Mood: Not Amused
I’m glad today’s Friday. I’m not sure if I could handle any more working days this week.
I’m really looking forward to the weekend. I am tired and cranky and a little bit crampy to boot and I just want to lie down and do nothing. I intend to do exactly that during the day on either Saturday or Sunday, as I have dinner plans every night from tonight until Sunday night.
This week has been such a non-descript week. There were neither high nor low moments, neither busy or dull moments. I feel the days are just passing without much ado and this is why I feel so "meh".
A few things happened in the last few days that have helped to put me in this "meh" mood. Starting with a huge blast from the past on Sunday night at our Mother’s Day dinner.
The dinner was lovely, the company was sparkling and we were nearing the end of our dinner when we had unexpected company arrive at our table to say hi. The wife and daughters of Uncle Tom (Dad’s late friend) appeared out of nowhere and started talking at great speed at the top of their voices and completely shattering the ambience I had been enjoying all evening.
J had never met these people before, and he looked to me for an explanation and found an almost tortured look on my face. I instinctively reached for his hand under the table and he soon realised that my body was all but screaming "please, kill me now".
Not many people in this world have that kind of effect on me, and Uncle Tom’s daughters, Jennifer, Melissa and Bianca belong to that very small group of people who can render me speechless and wishing I was invisible.
My body basically shut down when I saw them. I forced myself to squeeze a few words out of my mouth in a desperate attempt to look civilised, and tried to smile in the most polite possible way, but as J later told me, I just looked like a deer in headlights frozen with a grimace on my face.
My reaction to these girls stemmed from my first days in Australia. When we first arrived in Sydney, we went to live with Uncle Tom until Dad found our first house in Lindfield. Naively, I thought the girls and I would become instant best friends and they would look after me and show me the ropes. Instead, the girls were the big bad bullies who teased me mercilessly and bossed me around and yelled at me at every available opportunity.
Time healed none of the wounds and seeing them on Sunday night took me back to those early days and made me feel like that scared 10 year old. And 25 years later, they were still treating me like that kid in a foreign country with no friends and no language skills. And to top it all off, they called me by the wrong name, thrice. This is after they asked me if I remembered their names and I responded to the positive and matched the names to the correct person.
This little unexpected and unwanted trip down memory lane pretty much set the mood for the rest of the week.
On Tuesday, I was mistaken for someone else. Now, this would not normally register – after all, I’ve been mistaken for someone else more times than I care to remember, and people often call me Grace or Maria (because I apparently look like a Grace or a Maria). And then there’s that old (mostly joking) excuse from Westerners that "all Chinese people look alike", which I’ve grown up with and eventually got use to. But this incident on Tuesday took the cake.
The guy who mistook me for someone else (Alan) was attending the same workshop as me. I had been sitting directly opposite this guy for over 2 hours at our workshop when we broke for morning tea. Sitting next to him in that same period of time was a lady of Cambodian heritage called Saphoeun. Let me state very clearly now that Saphoeun and I look nothing like each other. The only similar features are our skin colour and our hair colour. Even our hair styles were different – my long hair was pulled up in a bun, while Saphoeun had bob cut shoulder length hair with a fringe.
Whilst getting a coffee in the kitchen, Alan came up to me and started asking me random questions, which took me a few seconds to work out that the person he thought he was speaking to was Saphoeun. When it was apparent he truly thought I was Saphoeun (as he kept asking questions), I had to stop him and ask him to direct his questions to Saphoeun as my name was Gloria.
The kicker? Alan is Chinese. No excuses!!! Not amused.
The mood in the office this week was very meh. Not sure what made it this way but the "meh" made the week seem longer and longer.
I finally had a coffee with my new Branch Manager. It was postponed 3 times before he finally deemed me important enough to keep our coffee meeting, and even then, he made me wait 10 minutes. Even now, more than 24 hours since that coffee meeting, I am still unsure what to make of our chat.
One thing for sure is that based on his assessment of my skills, unless I get into a huge consulting firm with a great training program, I need to stay with my company for at least another 12 months to learn more skills and get more experience before I would be seen as "employable" as a consultant.
I’ve been receiving text messages and random phone calls from Staffy since Tuesday last week, who has been quite persistent in finding out how I am. After about 40 text messages in total between the two of us, I told him that I would catch up with him face to face when he next had a night off (which is likely to be next Monday).
Since Staffy’s first text message, I had been feeling quite uneasy about the whole situation. Even though Staffy and I had resolved to be friends with no more romantic strings, I still couldn’t help feeling like I did something wrong by J in corresponding with Staffy. So on Tuesday night, I told J about the text messages and phone calls, and that Staffy was likely to drop by my place next Monday night to catch up. J was amused by my news, and a little more amused when I kept saying that I felt like I was cheating on him by talking to Staffy. Even after J told me he trusted me completely to make the most informed decision, my stressed mind and my weird sense of guilt did not ease. I slept very little on Tuesday night.
I wish I was spending some of this weekend with J, but he is spending it with his little girl Miss M, who is having a few problems dealing with the limited time she is spending with her Daddy. Last Sunday, J dropped Miss M at home much earlier than usual, at a time that was pre-arranged and agreed to due to Mother’s Day celebrations. Miss M was already a little bit teary as they were on their way back to Miss M’s house, but cheered up at the prospect of going to lunch at a restaurant with her mum and grandparents. Later in the day, JX called J to say that Miss M became quite upset after lunch and wanted to know why Daddy didn’t love her any more. Her reasoning? Because Daddy dropped her home early.
After that phone call, J and I talked about him taking today off work to spend more time with Miss M. Fortunately, J’s boss was fine with J taking leave today, so J picked up Miss M at 10am and they will be spending the whole weekend together. Miss M will go home late Sunday afternoon. I thought I was ok with that, but it appears I’m not.
I’ve just had a phone call from Suz, who I was suppose to have dinner with tonight. She sounded shocking! Barely any voice, coughing, the works. So our dinner plans have been postponed to a later date. I wonder what’s on TV tonight?