This morning I was standing at the copier, laboriously copying copies of copies. Collating and copying are not a standard parts of my job so I wasn't all that thrilled about it. Insert paper. Press buttons. Clear paper jam. Drum fingernails. Insert paper. Repeat.
In walked an older guy whose office is near mine, though we work in completely unrelated departments. He's normally a great source of entertainment because he immigrated here from Russia forty or fifty years ago but has retained quite a heavy accent and an amusing penchant for screaming WHAT THE FECKING FECK into his phone at inopportune moments. Well really, all the time. I can hear him through the walls with the FECKING FECK.
He loves to talk to me about his granddaughter, who's a little younger than the Jude. It's rather sweet because he clearly loves her so and it's such a departure from his typical crazy grizzled ranting. I usually nod and smile and listen to him prattle on about her until he gives up and goes away and that's just fine. That's how this morning started out, like so many others have.
As I copied and he copied at one point he came over to me and laid this one out:
"So don't you feel bad, you know, that someone else is raising your baby?
You really belong at home."
I should have been offended. I should have hazed over in a fog and taken it to the red. Grip your hand around your keys and go for the throat. By all accounts I should have wanted to blister his head off and pee in this throat hole.
Instead, I burst out laughing in his face. I could barely wrap my arms around it and hold it down to a respectable decibel. It just clawed its way out before I even had time to process what was happening.
"No," I choked out in between guffaws, "No, I really don't."
He seemed confused as to why I was laughing and eventually walked off. I stayed in the copy room for a long time after that trying to hold in the giggles.
I know I should be mad about it, really probably very mad, but... it was just so hilarious. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it was him specifically. Maybe because I thought people only said things like that from the safety of the internet behind their precious screens. I knew they existed but to go balls out and say it to someone's face is pretty unexpected.
Maybe because feeling guilty doesn't change anything and I genuinely don't.