Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the taste of pity

You know when you run into someone who you haven't seen in years and you ask them what they have been up to lately, which loosely translates into "what is your job?" and they have a crappy job. Not only do YOU think they have a crappy job but it is clear from their reluctant, fragmented explanation and downward gaze that they think so too.

What do you say? do you act like it is a good job and then ask them for some sordid details with an upward lilt in your voice that is almost high pitched enough to shatter the shell of insincerity that has rapidly hardened around you?

I admit to feelings of schadenfreude on occasion in my life, who doesnt, but this situation never gives me pleasure.

I always feel bad.

Maybe I feel bad for thinking that their job is not a good one in the first place, because ideally I think that everyone has a place and I strive to embrace this quote below:

"Whatever you are, be a good one."-Abraham Lincoln.

I think that even if you have to literally shovel shit for a living (which I actually did for a week of my life at the Bronx zoo, but was an unpaid intern to be exact) that if you are a hard worker and feel that you are a part of something, then you should be able to look that bitchy acquaintance in the eye and say, with the confidence of 10 peacocks,
"I Shovel Shit".

I guess it is all relative too because I think I have been on both sides of this.

But does anyone think that it is your duty in small talk situations NOT to impose uncomfortable truths on passing acquaintances, as in: should they just tell me things are great, so I am not made to feel sorry for them when I walk away and into a pot hole that I didnt see coming because I was busy shaking my head and sighing and thinking of "all the lonely people who are thinkin that life has passed them by" (song by America)

and isnt it terrible to pity someone? I have a sad taste in my mouth just thinking about it.

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