Thank you

From: Felicitas Fortuna

To: Seabiscuit

Subject: Thank You

[Name],

Thank you for being honest with me about seeing someone else. It hurt more than I thought it would. Kissing you before we said goodbye was a mistake. We should not kiss again.

It was cowardly of you not to tell me sooner, and it hurt that you kept it from me. That was not kind of you to hide the truth from me; after what we shared, that is what hurts me most. I couldn’t bear to ask for how long, but I will guess a few months from what you said. 

I am sorry I was foolish enough not to get it sooner. I told myself your lack of response to my emails was due to all the stress and family drama, and I tried to be supportive as much as I could. Now I realize you were a coward and did not want to face the truth and tell me the truth. I wonder if anything you said when you broke up with me was true; it does not feel like it. How could you say you didn’t feel you should be in a relationship and needed to work on some things only to start dating someone else?

The problem is not that nothing good comes of being honest; the problem is you hid what you should have told. You knew you should have told me, but you did not. I would not have flirted with you if I had known you were seeing someone else. I wouldn’t have kissed you either. I doubt your current girlfriend knows you’ve kissed me so much. Well, you better tell her when you break up with her. She deserves to know.

I won’t ask to spend time with you. I won’t invite you to any additional events outside of the plays already scheduled for CS and LCT. Those words you said, I couldn’t tell if they were meant for her or me or both of us: “You like me too much and want to spend too much time with me, and I want to be free.” Well, I get it now. I won’t waste my time.

I deserve better. I deserve honesty and kindness, as all friends should, and I do not see that in your actions. If you want to be friends, you will have to do better and work harder at it.

But you are free, for whatever that is worth. You are free.

F

Old School

Getting back home from dinner had two options: public transportation or Lyft. Given that there were three of us (myself and my parents), I opted for Lyft. It would be faster and only 10$ more than all three of us taking multiple transfers between different transportation systems.

Plus, it turned out the recent heat wave (100°F plus mugginess) caused some power outages. Not sure the public transportation systems (electric based) would even be running.

So our driver was Azeem, who had been in the area for a few years and came from Afghanistan. He chuckled at my father’s request for turning up the AC; it had already been on, but he wanted it full blast. He politely turned it up.

He was neither the chattiest nor the quietest of Lyft drivers I have encountered over the last few months (I have been using Lyft more because of the buses I must catch to go part of my journey home do not run on a more frequent basis. If I miss it, I will have to wait a full half hour or 45 minutes for the next.) Even so, he was friendly, and I made sure to mark that in giving feedback. I also always write comments; tonight it was my gratefulness for his air conditioned car for a 30 minute ride.

As we made it to our destination, Azeem parked to let us out. My mother and I exited, but my father remained in the car: “Wait!” he says, “Did you tip him?”  He pulled out his wallet and is going through his bills.

“Dad, that’s in the app.”

“Wait, he needs a tip.”

“You tip in the app.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll get the tip.” 

To the Lyft driver, I say, “Sorry, he’s old school. He thinks you are a cab.”

He just smiles, amused, and then grateful when my father hands him a twenty dollar bill before exiting his car.

I tipped him in the app anyway.

Shooting the Messenger

The scene at dinner:

[I am seated with my mother, father, elder brother S, and his partner O. It is a charming, old Italian restaurant with dark red tablecloths and curtains, plus pretty Tiffany-style lamps for each table.]

Mom: I messed up on Facebook. I’m so confused by Messenger.

O: What did you do?

Mom: I don’t know what happened. I was trying to create a group on Facebook, and next thing I know, I’ve sent a bunch of messages to people, and they’re all saying they aren’t interested. So I deleted my page.

S: You were trying to create a group? I am confused. What were you doing?

Me: Were you just trying to make a group list of your contacts, like for privacy permission?

Mom: Yeah.

Me: Ohhh. I bet Messenger sent a bunch of messages to people in your contacts telling them you joined Messager–and Facebook then will try to get them to download the Messenger app if they try to view new messages while on mobile.

Mom: I think that is what happened.

Me [ready to stab a steak knife through the table]: I HATE THAT MESSENGER SHIT.

[The table breaks out into laughter.]

O: So tell us how you really feel.

Swamp-Cooler Talk

I was going to lunch with my team.

Katelyn said, “I love working with F because she’s funny when she’s not even trying to be funny. She just tells it like it is.”

Some 30 minutes later, my boss and I are talking about a former coworker at our previous employer:

My boss: “…she just wants to be a big fish in a small pond.”

Me: “Too bad she turned it into a swamp.”