Office Manager: Today is going to be rough.
Me: It is a three day week. We’ve got this.
Office Manager: Campus Carry is officially in effect. There are multiple “emergency” requests to film on campus. The CDC needs a response on issue X. The EU visa changes and issues at US Department of State mean that we need an emergency amendment to an international agreement with an EU university. There are complications with a donation matter. And you have twenty-three contracts to review.
Me: It is 8:43 AM!
Office Manager: And we are just getting started.
Office Manager: Of course, dealing with this means you get to stay in your office and avoid human interaction.
I have no idea what I did to deserve the Special Hell, but a two hour drive with a three-year old turned into a five hour nightmare. Multiple wrecks, pouring rain, and standstill traffic. I am not a pedophile, nor do I talk in the theater. What did I do?????
Me: I need my drink refreshed.
Baby Bartender: So this event is for colleges?
*45 minutes of advising him on getting a mentor, interviewing those who are successful in his dream field, and his personal religious crisis*
Me: You’ve got this!
Baby Bartender: I had no idea I had so many options, resources, or strengths. Thank you!
Me: This is all you! Go for it. Take advantage of living in Chicago.
Baby Bartender: Seriously, I never realized.
Me: Thank you for the cruise!
Coworker and professional colleagues: So, tell us about the Bartender…
Me: He is a communications grad who wants to advance his career. I suggested he contact the following people before pursuing a graduate degree he may not need. If he wants to pursue –
Unknown Colleague to Coworker: You weren’t kidding
Coworker: Bleeding heart.
Unknown Colleague: She really wasn’t hooking up with him.
Coworker: Told you.
Me: Wait. What…?
Brain: STOP THAT!
Brain: Interrupting people’s runs.
Me: I am just sitting on the Riverwalk. I am not bothering the runners. My anxieties include social anxiety. The thought of my stopping a stranger is laughable.
Brain: I see you looking. Stop that.
Me: I am not bothering the runner.
Brain: Do you see the leash?
Me: The one attached to the dog that looks like Falcor?
Brain: On the other end of the leash is a runner.
Me: The ears! The black nose and eyes! It IS Falcor!
Brain: Stop it! Stop trying to entice the dog!
Me: I got to pet Falcor!!!
Brain: If they hadn’t stopped, you would have tackled the dog, wouldn’t you?
Me: Reach the stars, Fly a fantasy-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee….
Brain: You need stronger meds.
Me: If they don’t want to stop, they shouldn’t bring a dog.
Brain: *head desk*
Me: …Rhymes that keep their secrets, Will unfold behind the clouds, And there upon a rainbow, Is the answer to a never ending story…
Me: Conference starts after lunch. I need to go downstairs and learn the levels and various rooms.
Brain: You just want to see the give-aways.
Me: Please. I am a professional. OMG! Look at all this SWAG!!!
Brain: You do realize that these booths aren’t open yet.
Me: They left this stuff out for us.
Brain: You are giddily stealing notepads, legal pads, post it notes, and pens.
Me: Isn’t it AMAZING?!?!?! Wait. Where are the highlighters?!
Brain: And people wonder why you never married.
I was walking towards the shuttle office, when I heard what all women despise: the condescending, sexist objectification that falls just short of cat-calling. I kid you not, this man said, “Well there you are gorgeous! I’ve been looking for you all morning.”
I looked around and verified that I was the only other person in the dark parking lot at 5:37 in the morning. I chose to ignore him and continued toward the office with my rolling bag clacking along.
He kept at it. “I am so lucky to have such a pretty girl here this morning.”
Did he really just call me a GIRL?!?!
“Seeing my pretty girl here makes me happy.”
Okay. This was finally too much. I squared my shoulders, took a deep breath, tried to ignore my anxiety, turned to confront the man, and almost dragged my suitcase across the tail of an obese cat, who was apparently the focus of his objectification.
(I have decided that this is acceptable cat-calling)
Me: *shrieks hysterically at Baby*
Me: I am so sorry. Baby, Mommy shouldn’t have yelled at you.
Baby: It’s okay, Mommy. I am sorry I yelled at you.
Me: Thank you for being so sweet and forgiving Mommy.
Baby: Tomorrow, I don’t yell at Mommy and Mommy doesn’t yell at Baby.
Me: *the GUILT!!!*
Baby: I love you, Mommy! Thank you for taking care of me.
Me: I am dying.
Brain: Drown in your guilt. DROWN!!!!