Duuuuumb Bitch #4, Oblivious has arrived!
It all started with Duuuuumb Bitch #3, whom you can read about in Liposuction. In any case, I was hanging out with #3, as was our usual happy hour routine on Fridays after work (on weekends, of course, that I did not have my kids because we've already established that my off-weekends were my party weekends). We were sitting at a local sports bar enjoying happy hour and reflecting with one another about our weeks. We were looking forward to the evening and prospects of adventure once The Back Door opened (It used to be a real place, no joke).
In any case, a couple of friends that I worked with eventually joined us. I introduced them to #3... we'll call them Phil and Gary, for the purposes of this post and their anonymity. Phil was (still is, I am assuming) likely, gay (regardless of a peculiar obsession he had with a fellow female coworker) and as far as I knew then, Gary was straight. Both of these dudes were fun dudes to work with, sharing the same sort of cynical outlook on life that I do, and smearing everything with a dry layer of sarcasm. These dudes were pretty good friends with one another, as well, though I never did know their exact dynamics. But anyway, I knew #3 and these guys would hit it off because they were all older aged college students and were into that world, which was so foreign and unobtainable to me (still) at that point in my life.
I was right, of course. All "college" students, as I well know now, have common ground and can easily fall into smooth dialogue. I was slightly apprehensive because I did not want #3 to pass too much judgment on Phil for his underarm body odor (BO). I don't know what his deal was because every inch of his body surface was groomed and plucked and shaved, smooth as baby skin, but he reeked of onions, all of the time! And though this is irrelevant, he also had one of those body shapes where his head and super long neck were all one piece, like, the uppermost part of his neck simply had a face with hair. His neck, distally (assuming the head is proximal), gave way to funky sloped shoulders that went at an almost - 45-degree angle. Am I painting a visual here?? Like... an upside -down-funnel! He wasn't blessed in looks, I guess, but there were plenty worse, that's for sure (there is sooo much more to Phil, 'nother post, 'nother day). But anyway...
Gary, on the other hand, aside from being too petite and blonde for my taste, was an ok looking and smelling guy. I wondered if he and #3 might hit it off... It seemed that they were all three conversing well, so I daydreamed and smoked Camel Jades and sucked on a Bud-Light.
At some point, I was dragged into the conversation by both Phil and Gary, simultaneously. I remember them both, sitting together across the table from me, looking at me, then at #3, incredulous. They were asking me (both talking at the same time, but the message came across, primarily from Phil),
"Grace, did you hear what she said?"
"No, no," I remember saying perking up and leaning forward, figuring we were about to enter some GREAT camaraderie gossip. "What did she say... What did you say, #3?" I asked turning to her and after reading her face, I knew that she was uncomfortable with where the conversation was going. Phil or Gary, not sure which one, finally exclaimed, "Grace, she just sat there and talked about how great you are and that she is surprised at how smart you are for being un-educated."
There was a pause. Phil and Gary were looking to me with expectancy and #3 was distant, having closed herself off completely. I sat silent, reading everybody for a few more moments. And then I shrugged at the guys, "So?" I said. "I am smart, yeah, she tells me all the time how ---"
"-- Grace! Seriously?" This from Phil. "Do you NOT SEE WHAT SHE'S DOING? She's only hanging with you because she feels superior and "bigger" and more educated, which bloats her even more in her own mind, especially in comparison to you! She's weak and can only be with those that she considers less than herself!"
By this time, #3 was defending herself and denying Phil's claims, of course, while I sat numbly listening to it all go down. I still didn't see the big deal, I knew I was smart, just as I knew I was "uneducated." The point was moot to me. But what Phil said... I began to consider his point of view for a moment, while I remained disengaged from the battle that was occurring between the trio. The thought was ridiculous to me. I could not fathom how #3 would need to hang with someone that she considered "less" than herself, and choosing me as that person. I could not fathom that she needed to feel needed and admired, so, therefore, chose me to practice her inadequacies on. It made absolutely so sense to me. I did not view myself as "less than" in any such way. Therefore, at that moment, I pushed the thoughts aside, because I was such a duuuuumb bitch that I could not comprehend people actively existing on a level of need such as that of which Phil had placed on #3.
Yes, I'm duuuuumb bitch #4 here! Though I did not know it at the time, I had learned a valuable lesson that day; I learned that people DO, in fact, pray on their perception of weakness in others. People do this to build themselves or to confirm their own successes, because, for whatever reason, they still doubt themselves. I see this now, plain as stink on shit and, in fact, I can spot it quickly in other relationship dynamics, as well. But at the time of #3, Phil & Gary, the age of my mid-twenties, I was oblivious and naive to the fucked-up'dness of people. I was only beginning to scratch the surface of human dysfunction.
So, in short, I did not take offense to #3 telling people how smart I was for being uneducated because I took the words in their literal sense. I did not consider the source, nor the murky depths, of which the words were coming from. At that time, I could only see the world through my perspective, of which, at that time, was pretty type A or black and white. But on this day, the day of my personal duuuuub bitch thanks to Phil & Gary, I began to grow up and exercise a strength that I never knew I possessed. I'm an excellent judge of character, most times, but I still have to work hard to put myself into certain mindsets to get a clear view. Slowly, after that day, I began to see #3 in a different focus, and, as I recollect, the dynamics did begin to change between us ('nother story, 'nother time). I began to understand that through our fleeting so-called "friendship," #3 HUGELY impacted my life, not because she specifically taught me anything of value, but because of her dysfunction. For that, I am grateful Duuuuumb Bitch #3, because I am a smarter, more probing, person today.
Bam. Never in a billion years would I have thought that #3 had ever really served a functional purpose in my life, but, thanks to my bloggie adventure, I now see that she has. And still, on a certain level, I feel bad about exploiting #3's weakness to reveal my valuable life lessons. But I only feel a little bit bad. So I will move on.
Ok, so go back to the scenario with duuuuumb bitches #3, #4, Phil, and Gary. I want to wrap up that story, because, though I just explained how it affected my life, lemme tell you how that gathering affected #3's life...
So there sit the 3 educated persons, arguing about the passive-aggressive manner in which #3 complimented my brains. I came back to them slowly, and just in time, too, because the #3 was clearly under attack and was fighting back. Phil and Gary, were, in a sense, ganging up on her, but, for whatever reason at that time, even though I did not yet resent her for holding me in a lesser regard than her, I felt she deserved it. Possibly she had said something deliberately inappropriate to either of them (maybe she insulted Phil's onion scent), but I did not feel compelled to get involved, halt the argument, nor defend #3. The words exchange had turned personal and no longer had anything to with me.
Then, #3 said something along the lines of, "I don't need to continue this argument, I am a professor at blah, blah college. I don't need to stoop to your level. I'm finished." And then. Then Gary said it. He retorted with the come back of all comebacks, and one that dug #3 at every personal level of struggle she'd ever experienced. He said to her, "Well. About that. Blah blah college likely only hired you because they need to maintain a certain level of Hispanic demographic requirements. So yeah, you don't have that job because you deserve it, you have it because you're Mexican."
Ahhhh... the meeting was over. She stormed off to the bathroom crying, and Phil and Gary told me, in between back slaps and giggles, that they had to go now, for their work was done. They would be hanging out with me again in two weeks, but never with her again. And I should reconsider my place in her life. I laughed. I was in awe of what had transpired. How shocking for me to see humans actually express feelings and thoughts through verbal commands. I guess I had not been accustomed to that.
I finished my cigarette and beer and went to the bathroom to console my not-friend.
Omg. It was about a year later, when I gave #3 the friend boot, that I remembered the incident with Phil & Gary on that day and realized their words on a new literal plane... My relationship had drifted with both of them after the incident with #3... and I guess I can see why. I mean, for one, from their perspective, what kind of duuuuumb bitch sits around feeling proud because her "friend" praises her for being "so smart for an uneducated person...." and two... Two: Phil & Gary fueled one another and I was never at ease with the way in which they ganged up on #3, even though she had it coming. Bullying is never ok, though they were good at it and drove a much-deserved point home (Not about her being Hispanic **do not go there, this is not a post about race. Do not go there. We are better than politics**, but about how she was in general). However, I also knew I never wanted to be the receiving end of their point...
Until the day I die, I will be incredulous in the face of human dysfunction, though I am no longer oblivious to it.
So there you have duuuuumb bitch #4.