I’m trying not to rant at you all the time, but it’s hard when I have to deal with some incredibly selfish, lazy, self-absorbed people every day. You shrug because you don’t really care about the ranting, waving your hand at me to tell me to rant on, but I get tired of hearing myself rant constantly, too, don’t want to let my life get poisoned by said selfish, lazy, self-absorbed people.
Selfishness, laziness, and entitlement really get at me, though, and I have no patience for people who are more obsessed with the appearance of things than the things themselves. It doesn’t matter how nice people are on the surface, how friendly and warm they are to editors, influencers, public figures if those same people turn around and treat their employees like shit, enforcing dumb, paranoid rules in an attempt to micromanage and exert control for no other reason than they think they can, they believe they should be able to because they own the company or they’re a director or whatever dumbass reason allows them to rationalize their stingy assholery.
I feel like a crazy person, I say, and I hate using that phrase, but I actually do. Because, yeah, it’s true — no job is perfect, and no human is perfect, but I swear to god — nothing about this is normal. They’re just terrible people.
Not disagreeing, you say.
It also just makes no sense from a business perspective! Treat your employees well; trust them to do the fucking jobs you hired them to do instead of being psycho and manipulative and paranoid about whether or not they’re in the office for ten fucking hours a day; and stop being assholes who treat your employees like slaves and patronize them like they’re not smarter or, to be honest, more hard-working than you — and don’t you think your company is much more likely to thrive?!
Again, not disagreeing.
People and their fucking delusions of self-grandeur.
You laugh then, laugh at the way my hands have been chopping at the air in angry gestures, and I take a break to drink my Thai iced tea, expecting it to be too sweet as usual.
This is bomb, I say, surprised. It’s not stupidly sweet and like … actual tea.
Yeah. I know. I’ve been waiting for you to notice that for fifteen minutes.
Oh. Shit. Sorry.
The woman at the counter waves at us, and you get up to get our food — chicken wings, a crispy rice salad with sour pork, a side of jasmine rice. We figured that would be enough for the two of us, while also thinking that this was the least amount of food we might ever have ordered for ourselves.
The chicken wings are hot, fresh from the fryer, dusted with a chili lime powder; I could eat a giant bucket of these. The crispy rice salad throws us off because it wasn’t what we were expecting, bits of crispy rice tossed with vegetables and pork in a tart, sour, tangy sauce that I can honestly only describe as being very Thai. I’m not familiar enough with Southeast Asian food to parse all the different flavors, though I am learning — I am trying to learn.
The sharp tartness of Thai food is also something I’m learning to appreciate. I enjoy it in small bites because it is quite intense, and I can’t run my fork through this crispy rice salad and eat it by the forkful. You’re also here with me, learning but curious, though you take to the flavors with more ease than I do.
Were you a picky eater when you were a kid? I ask, and you shake your head.
Not really. But it’s also not like my mom was making anything much different from your standard midwestern American fare, lots of casseroles and meatloaf and spaghetti out of a jar.
Hey, Prego’s the shit.
I know. You ate fucking Prego when we were in Mexico City.
Mmm, yeah, and it totally hit the spot.
You laugh as I smile, remembering the spaghetti I made in our AirBnB in Mexico City August. It was delicious, and I ate it cold the next day, happily twirling the slippery noodles onto my fork as you sat and watched me, amused, and chewed on fresh bread from the corner bakery. I think back on that trip often because it fills me with warm and fuzzy feelings — it wasn’t just our first trip together, but I also felt like all my weirdnesses came out on that trip, from my spontaneous need for noodles and rice to my love of spaghetti out of a jar to my inability to sleep well. You went along with all of it, good-naturedly agreeing to looking for noodles and rice, laughing as I happily heated my jar of Prego and dumped it over boxed spaghetti, found all the cafes nearby wherever we were. You told me later that you’d been nervous for that trip, too, that you’d also wondered if we were going on an international trip too soon, and you’d also felt relieved that everything had gone well — we hadn’t fought, had worked around each other’s quirks, had gone back to our respective cities missing each other.
Hey, you say as I’m finishing up the last chicken wing. I’m glad you’re here. And I’m always on your side, you know that?