LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): You’re the master of compromise, but today you might have to give up more than you like. It’s a good time to throw yourself into selflessness, as the greater good comes first for now.
I got flowers at work this morning. Was Gabriel having second thoughts? No. Alas…and whew. Still confused over the dumping. It was another token of thanks from my coworkers. This time two admin assistants, Duncan and Bonnie. Yesterday, Carmen bought me coffee. Friday, a gang took me to lunch. Seems Derrick was universally despised. No surprise there, but why was I getting the gratitude? It had been Janice who reported him. Nobody seemed concerned with accuracy. The story read better with a peon taking him down.
The great debate was whether Derrick would return. “They should’ve fired him outright.” “Oh, he’ll be back. Nobody does revenge like Derrick.” “He’s all ego. His pride has been shattered. No way he’s coming back.” No bouquet was going to put me at ease—especially given that revenge remark. (It did seem the likeliest scenario.)
* * *
I spent last night fielding phone calls from Lucy and Estelle. Apparently after I’d left Mom and Dad’s on Sunday, Carl(a) showed up and announced that she was starting a new reno on Dunbar, spitting distance from Estelle and Curtis. Lucy said something like, “We’ll have to stop by and check out what you’ve done to Gretel’s room.” And Estelle said nothing.
So began the Cold War.
Beyond the safety of Mom and Dad’s place, Estelle and Lucy didn’t mix. They’d never related to one another. I don’t think they’d ever so much as talked on the phone. Lucy was classic butch, Estelle as prissy as they come. Lucy waffled between NDP and Green; Estelle was an unconditional Conservative. Vegan versus veal.
“I know she’s my sister,” Estelle began, “but she scares me.”
“You’re being ridiculous, Estelle. What’s there to be afraid of?”
“She spews hate. She acts all liberal, but she’s the most intolerant person I know. If you disagree with her about anything—even something like backyard chickens—you’re the enemy. It’s all personal.” After an hour of trying to make the supposedly more flexible Estelle see Lucy in a different light, Estelle dropped the bomb: “I don’t want her to have an influence on Gretel and Sven.”
The fear was deeper than I’d thought.
Lucy wasn’t any easier. She was clearly hurt, but Lucy didn’t do hurt. It manifested in vitriol. “She’s a Harper Harpy. It’s like here’s the party line. Read it, say it. Just don’t think about it. The world revolves around white Yuppie moms and the most pressing issue should be resolving the scheduling conflict over swim lessons and Tap for Tots.”
Not allowing myself to bask in the cease-fire at work, I set up coffee with Lucy, Estelle and me for tonight. How serious could burns be from coffee? Maybe I was worrying too much, but I decided it was worth a Google.
KEN’S JOURNAL (via BlackBerry):
WE GOT THE KEYS TO THE NEW OFFICE YESTERDAY. DON’T OFFICIALLY GET THE LEASE FOR A FEW MORE WEEKS, BUT THE LANDLORD AGREED THAT IT WAS BETTER FOR THE SPACE TO LOOK A LITTLE LIVED IN THAN TO SIT VACANT. CARL STARTED THE RENOVATIONS THIS MORNING AND I’M ON A BREAK RIGHT NOW. NEED TO COOL OFF.
WE STARTED ON A WRONG NOTE WHEN I SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THE ELECTRICAL WORK. CARL LASHED OUT: “WELL AREN’T YOU THE EXPERT!” GRANTED, I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT WIRING. I BACKED OFF BUT THAT SET THE TONE. SUDDENLY CARL WAS TRYING TO SHUT ME OUT OF DECISIONS RE. FLOORING, LIGHT FIXTURES, EVEN THE BRAND OF PAINT.
AS IT TURNS OUT, CARL HAD GOTTEN A DEAL ON LAMINATE. NOT THE HIGH-END LOOK MARTY AND I WERE GOING FOR. WHEN I REMINDED CARL OF OUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENTELE, CARL SHOT BACK, “WHAT?! SOME PEOPLE TOO GOOD FOR FREAKIN’ LAMINATE? YOU’RE NOT GONNA MAKE THEM TAKE THEIR SHOES OFF, ARE YOU?”
BACK AND FORTH. I’D LIKE TO SAY CARL WAS THE ONLY ONE TO GET HOT-HEADED BUT THIS WAS A WHOLE NEW KIND OF HEAT WAVE. FINALLY, I YELLED, “YOU LAY DOWN LAMINATE, YOU’RE FIRED!”
CARL’S RESPONSE: “WOW. WAY TO SHUT DOWN A DISCUSSION,…BOSS.”
DISCUSSION?! I WAS THE CLIENT AND CARL WASN’T LISTENING. NO CHOICE BUT TO BE A DICTATOR (OR DICK-TATOR). WHATEVER.
STORMED OUT AND NOW I’M ON MY SECOND STARBUCKS CAPPUCCINO. NOTHING LIKE A JOLT OF CAFFEINE TO TAKE AWAY THE EDGE.