After a long night of work with a smidge of overtime, I was heading home in my car, listening to Blur and thinking of the delicious sleep awaiting me on the other end of town. It had been a long week and I had two days off coming, so I was fairly jazzed to be in my car without a worry in the world.
A friend of mine called early in the drive because she was having a problem. Normally, she wouldn’t call me at midnight, since she gets up a the butt-crack of dawn to go to work on weekdays. But she was having a problem with a boy we both knew in high school.
Not to get into too many details, but he’s recently come back into her life under strange circumstances and has made some especially awkward advances towards her. Like, the kind that would absolutely freak any normal person out. But since he’s an old friend, she doesn’t really know what to do.
So, naturally, she called me, since I’m absolutely win at dealing with strange relationships. Okay, seriously, she really just called to commiserate, and that’s fine. We talked about her situation and some of the stuff I’ve gone through over my life to sort of compare and contrast. And we figured something out about me in the process.
I can’t take complements. I’m not sure if any of you have figured this out (though, probably), but I have absolutely zero self-confidence. I always think I’m an awful, ugly, fat, stupid, rude, thoughtless, bastard of a person and no amount of love or friendship makes that go away.
I was telling her about something that happened the other day at work. One of my co-workers was giving me the “20 Questions” treatment before a change-of-shift meeting. There’s nothing unusual about that; plenty of my co-workers have asked me about who I am and my past. I guess I’m just approachable in that way.
But after the questioning about me, she asked me if my eyes were green or blue, because she couldn’t tell. I told her they were green, even though they’re more of a greenish-brown. And she followed up by telling me how pretty my eyes are and how she wished she had green eyes.
It’s a fairly simple complement, and not the kind of thing that would make most people blush and want to hide under a table. But that’s exactly what it made me want to do. I can’t stand the attention. I can’t stand the implication that there’s some iota of personal detail about myself that doesn’t completely and utterly suck.
So, maybe I am crazy. I mean, I know it’s not normal and it’s not like I do anything to myself to compensate. Unless you count the drinking. And if you count the drinking, stop being an asshole. Booze is good. But I don’t cut myself or anything like that. I just don’t like myself and no amount of self-improvement changes that outlook.
We wrapped up the conversation a few hours later, after I managed to get the conversation off of why I don’t suck (in her opinion, not mine) and onto stuff going on at work. I guess we all have our little problems. This boy from high school has sexual issues. The friend who called me doesn’t trust anyone. And I just think I’m awful. Oh, well.