There are people in this world who just rub me up the wrong way simply by being near me. I’ve gone through moments when I assume I’m just being judgmental, but the older I get the more I realize that’s not it. They are just people who raise my hackles and I would do whatever it took to remove myself from their presence without delay. These aren’t murderers or rapists (as far as I know), there’s just “something about them”.
I was sat next to one yesterday at Wimpy in town*. It was a cold day – scarves, coats etc. And there she was in a spaghetti strap top, reclining sideways in her chair, sighing and breathing loudly. Everything about her screamed “look at me”. So I ignored her. Usually if I get seated close to someone else I’ll smile and then turn my attention to my phone or book. But her… already I was uneasy.
There was something invasive about her. Her need for attention. Over the course of my “brief” (because of her) lunch she made a performance about whether she should order something more to eat, sent the manager of the Wimpy off to Clicks to buy her painkillers, and mused loudly about whether she should have a beer, cider or “wait, maybe vodkaaa”.
Gawd I wanted to slap her. You’re in a Wimpy, in the afternoon, in the CBD, you have a milkshake, a coffee, or at a stretch a glass of wine. You want vodka – go to any one of the hundreds of bars within strutting distance. And the manager just asked you if you were okay. They do that, it’s their job. What their job isn’t is running off to the pharmacy to get you drugs for your hangover incase the hair-of-the-dog you’ve just ordered doesn’t work.
And for goodness sake please stop groaning and huffing like you’re in the throes of something not suitable for a family restaurant. Meg could get away with it – you, not so much.
When the manager (again, not his job) brought her a cider she drawled “Thanks – I think”, like it was all his idea. She made my skin crawl. No one cares that you’re hungover, no one wants to hear your ragged breaths and tales of drinking excess the past who-cares-how-long. Just order a burger and shut it.
The whole way through my lunch I felt as though any second she would engage me in conversation. That once the manager stopped being her errand boy she’d latch on to someone else. She brought to mind a con artist, the kind of woman choc full of outlandish stories of wild partying and misadventure, who, when you look away for a second, disappears with your handbag. I didn’t trust her. And I didn’t like her. And I left as soon as I could.
And reading all of this over again I realize I probably sound like the worst kind of judgmental, but I’m not generally too shabby when it comes to reading people, and she was up to no good. There’s still a shudder lodged in my spine.
* In case you’re wondering: bacon, eggs and a coffee – so it was vaguely okay, if not ideal.