Comfortable With Conformity

February 15, 2001

Even Randstad hasn't called me. Did someone blacklist me from the workforce?!

I discovered a new message board I like, The Joyce Vedral Message Board. Joyce Vedral is this 57 year old weight-training fitness guru. I've read some of her books, and found her interesting and very inspiring, although her actual routine left me cold. She utilizes very light weights (1, 2, and 3 pounds) for beginners, doing the routine very fast, to get an aerobic edge as well as anaerobic. Gradually, the weights are increased to 5, 8, and 10, but I just didn't have the patience for such a slow progression.

Anyway, the message board is fun because it's devoted to health and fitness, with the occasional self-righteous bible-thumper, saying how god will guide us through our obesity. I actually got reprimanded because I said, "Jesus Christ" casually, like "Jesus Christ, ladies, stop dieting." That was funny. I think highly-religious people are the stupidest people in the world.

My friend, Mark, the guy of good intentions, said something to me that made me so angry, I didn't know how to respond. Last week, me, Mark, Nick and Samantha went out for a fancy business fund raiser event, and Mark had mentioned this woman at work he has a crush on. I mumbled something about her bad grammar (I saw something she wrote), and Mark spat (in a jovial voice), "You're just jealous. At least she's doing something with her life."

I looked at him like a deer caught in the headlights, my mouth slightly open, wondering what on earth elicited that nasty, nasty remark. Because I said something slightly negative about her grammar? He had even said it right in front of Nick and Samantha, who didn't bat an eye. (Remember, these are the people who take everything all in good fun. Getting upset denotes hyper-sensitivity with this crowd.)

"I'm not 31 yet," I said, referring to his crush's age.

"But she was already in her career when she was your age," Mark pressed.

I said nothing.

No, you don't understand-- first of all, the previous week, I had done nothing but cry my fucking eyes out to S about how pathetic I felt for looking for a job, any job, and coming up empty. How I had gone to interview after interview, just to not get call-backs. How I felt depressed, sitting at home, looking through countless search engines for an oppurtunity for an inteview, getting headaches and feeling lethargic from so much sedentary activity.

What makes things confusing is that everything-- and I mean everything-- Mark says is a joke. To him. Harmless. His brother (Nick) always tries to comfort me by saying, "He's just being a Mark," as if Mark can't help the rude things that leap out of his mouth--he's just saying them in good fun, insinuating that me taking offense is ridiculous.

Fuck Mark.

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