Iíve been working a lot, lately, and to soften the blow of actually doing my job, Iíve been listening to a lot of audio books at work.

So far, Iíve listened everything twice, including the David Sedaris books. Once it started getting later on Friday afternoon, I started feeling burned out and my attention span waned. Rather than working, I did random google searches of things he mentions in his book. I stumbled upon a website, where someone claimed to be friends with one of his sisters (not the famous one). The person claimed that David was a liar and implied that he was selfish because he was filthy rich and didnít share his money with his siblings.

I had no idea that the social convention was that self-made rich people were required to share their wealth with their siblings. Once I learned that, I immediately stopped hoping that one day Iíd become rich, but that my brother would. If itís between me busting my butt to claw myself into wealth, and someone else doing it while I benefitÖ Well, I think the choice is obvious.

I can see expecting that a rich person would help pay for a relativeís education or huge medical expenses; the kinds of things that people in other first world countries can take for granted. Things that are generally considered to be necessities, but fall into the category of, ďIĎm paying for mine, but not yours,Ē in America.

Itís finally getting warm enough where I could possibly start running in the woods, again, but I never really felt totally comfortable with that. I always feel a little exposed and paranoid. Considering the fact that I often canít sleep at night because Iím so paranoid, itís amazing that I can leave the house, at all, let alone go into the woods by myself.

Iím not paranoid like a normal person is paranoid. Iím not worried that people are laughing behind my back or thinking bad thoughts about me. They can laugh and think all they want, as long as they donít pull a knife or a gun on me, steal my car, or break into my house.

Iíve had full grown men tell me point blank that I was ugly, stupid, self-centered, bigoted and any number of forgotten insults, because they couldnít deal with romantic rejection. The intention was to force me to question my own judgment. Did I make the wrong decision? Will I never be approached and pursued by another man?

Instead, it always had the opposite effect. It made me feel better about rejecting them, and reassure me that my initial judgment was correct. Mean words might have bothered me in junior high, but itís been a long time since junior high. Itís been a long time since Iíve been insulted that way, too, but itís been a long time since Iíve been single.

I seem to have a sixth sense about good intentioned people and bad apples. Thatís something that served me very well growing up. I instinctively avoid the bad intentioned, and the hooks they use to draw most people in.

Anyway, while I donít particularly like being more afraid of potential violence than negative words, I have to admit, Iíve seen more evidence that I should be more afraid of the latter than the former. Not because Iím especially targeted than anyone else, but it just seems to be the weapon of choice among the middle class.

Today, at lunch, I was sitting with coworkers (something I rarely do) and they were bad mouthing a coworker or two, and once again, I was totally surprised at other peopleís experiences with certain individuals. I often think that Person X is so accommodating, helpful and friendly. Person X always responds to me in a timely and polite manner. Then, later, I find out that Person X is a total jerk to everyone else, doesnít answer emails or calls and takes weeks to accomplish tasks for them. Basically, Iím shocked to discover that all along, when I thought someone was nice, it turns out, I was just being favored.

How this happens is beyond me. Iím not especially friendly (I would call myself especially unfriendly, actually). Iím not mean to people, Iím always polite in my dealings with others, but I will not go out of my way to start conversations or make small talk.

It wouldnít even fall into the category of romantic interest. It seems that Iím even favored by gay men and straight women.

You know, every time I read a study about how attractive people make more money and do better in business, I always think to myself, ďHmph! If thatís so true, whereís mine? I thought I was better looking than this.Ē I often forget that Iím not an especially hard worker. Iím not competitive and Iím not a ladder climber. When it comes to my career, Iím not ambitious.

Growing up, my only goal in life was just to not be poor. Depending on where you start out, itĎs a goal that isnĎt necessarily easy to achieve, but once itís achieved, it feels modest. It makes sense to achieve more. Yet, once achieved, rather than changing my goal to, ďbe rich,Ē my goal became, ďstill not be poor, but not have to work so much.Ē Iím still working on that.

Iím a middle of the road corporate drone, and Iíve been thinking that I got short-changed. Whenever someone compliments my beauty, rather than being flattered, I think, ďWell, then, why am I still working for a living?! Where is my unfair treatment?Ē

Perhaps Iím getting it in a way thatís truly unfair. Iím rewarded in ways that I donít recognize and I donít appreciate that much, which I suppose is what entitlement is all about. I either get paid the same or marginally more or less than my peers, but it was a going-with-the-flow, spending more time worrying about martial arts than my job, kind of achievement, while I donít get their impression that theirs was so casually acquired.

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Friday, Apr. 15, 2011 at 7:27 PM