Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Five Strange Folks

1. Mr. Hood. My sister and I were latch-key kids, and only 7 and 9 when Mr. Hood, who lived in our building, asked us if we wanted to see the two chihuahuas and six canaries he had in his apartment on a day both of my parents were at work. Once we were in his place, it was quite clear to us (even at that young age) that he was waiting to make his move on us. There was something about the way he stood and the way he gazed at us--and manner in which he spoke to us...

Both my sister and I knew we had to get out of his place immediately and we kept poking and pinching each other to express our fear. When he stepped out of the room to get us a snack of milk and cookies, we ran out the front door, screaming until we got home to our apartment

Absolute fact: He was arrested for child molestation about four years later. Big surprise.

2. Megan. Megan was the dullest person I’ve ever met, with a totally “flat” personality. She didn't react to anything and didn’t appear to have much joy or excitement in her life, even though many good things came her way. When she was voted prom queen, when she won a $7,000 diamond bracelet from Cartier in a contest, and when she became valedictorian, she seemed bored by it all.

In Paris, France, six years after my last sighting of Megan, I turned a corner near the Champs d’Elysee and literally bumped head-on into her. I thought that was the most incredible coincidence ever. We were both thousands of miles from home but bumped into each other on a Paris street. I began to carry on: "Megan! How are you!? Can you believe this! Isn't this incredible?! ..."

And she responded in all possible dullness, "Oh. Yea, strange, huh? Okay, then. Bye," before turning and walking away.


3. Marge--Marge knew nothing about technology, but as my boss she’d come to my office approximately 15 to 30 minutes before every technology meeting and pick my brain about technology procedures and projects.

At the meeting she would not let me speak—she’d actually cut me off to prevent me from speaking—even though I had been hired as the technology expert. She would quote me word for word, citing my thoughts/ideas/suggestions.

But she would always reveal her ignorance by saying dumb things like: “We will provide a demo (she pronounced it ‘deeee-mo’).” OR she’d refer to a computer case as “the external.” And for a while she got into speaking about projects being RIP'ed. One day a visitor said, “Well what exactly IS the RIP process?” and she floundered like Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl, because she didn’t have clue what it was. When she turned to me to explain it, I said “I don’t know. I’ve always heard YOU speak of it.” Zing!

Marge got fired a year later, and we all rejoiced.

4. Mrs. Calderone--When I was 5, I went to her apartment on invite, and her dog bit my hand pretty severely when I reached out to pet it. Mrs. Calderone yelled at me for petting the dog as it was eating, and she sent me home without so much as an apology or an attempt to clean or bind the wound.


5. Percy. She was a friend of my sister’s who was an oncology nurse, and the two traveled to Africa together for a month just before Percy had lost her husband unexpectedly to a heart attack. When that happened, my sister reached out to her and gave her time and comfort in trying to help her through it.

When my sister was told she was terminally ill, she called to ask Percy for help in understanding the process of death, what she could expect, but Percy chose not to help and in fact disappeared. She didn’t return phone calls or cards and didn't visit Carole at home on her death bed. My sister was terribly hurt--and I was simply enraged.

At one point, I went to a public meeting where I knew Percy would be and took her aside to say “Look if you don’t want to see Carole to help HER, do it for yourself. You’ll hate yourself for not even saying goodbye to her. Please call her, I’m begging you.” She promised me she’d call Carole, she promised me she’d go see her and answer her questions. But Percy didn’t call and Percy didn’t write, and Percy didn’t stop by. Carole died in August 2004, and to this day, two years later, I’ve never heard from Percy again.

I don't get it.

That’s my short list of strange people. Do any of these folks remind you of strange people in your life? (I'm hoping not.)


Anonymous jane said...

sounds like you just got out in time from mr. woods apartment. jerk. moron. that sort of thing really infuriates me!

as for the woman who ignored your sister before she died, my cousin's friend randy did hte same thing when my cousin was sick with cancer last year (she died in septembr). randy acted like my cousin was dead already and didn't call, write or visit.

i think for people like randy and the woman you mentioned, it becomes more about them and their emotions and far less about the person who's sick. what can you do? that's the way some people are.

not nice though; it's not nice at all.

Sep 5, 2006, 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Marzi said...

Your strange people are MY normal people. You should see the strange people I know. Well no that's probably not a good idea.

Sep 5, 2006, 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

I'm actually kind of speechless about this one and have nothing witty or serious to add. I think Jane might have summed it up though.

Sep 5, 2006, 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

That's okay, Teri. Three others emailed me and basically said the same thing.

I'm not sure why I wanted to do this other than to say there are some rather strange and inexplicable people out there. I've met them, and this is only the "short" list.

Thanks for reading it though, my sister Teri. I appreciate it.

Sep 5, 2006, 3:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that your sister's former friend was so absorbed with her own loss she couldn't see past herself. People can be so absorbed with themselves and their own pain they're totally useless to anyone else no matter how much someone else is in need.

Your former boss was a total freakin' moron, the woman with the dog was heartless, and as for the guy and you to little girls, great news he got locked up. Skeevy guy.

Sep 5, 2006, 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

As far as the first guy, I can't believe you passed up free cookies.

As far as the next three, I think they just didn't like you :)

And as for the last one, I am sorry you lost you sister. That had to be unimaginably hard :(

Sep 5, 2006, 4:18:00 PM  
Blogger Zed said...

Mr. Fab,
I'll do almost anything for cookies except that. LOL

I think you're absolutely right about the next three. Well, I didn't like them either!! :)

And as for the last one, the loss of my sister and the tending to her to the bitter end was hands-down the toughest thing as well as the most precious thing I've ever done.
Hugs, my friend.

Sep 5, 2006, 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

........blogmad hit

Sep 5, 2006, 6:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

BlogMad hit! Boooo Mr. Hood!

Sep 5, 2006, 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doctor Mom said...

Doctor Mom Says:

BlogMad Hit!!

Woo Hoo!

Out earning my keep

Sep 5, 2006, 9:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post--I like your site. I've known some pretty strnage people myslef and they seem to make a greater impression on our lives than the good people and that's just plain sad.

Sep 6, 2006, 3:01:00 PM  

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