Sunday, November 27, 2005

Schoolground Politics in the Staffroom

After work on Thursday I was talking to my boss about the groceries she was going to pick up at her local grocery store. Elizabeth interrupted us and said to Karen "I hope you're going to pay Jenny for her cooking lesson!"

I was a bit horrified, and started protesting "No, no, no!"

Karen joked that she would let me eat some of the food we'd be cooking. Elizabeth persisted and said "Well at least you should pick her up and drop her off at home!" I already knew that this was not the plan, as Karen's a VERY nervous driver, and only got her license re-activated once her husband left to work in China in the summer. She only drives when she absolutely HAS to, and is scared of things like rain, and wind,and the dark, and every other car on the road. I gladly offered to take a cab to her place before she could even think about driving the 20 minutes over here to get me. Cabs are cheap and convenient here.

Elizabeth went on, talking about how generous I am to give up my time to teach Karen how to make some Western food and that Karen should at least do something to reciprocate. Karen made a couple jokes, while I laughed uncomfortably and kept protesting, "No, it's not like that! No!" wishing the whole time Elizabeth would just shut up and mind her own business.

When Karen finally left for home, I turned to Elizabeth and said, "You know, that was really embarrassing!"

"What?" asked Elizabeth innocently. I didn't buy it, though. She thought she would stick up for me and put Karen in her place, which I think is a bad idea when Karen happens to be her boss. Elizabeth explained that my weekends are my free time, and going over to Karen's was kind of like work. And I should get paid. She figured.

She figured wrong. I told her I was really looking forward to the day, and any new thing that comes along to break up my normally boring and monotonous nap-filled weekend was exciting for me!

I knew Karen was already struggling with the idea of not preparing for my visit by having food and drink all ready for me when I got there, as is Korean tradition when inviting a guest over. Even though she warned me a couple times that she wasn't going to be making anything because we would be cooking, she eventually changed her mind and stuck with tradition. I scolded her when I saw what was going to be our lunch already laid out. She 'p-shawed' and said what she'd made was too simple!

I really think what the real deal behind Elizabeth's words was jealousy. She's a good friend, and I really do enjoy her company, especially outside of work. Though, if we were back in Canada I doubt we'd be hanging out because truthfully, we don't have very much in common. But she's very possessive, and I think it's a good thing my other co-workers aren't TOO interested in hanging out with me all the time, because it'd be like lions scrapping it out over the last piece of meat. The piece of meat being "me." That's a bad analogy, but you know what I mean. Elizabeth's told me many times it's a good thing I'm a woman, because if I were a man, she would be in love with me. I secretly think that she's conflicted because her culture and her Catholicism clash with her lesbianistic tendencies, but shhhh, don't tell her I said so. Ha!


John McCrarey said...

It sounds like you handled that as well as possible under the circumstances. You told the story so well too!

I think you have Elizabeth pegged, and I would go so far as to say that her "I'd love you if you were a man" was a feeler to see if you would be interested, Catholicism notwithstanding.

I also hope she does not read your blog or work could get very uncomfortable.

Jelly said...

Hi John!

No, she doesn't read my blog. Nobody reads my blog. Actually, I've only told one person about it, and he doesn't even read it.

Do you think I sound mean spirited in this post? That wasn't my intention, I was just telling a story. I really was only kidding about the lesbian comment. Kind of. Ha!

John McCrarey said...

No, it sounded like "just the facts" reporting for the most part.

She's lucky you are not mean spirited or you would have made her look bad in front of the boss.