Paint Supplies Everywhere

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A few days ago, on a sunny yet temperate Saturday afternoon I was walking down quaint  Mission Street in idyllic San Marino. A perfect moment. And as I passed two women and a man, I caught just a sliver of their conversation. One woman, white, 30s, blond, zaftig, lamented to her friends (also white, also 30s, seemingly a couple), “…and he leaves his paint supplies everywhere!”

Now, I wish I had more for you, but that is all I heard as I passed by this woman, she and I going in separate directions. Was I tempted to follow her into the whimsical card and gift shop she entered? Of course I was, and yet, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, I concluded I had heard all I needed to. She was talking about a boyfriend or he was roommate that she’s secretly (but not so secretly) in love with and she’s really at her limit, especially since she pays the rent so he can pursue his “art”. She only took one painting class in college but is quite sure that if she put even an ounce of effort, she could be a successful painter. Even if its only those street fairs where he goes to sell his pieces and the only people that buy anything are  women and gays in their 40s and 50s who think his scrawny body is sexy because he has a ZZ Top beard and John Denver glasses.

Sometimes my imagination runs away with itself.

Of course, I have no idea how close my imagined scenario is to this woman’s reality. Though the bored look on the friend’s husband’s face led me to think I’m at least 80% on target.

In case you couldn’t tell, I wasn’t particularly charmed by this woman. With only the smallest piece of evidence, “…and he leaves his paint supplies everywhere,” I had judged, juried and convicted her to a lifetime sentence of being a nag, a yawn, a wet blanket. In a handful of words, I was unequivocally on the other guy’s side. Poor guy, I thought.

So unfair, this guy could actually be a real asshole but I wouldn’t know because his girlfriend or whatever they call themselves annoyed me.

Life is so unfair.

And then I thought about all the times I catch bits of conflicted conversations and I always make an assessment. I almost always side with the one who whines less or the one who listens quietly. We root for the least annoying and indict the loudmouth or the emotional one. I do it all the time and I am a loudmouth and I am emotional. If I had an ounce of intelligence, I would never complain or discuss a conflict in public, ever. It’s generally not a good look.

The entire time I was writing my last blog, about my departure from Barneys New York. I had to laugh because I knew that people were going to take pieces of what I wrote and it would be enough to dismiss what I had to say. Trust me, there are people who read my blog and concluded I was shrill or petty and wrote me off. Maybe in response they bought a $5495 pair of Louboutins in solidarity to a company that values youth. And I am not upset about it, I understand. It’s like that song Doris Day sang, wait never mind, only old people know Doris Day and only old people know “Que Sera, Sera”.

I will say this though. I’ll tell you what I did not deserve. I did not deserve all the people who reached out to me and wrote me notes and encouraged my writing and reposted my blog and told me they related and they were glad to see me happy. It’s nice, really beautiful. Heartwarming, in fact. Deserved? I don’t see it. (But, hey, I’ll take it.)

So thank you to all that bolstered my bruised ego when I loudly complained about a business place equivalent to a roommate leaving their paint supplies everywhere. I am not so close to the situation anymore that I don’t see a little humor in it.

Several people commented that loyalty in the work place is seemingly a thing of the past, but maybe this encouraging element that we find on social media, that that is a replacement of sorts. Maybe its a way we protect each other when the hard times come.  I know social media can bring out the bad in us, but it also brings out and up so much good. Right?

All I know for sure is that I want to gladly, humbly thank all of you who took the time to read my last blog, also took the time to say something nice to me. Yes, there have been glum moments since this all happened, but not yesterday, not today, and I have hope that tomorrow will bring some sunshine too!

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