Today was one of those days (though, granted, it ended well) rife with not major catastrophes, but rather a series of minor adversities that slowly gnawed at me.
It all began at around 1am this morning. I found myself awoken for an especially odd reason- due to an overwhelming odor.
Apparently, as had already happened once in the past few months, a skunk had taken issue with the side of my house, and my bedroom became swamped with a smell that became impossible to ignore. I tried to block it out, roll over, pull the covers over my head... but it kept on seeping inwards, and my nose actually began to hurt from the pungeance of the odor. So I dragged my comforter and pillow to the living room, doused the perimeters with Febreeze, and curled up on the sofa, saying goodbye to my full night's sleep before my first solo shift at my new job.
The second annoyance began when I looked through the booking schedule the next day at work. In one of my first training days, I had been told that they would try not to schedule any assessments for me at the correctional facility, as it is difficult to shuttle back and forth between there and the clinic when one doesn't have a car (and the other two people with my job do have one). What do I see for my second shift? An assessment at the correctional facility. So now I get to commute an hour to work, do an assessment, score and document the results, use my lunch hour taking a bus to the prison (where, by the way, I have no idea how to get around, as I only went there once, and was told before then that I wouldn't be working there anyways- I'm just gonna show up with my ID cards, some testing material and hope for the best. What can go wrong in that situation?), do an assessment, take the bus back to the clinic, score and document the results, then commute for an hour home. Sounds peachy, don't it?
I just wish they could have kept up the charade of taking my situation into consideration a little further than my second shift.
The third annoyance needs a little background information...
When I was around 12 or 13, I went on a bit of a penpal kick (just 'coz I'm dope like that), and spent a lot of time writing to people living in different countries. Some I stayed in contact with for many years- in fact, one of my old penpals is on my Facebook. Some never went much beyond a few letters. This was the case for a boy from Iran. We maybe wrote five letters each back and forth when I was around 12 years old, then it drifted off. Nothing particularly memorable or that I had given much thought in the more than a decade that had passed since then.
Until I received an email from him today. Normally, this may be a bit of a pleasant surprise-- but the content of the email left me wondering a little.
He began by saying that he had planned to call me several times, but didn't know if I still lived in the same small town (which he remembered the name of!), and had googled me 2 or 3 years ago, but not been able able to find me.
He also spoke of how he'd been inspired to find me after his mother had reconnected with an old friend (as the Duke called it, this was the normalizing part of the email), and noted, amongst other things, that his mother had retired from her job as a psychologist the same month he believed I had started my PhD in the field (which was wrong... but still odd that he thought he could peg the month).
He then said that he still had the picture I had sent him of me (!!!!) and that I looked the same, except I had gotten "a little bit chubby" (with a conspicuous wink added on).
... which, I must say, pissed me off a fair amount. Um, yes I gained weight since I was 12... it's called PUBERTY. I still fit into a size small. And the photo I think he saw (from my lab's webpage) is only from a little below the shoulders up, so there's hardly any opportunity for a display of any of my potential jiggly bits. And, no, I don't have a double chin.
He concluded by saying that he still had a lot to say, and signed off with "still your friend".
I'm not sure if it may just be a language barrier, but this email totally creeped me out. It's one think to send an email saying "Oh, hi, I just randomly googled you and found your email address... remember me?". It's another to tell me that you have been thinking about contacting me for years, have searched for me before, still have my photo, still obviously keep my letters (how else would he remember the random small Canadian town I live in), and have so much to talk to me about. We wrote silly letters to each other when we were 12 about our favourite movies and animals! This is not the type of thing to hold tight onto throughout your adult life.
So, what do I do? Is the stalker potential great enough for me to just hit delete, or am I jumping to conclusions from a friendly email from someone who doesn't speak English enough to realize the nuances of his email?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007