Sunday, January 30, 2011

She got fired

Mikey was rinsing the dinner dishes when I turned to my little sister and asked her why she wasn't at work that night. "I got--"

"Fired," my dad butted in.

She played along, listing countless reasons why she was a sub-par employee. I made some jokes about it too. We laughed.

Mikey didn't catch the sarcasm above the spray of the sink and spent the rest of the night feeling bad for her. I didn't know this until we got in the car and started driving home. "That's too bad about Lil' Lou," he said.

"What about her?" I asked.

"She got fired."

"No, she was joking." Wasn't she? Mikey's serious concern made me wonder if I had been insensitive and that she really had been fired. I called her. Nope. Not fired. We laughed some more.

Then Mikey started listing all the reasons why conversation that night fed into his honest belief that she had lost her job.

"She was complaining about how bad college life is and then when I heard that she lost her job it just seemed to make sense. I almost told her about this one time my brother got fired, but I didn't want to make her sad."

"When your mom asked who would run to the grocery store Lil' Lou said, 'I don't want to go back there. They might take me back.' And I felt so bad because I just kept thinking, 'That never happens...but it's wishful thinking.' All I could do was think of places she could apply for a job."

"Your mom said when she called your cousin she was like, 'I don't have to work any more!!' and your cousin was so excited. I thought it was pretty weird your cousin was so excited that Lou lost her job."

"I just kept feeling so bad for her. I was thinking about how many times I had to answer the question Have you ever been fired when I was applying for jobs last year. That would stay with her for the next several years of her life. She'd have to explain it over and over again. I just felt so bad."

You know what's fun? Seeing again and again how much your husband loves your family. And listening to Mikey recall the dozen reasons why he couldn't get Lou's supposed job-predicament out of his mind all night long.

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