Growing up, I used to believe that having an enemy or being considered an enemy was a really bad thing. Everyone should like me always, and if they didn’t, it was definitely my fault. I was the Miss Fix-It of Everyone’s Hurt Feelings & Offences, and the worst part was, some people knew it too.
Now I’m 27 and I *mostly* know that it is impossible to please everyone, and even less possible to not make a few enemies along the way – if I’ve got any personality at all, that is.
I don’t purposely go through my day trying to piss people off. I’m Canadian now.
But sometimes, folks and fools are lookin’ for a quarrel, and I will not…indulge them.
That’s right. There are exactly 2 people I can think of who I would not want to run into – the very thought of their existence makes my blood boil.
But if they ever see me again, they will only encounter a pleasant smile, maybe even small talk. Because revenge breeds revenge. Because I believe that they are still real humans – not monsters – and I need to show them how it’s done in the Suck-It-Up-And-Be-Kind reality this world needs.
Or maybe it’ll just confuse the hell out of them, and I still win.
Enemy #2: The Guy Who Fired Me From Starbucks.
He’s the incompetent manager of a local grocery store – a tiny man with an even tinier…heart.
I was one of the best baristas they had, and yet for some reason, he had it out for me.
My Mother The Therapist thinks there was an underlying sexual attraction, that he wanted what he couldn’t have so he got rid of me.
I think he just didn’t like it when I questioned his impossible standards of speed and efficiency.
Yet half of the coffee equipment was broken; that was no excuse.
I was working by myself with a line out the door; that was do-able, come on!
And then the thing that ended my brief Starbucks career: I had the gall to develop a pinched nerve.
He would send his minions to stand outside the kiosk and time me while I made drinks. He would call for inspections of every nook and cranny during the busiest times of the day.
He fired me one whole day before my probation was over. Because, while I had the best customer service record, I was 10 seconds off of the “required speed.”
When I think of how he told me that everyone at the store was part of a family, how he knew we were depending on that job for survival until my husband could get on his feet again, how it was one month before Christmas, how he smiled with robotic eyes, shook my hand and said, “I’m sure we’ll see you around,” — I cannot deal. It was cutthroat, it was unnecessary, it was confidence-shattering. And he didn’t give a shit.
But I know I’m not the only one at the store that couldn’t stand him. Listening to fellow employees on their break was like eavesdropping to Mutiny On The Bounty. The man has failed epically at management, at respecting employees, at friendship, at a good reputation – and it makes me kind of sad.
Maybe his mother never hugged him or something. Maybe his father placed impossible standards on his achievements, and now he can’t help but do it to other people because he’s so UN-self-aware.
I honestly hope he figures life out. I really do. And if he ever comes to me seeking amends, I will 100% demand free cinnamon dolce lattes for life, and then forgive him.
Enemy #1: My Husband’s Ex-Fiancée
I’ve referred to her before as She Who Shall Not Be Named, but recently Laurie coined her “Voldemiss”, which I like. A lot. (I’m not sure if it was just a weird autocorrect or what, but it’s staying.)
She was my friend, once. I think former friends make the bitterest kinds of enemies. You already know so much about each other; you have memories upon memories with them; you had so much in common – now all of those facts make the betrayal and the hurt hurt more.
She left my husband 6 weeks before their wedding and ran off with one of his groomsman, a former boyfriend of hers that had been “just a friend now.” She then proceeded to tell all of her family and friends that Steve was a bad guy, not to be trusted.
Most of them didn’t buy her story, thank God, but the ones who did…well, the ripple effect still grows.
They broke up 4 years ago, married other people (boo yeah!) almost 3 years ago; she lives in a different province, and she’s still trying to ruin his reputation, make him suffer.
Because one of her uncles and his family lives in the same town that we do, and he works wood, the same as Steve. Her uncle needed another person to hire because so many buildings and projects are happening in town – yet he outright refused to hire Steve because he could “never do that in good conscience after all of the horrible things Steve did”, AND he admitted that Voldemiss would DISOWN this branch of her family tree if Steve was ever connected to them.
I don’t know who I’m disappointed in more: her for being such a controlling, lying you-know-what, or her uncle for letting himself be controlled by such a lying you-know-what.
But I drive past her uncle’s house every day. And every day, I make a point of looking over to their property and sending them a good thought. One of prosperity and health, even though they don’t have one of the best floor-installers in the business on their payroll.
I gave Voldemiss a free pass once because her mom DID die of cancer. But that was 5 years ago, and we had nothing to do with that.
(Is it obvious that I’m still struggling with compassion for her?)
I have to give her credit, though; she did tell me the truth one time.
“Steve is a really good kisser.”
Girl, you have no idea.
May our enemies make us better people. May we know their stories, not just what’s obvious at the surface. And, just a *little*, may karma teach them what we’ve been trying to get through their thick skulls all along, so that we can just be at peace already.
It doesn’t even have to be peace with THEM. If we’ve done all we can to not provoke a feud, if we’ve gone the extra mile, if we’ve walked in their shoes and they STILL seek to destroy – then may we be at peace with ourselves; may it be enough. Don’t waste your whole life reliving situations, scenarios and conversations, wondering where it went wrong. I know, I’ve done it. And now I’ve written it out and am letting it go. I hope you can too.