Bay to attend a conference for the weekend. I was so tired that I really didn't feel like doing the drive. I wasn't even sure if I really wanted to be there at the time. No one else from my school was present. Queenie was supposed to attend but then she discovered that she had some conflicts after signing up to attend. I decided to make the best of it all and did my usual of chatting with folks so I wouldn't have to sit alone. Saturday I awoke feeling pretty rested. Good thing too because I had a day full of workshops to attend. And the workshops were wonderful. I have returned home with information that I am ready to use immediately in my classroom.

Queenie showed up at the end of the day of workshops. She had been attending other workshops elsewhere and seemed especially excited about one. Apparently the speaker at this workshop stated that it is important for teachers to encourage the students' dreams. The specific example was of becoming an athlete. Granted the speaker was saying that the teacher needs to show the students that the peripheral jobs connected to a job like being an athlete require education. But let's get real. How many kids are really going to hear that part of it all? I don't know. I guess I just have issues with a person of privilege telling a child of color that it's OK to dream about being a pro athlete. So this was probably the start of the irritation with Queenie. Well, that and the fact that when I started sharing about the workshops I had attended, she said, "I really don't want to hear about that right now." Huh? Well, you can fucking kiss my ass. Or at least that's what I was feeling at that moment.

And the irritation did not stop there. Queenie was ready for dinner. We ended up at The Elephant Bar because it seemed like the lesser of the evils, in my opinion, of the list she suggested. Yes, I occasionally eat fast food but the chain restaurants have never really appealed to me. Besides, I had started to enjoy myself at the conference and probably would have rather stuck with folks who had actually been attending the sessions along with me. And as I sat around thinking yesterday afternoon, I realized that this was indicative of so many things.

Following dinner Queenie insisted upon going into San Francisco to meet up with the boyfriend of one of our coworkers. Why? Because he was going to be out with a group of his coworkers and she wanted to meet these guys. I pointed out that I wasn't really dressed for an evening out in San Francisco nor did I bring anything that I felt was appropriate to wear. She basically pooh-poohed me. I was also pretty tired at this point. So I went along for the ride and tried to make the best of the situation. Once we arrived, I felt very uncomfortable and let her know. I told her that a great deal of my comfort level has a great deal to do with how I'm dressed, especially if I am walking into a situation in which no one else is like me. And yes, by that I mean not only being the only person of color in a place but also being ten to 15 years older than those present. I also said that there were places I could take her in which she would probably feel the same way.

My thoughts yesterday turned to why she liked certain places. Then I realized that it seems that a great number of her friends have been her friends since high school. Now there's nothing wrong with that alone; Jade has been my friend since we were in elementary school. It did seem to fit with my ideas of people who grow up in the Bay Area and don't leave to go to college. One of Jade's sisters is a year older than I. When she started college, I saw that she did not really expand her circle in any way. To me it was like she had stagnated. I did not want this to happen so I chose to go away to college, and specifically to a college at which I did not already know anyone. Jade's sister and Queenie seem to have other things in common -- like their narrow taste in food. I can only spend so much time around folks of this type before they start to irritate the hell out of me because of the limited sameness of everything. So obviously it's time for some space.

And hopefully this week will not be such a rollercoaster.

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