[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /ven-juh ns/]
- Definition: The desire to really, really, really be like The Count of Monte Cristo
“Deep vengeance is the daughter of deep silence” – Vittorio Alfieri
Believe it or not, but after A YEAR of not hearing so much as a beep from my middle sister, she called to tell my parents she’s had a baby girl.
There are two things I can’t put into words about this news:
- The sound of my heart breaking when I saw my father in such a cheerful state because he became a grandfather again. Seeing him so happy even after what my sister put him through, left me beyond sad.
- How angry I am at my sister for treating us like trash, without any reason, and then expecting us to carry on as if nothing happened.
By now most of us have noticed the Universe works in mysterious ways, but for the non-believers, take this as proof: not only were my parents notified by my brother-in-law himself by phone (which is more personal than an email), they were even welcome to come see the baby.
Two miracles in one day! If the world gets any crazier I might explode!
My mother asked me if I wanted to tag along, and at first I thought that would be the right thing to do, until I imagined what’d happen if anyone there would make a “subtle remark” about the one-year absence we’ve had in each others lives.
It wouldn’t be pretty; I think I’d explode!
I then imagined what would happen if I’d go and pretend I didn’t have ears or a tongue, and the result was I’d be like the Count of Monte Cristo on a party held by his arch-enemy Mercerf/Fernand: not accepting any beverage or food as a token of my (silent) hostility. Quietly awaiting the right moment to execute my vengeance (I’m not really sure what I’d do, actually. But it probably wouldn’t end well for anyone – I imagine I would still explode at some point).
So I figured it’d be best if I stayed at home. At least until the hurt and anger die down a bit, and then we’ll see. I’d like to meet my new niece, but I honestly can’t find it in my heart to go and play-pretend, not even for her sake. Plus, I’ve always been allergic to hypocrisy, so why dive in myself if it can be avoided?
I know it’s difficult for people to understand the dynamics of my family, and what happened between me and my sister. It’s too complicated to discuss, and too personal as well, so I’m going to leave you with these words: family or not, there’s only so much b*llsh*t you can take from someone, and I have long grown out of patience with my middle sister.
She’s a grown-up, and she made some very bad choices. We all do at times, but what matters is how you handle them. Not handling them at all doesn’t lead to anything good, ever. You can’t expect a problem to disappear as long as you pretend it’s not there. The world doesn’t work like that.
Apparently, I don’t work like that, either. Because during the course of the past month or so, I found myself leaning towards vengeful thoughts at work, too.
I have six regular clients, each of which I visit once a week. They have all received a limited time in which I can come clean their homes, and everyone is fine with that, in the sense that they don’t try to make me stay longer (in fact, I’ve had more cases in which a client literally pulled the plug from the vacuum cleaner, because they didn’t want me to work overtime, than people who tried to make me stay).
Another thing they all have in common, is that they give me coffee and/or tea. It’s not part of my contract, but they’re all convinced I need a break.
All but one.
There’s this one person who keeps bombarding me with tasks. Even those I’m not officially allowed to do (check her boiler for instance, or sweep her gardens clean of leaves). She doesn’t care if I have to work in my own time to get it all done, in fact I suspect she deliberately tries to get me to do so, just to get more out of the situation without having to pay extra.
Added malus: she’s never asked how I was doing, or offered me something to drink. I know neither is mandatory, but it’s a courtesy, a very welcome one at that. And after working my butt off for two hours (or more), the least you can do is offer me a glass of water.
Instead, she only offers me more work!
I fell for her tricks once, but I’m a quick learner. It’s simple, really: I’m relaxed with all my clients, I do my chores and give their homes some extra attention (and they don’t need to ask, I do that myself because I like them). I talk to them and make them laugh while tackling all household work.
And if that means I have to stay for fifteen minutes longer than I’m scheduled in for: no problem! Because the time they take to sit down with me and drink a cup of coffee, have a chat, equals the extra time I take to finish my chores. I do this for all of them.
All but one.
For this one particular client, I make an exception: two hours is two hours and not a minute more. Even if it means I don’t get to do all chores, I don’t care. Do I feel bad? Yes, because this isn’t like me at all. But the choice is simple: I choose to be taken advantage of, or I choose not to be.
The morale of this story? Don’t treat me like the pretty Disney Princess I might resemble, as I am not good at letting things like these go. Instead, treat me as Edmund Dantés as one of his many aliases, because just like him I’ll hit you on the back of your head with my quiet revenge: you’ll never see it coming!
There’s a difference in being mean without measures, and taking measures as a means to stand up for yourself. Because if you keep letting things go, you’ll end up sad and alone. On a mountain top. In an ice palace with matching dress, where no one can hear you and your very good singing voice.
Yes, sometimes it’s best to avoid discussion and be a little vengeful. Silently.
Because if I hear Let It Go one more time, I might explode!