28 March 2007

Hogging the Pity Vote

"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions: one private, which we are afraid to express; and another one - the one we use - which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics." ~ Mark Twain

It's started already. My esteemed co-workers think Elizabeth Edwards' revelation about her cancer constitutes an attempt to get the pity vote. After I commented that I need to limit how much I think about the subject, they're off and running anyway.

Then they moved on to Tony Snow. I just had to tell them (more than once) that it was making me anxious and depressed to continue that conversation. Finally, I walked away. I came over to my side of the building where, for the moment, I don't have to offer up my opinion "as a cancer survivor" about any of this.

As if the anxiety and depression and fatigue weren't enough, I'm now having colon pain. Thanks, guys, for stressing me out just a little bit more. What the hell. It's important that you express your opinion to me. We all know I can take it, but it might just cause an eensy bit of pain in my stomach. What's the big deal, anyway? I'll stand here and listen to what you have to say, whether it's informed or relevant, whether it's less than generous or difficult to hear.

Apparently it hasn't occurred to anyone that I'm still struggling emotionally. Despite the number of hours I'm whiling away at the office and the fact that the girls are sporting a new bra, even though I regularly (though not always) expend the energy in the morning to actually put on make up. I'm still in free fall. On the inside, I'm still bruised, you assholes. Wake up!

Maybe I'm just being too demanding. Why should anyone get the hint when I tell them I don't want to talk about it anymore? Suddenly the words from an old folk song come to mind, "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning..." right on the tops of your heads, you inconsiderate lumps of humanity with whom I have to spend my days. Jesus.

I guess I'm just trying to hog some of that pity vote.

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