As easily as I’ve been able to name my best friend at various phases of my life, so too have I been able to pinpoint my nemesis.
The title shifts as my life evolves. Nemeses have included (in no particular order): the deli worker near my office who was totally rude when I ordered my sandwiches; Matt’s ex-girlfriend; a woman who always spoke up—and went on uninterrupted for a full five minutes— just at the end of staff meetings in what seemed like a blatant attempt to make my ears bleed; a high school classmate who was BFF with my first real boyfriend and hated that I was in the picture; the woman who sat across from me in my first job and lobbed over passive-aggressive jabs because I was apparently much less literary; the lady at my tiny gym–no, it was a fitness room–who always turned the overhead music on full blast so I couldn’t hear the TV on my machine.
These were the Newmans to my Jerry. Plenty didn’t know that we were nemeses at all. I mean, I’m not about to tell the woman who puts together my sandwich everyday that her attitude isn’t appreciated. You know what else wouldn’t be appreciated? A spit sandwich.
My nemeses aren’t people I’ve fought with. If you saw us interact, you’d never know I’d named them Nemesis #1. They’re not even the people who’ve been meanest to me in my life. A couple of years ago someone told me I was stupid—yes, he actually used the word stupid—because I like How I Met Your Mother. According to him, the only people who enjoy Barney’s antics are “stupid people who think they’re smart.” He told me this after I told him it was one of my favorite shows. But he’s not my nemesis. He’s just mean. Nemeses are those people you see everyday and there’s an underlying, if not acknowledged, animosity. They make you want to shake your fist in the air and say “Ugh! Nemesis!” (Or is that just me?)
It’s ok if that animosity is only one-sided.
In fact, that’s funnier.
You know how love and hate aren’t really opposites, but two sides of the same coin? That’s how I feel about BFFs and nemeses. Both are sort of fun to have. They keep you on your toes. There have been plenty of times when people have asked me if I know some girl from college and I’d say, “Oh sure! She’s my nemesis!” as if I was declaring we were having a slumber party that Friday.
These days I seem to be nemesisless. Such is the burden of working from home. I don’t interact with anyone on a regular enough basis to have achieved nemesis levels.
Instead, I’ll live through you. Tell me, who is your nemesis? Come on, you know you’ve got one.