I like to think that I am a friendly person. It isn’t because I feel like it is the right thing to do. I just genuinely enjoy having cheerful interactions with everyone. Not just my friends either. I really enjoy having a friendly back and forth with someone I just met or passed on the street, even knowing we will never meet again. It makes me feel like part of the community. It reminds me that there’s life outside of my own bubble, and a world much larger than I am.
So when I’m in a grocery store, I get a thrill from asking the security guard about the oranges with the wrinkly peel. At the bar, I want to chat with you about how we both would have coached the local sports team’s game better then the paid professional team manager. Even at work, I want everyone to know my door is open for you and your questions. Not just about work, but about anything that’s bothering you.
But if it’s 8:00 PM on a Friday night, and I’m sitting at my desk with messy hair and a slight muscle twitch under my eye, you can assume that what I really want you to do, is fuck off. Why on earth would you choose this time to try to get me to sign up to buy your kid’s girl scout cookies? Monday I’ll be happy to buy some thin mints. (But you should get your kid in 4-H instead because spice delights are, without argument, the greatest cookie ever invented for the purpose of exploiting our youth for profit.) But tonight you are out of luck.
You can see the empty cups on my desk so you know I’m about eight lattes deep for the day. I wouldn’t make that kind of commitment if I wasn’t going to be here a while. So why don’t you cut me some slack and leave me alone so I can get home in time to catch Leno instead of Jimmy Fallon. (Seriously, I know two other people from his home town of Saugerties, NY, and both of them could do a better job of keeping a straight face during an SNL sketch. Except for the cow-bell skit. Obviously that wasn’t Jimmy’s fault.)
I’m not sure if you’re just a friendly guy, or you actually think I’ve been waiting out the clock for you and your other night-time-custodial staff to swing in so we can talk about last week’s church retreat. I’m glad you had a good time and learned about yourself, and about eight hours ago I would have been keenly interested in the whole story. I might even consider going to your next outing. I mean, at the very least I’m God-curious. But right now, all I can think of is that “I’m a lawyer. So not only am I heading to hell, but Cerberus is probably going to bite me on the way past.”
So just leave me be for now. We can go to church on Sunday. Maybe I can pray myself into a new career.
Bring the sign up sheet for the cookies then…