We were once close co-workers. She was much older, brash, and some even claimed, mean.
I saw a short, hardscrabble, older woman with sincere intent, and a big but very hidden heart. She had a misinterpreted fire about her. "Mama Don't Take No Mess." I saw through it and somehow came to love her for it.
To my surprise as a mostly "shy and retiring fellow" IRL, we somehow connected and clicked as friends.
"N"... as I will only call her, was a lifelong solo. She currently had a monkey on her back, called "wodka", which eventually led to her losing her job, due to an admitted dickhead causing her to act out and throw a totally deserved object at his head.
Despite her being fired for that, that other individual in question was a verified arse, completely deserving of his later fired fate as well.
My poor N. She never again found her footing in life after that incident.
I tell you that, to tell you this:
"N"... as loser-destined as she may have seemed...
In private moments,
revealed to me things she never told to anyone.
In the 1970's, she worked as a nanny for a western diplomat in the Soviet Union.
She never gave me details as much as I tried, but she did express regret to me about the headaches and annoyances of having constant minders who in her mind were not good people, while simultaneously revealing love for the Russian people themselves. She was somehow able to see important distinctions. In fact, I've always sensed she was sad to be torn away forever from that culture, causing her slow demise here, all these many years later.
She is someone long forgotten, who was able to make a great distinction, between politics and culture. And it made an impression on me.
I randomly saw and interacted with her over the years since. I said hello to her in the supermarket tonight. She was slightly confused, but then asked me for a ride home by my name. Her family has long disowned her for her drinking and her hot temper. When we arrived at her place, and I handed her bags to her. She remembered and said my name again, and gave me a long sincere hug. Life doesn't get better than this.
Invest in your "little old lady" and show her proper respect. The benefit reveals itself to you.
Reveal your hitherto hidden stories, GLer's. It's time.