I'm usually able to shake off my toxic co-workers energy after a day or so of detoxing and recovery. However, this past Friday night I had a run in with a bartender that has just really upset me, and I'm having a hard time shaking the bad feeling. I know that since I have no support system at all, not one person, including family who would care, or understand my feelings, I have a harder time bouncing back. I like balance, and symmetry, and my life is extremely unbalanced right now, and I think if I make it out of here with my sanity I will be very lucky. It is so suffocating to be so isolated, and to not really be able to be your true self, because you have to protect yourself from side- eyes and judgment. If I were a pedophile, murderer, or your garden variety sociopath, I could understand this feeling. But I'm a fucking vegan, who has the audacity to believe in equal rights. Oh the shame of it all. Isolation is a really terrible thing. I have lived through a lot, and have lived through a lot of cruelty, but isolation is something that I thought I had experienced, but I now realize the difference between loneliness, and isolation. Sometimes I wonder if I'm insane, and I'm just imagining that I have ever had real, deeply connected friendships and relationships. Maybe I have never talked to anyone in my whole life who is not also texting/checking their phone, and maybe no one has ever cared about anything I have to say.
Anyway, before I delve too deeply into darkness, back to my very rude co worker. It was mentioned, not by me that I am a vegan. So this person started questioning what I eat very aggressively, and had the most snotty, mean girl look on her face. I started by saying that there is a lot of food vegans can eat, and she just would not accept my answer. She was laughing like a mad woman and mentioning salads, and potatoes, and just thought she was effing hilarious. Considering that people have accused vegans of living off of salads and potatoes since veganism started, I felt she lacked in originality to say the least. She was being so insulting to me, and it was more the look on her face, that I had to walk away, because I know all to well that there is no winning with those kind of people, and I was already dealing with enough at work. I understand not liking things/people that are different, but to be so unkind is just beyond me. And I would like to add to the story just so everyone really understands, this woman is a grandmother. This is not some teenager who just doesn't know any better. I believe that certain people never grow out of their high school roles. This woman married her high school sweetheart, they got married, and she probably has the same circle of friends. There is a lot of that in this city, and I do think it keeps people frozen in time in a way. Anyway, I just felt so alone, because I have always had at least one, usually more allies at any job I've had. Not a single person there had my back, and I knew better than to express any type of feelings, as I would just either be side eyed, laughed at, or told that I just took her the wrong way. Sometimes I long for my drinking days, I feel that it gave me a certain aggression that made dealing with certain things and people easier. No friends, and no chemical buffers makes things harder. And I am way too old to be feeling like the ugly duckling of high school. Been there, done that, and I'm sad that there are people who have never wanted to grow. And fear makes for some weird people. And some xenophobic, racist people who like to hunt, and watch football.
This certainly wasn't the first time I've been teased, and it won't be the last. And, as far as teasing goes, it wasn't even very original. It was more the look in her eyes while she was doing it. It was cold, and malicious, and it hurt my feelings, and I feel like getting paid $3.50 an hour, to serve the sloppiest of slop food to a bunch of messy, unappreciative assholes is torture enough, I shouldn't have to deal with judgmental grandmothers when there is no reason for judgment. Especially when everyone's favorite stereotype is the "judgmental vegan". I'm sorry for the rant, but I really do feel a little better. I know at least one person, probably more, will read this and understand how I feel, and that is calming to me. I may be isolated in this armpit of a city, but there's a whole world out there.