Doris is not speaking to me . . . again.
Doris, you see, thinks I’m mean. Doris has accused me of such crimes as calling her a homophobe, calling her mother shallow, and believing that she is an irresponsible pet owner.
I don’t think she’s a homophobe, nor do I think her mother is shallow, and I believe she is a good and responsible pet owner. I do believe, however, Doris is crazy.
I have worked with Doris for about six years or so. Same department, different projects. So, most of our contact is really purely optional. I like Doris. She is a kind and decent person, and definitely a bit quirky. Granted, in the “real world” we probably wouldn’t be friends as I doubt our social circles would necessarily intersect. But, here in the work world she is one of the few people I spend any time chatting with. That is, when she is speaking to me.
These silent periods can last a couple of days, to close to a month, depending on how deeply I have somehow offended her. The following exchange resulted in about a week’s silence:
Doris: What did you do this weekend?
LazyBuddhist: Oh, I went out to Point Isabel for a walk and to hang out with all the dogs. Sometimes I just need to have a good hit of doggy love.
Doris: Why don’t you get a dog?
LazyBuddhist: Well, I work full-time and live alone, I don’t think it would be fair to the dog.
Doris: That’s not a nice thing to say!
Doris: You’re mean.
LazyBuddhist: How is that mean? You asked me why I don’t have a dog and I told you. (Then I remembered – she has a dog and works full time. Oh shit.)
Doris: So you think people who work full-time shouldn’t have dogs?
LazyBuddhist: No, I’m strictly speaking for myself, not making a policy statement or saying what is right for someone else.
Doris: You should have kept that opinion to yourself. You’re mean.
I know I probably just should have apologized for offending her. But, I couldn’t. I’m stubborn that way. Silent treatment? Oh, bring it on. It’s a family specialty. My stubbornness and pride are not traits I’m proud of, yet I admit I havent’ been terribly interested in changing them. Perhaps if I had truly been in the wrong, sure, I can swallow my pride with the best of them and do the mea culpa like no one’s bidness. But for this? No, I don’t think so. I always let her be the one to re-initiate contact, and everything gets back to normal. No need for rehashing the past or holding on to grudges.
We had a good run there of being on speaking terms for a couple of weeks. Our online chats definitely make the day go by faster. But I have managed to offend her yet again. I don’t mean to, I really don’t. Yet, I have to admit I’m starting to find it slightly amusing at how completely unintentionally and easily I can get her panties in a bunch.
Maybe she’s right. Maybe I am mean.