But it's just honest. I have to coordinate things with a woman in an agency that we partner with. I had met her several years ago through another agency, and felt that she was a pain in the ass. She was annoying in a sweet way, kind of like salt water taffy that stuck to the waxed paper wrapper. After several minutes of wrangling, you either eat it and ingest waxed paper (and feel free to view an early blog entry "these cookies taste like styrofoam") or give up and throw the whole thing away, and you're left with sticky fingers, wrists, and stick shift (if you drive a manual transmission, anyway). I'd see her or be at a meeting where she would be, and at the sight of her I would groan. She had such a nice way of insulting you, or picking apart your efforts.
I was out of the field I work in for a couple of years, and when I returned I didn't hear anything about this woman (she normally was a busybody,and on every type of committee and group possible. She even "facilitated" a few groups). I soon learned that she had been on medical leave, she had been diagnosed with cancer. I immediately felt guilty, and felt bad for her. Cancer sucks, and chemo seems like it sucks too. I did have an opportunity to see her soon after I returned to the field, and it was apparent she was wearing a wig and her face showed gaunt outlines of cheekbone. I wished her a speedy recovery and the usual "if you need anything..." offer. I kept in touch with her throughout her recovery efforts.
It's about a year later, and she called to tell me that her cancer had completely gone into remission. She is back to work full time, and feels great. I was really happy for her, then in the same breath, she criticized some information about available positions I had emailed her in that familiar condescending sweetness. Like water rushing down the tub drain, I remembered what a pain in the ass she was, and thanked her for her feedback.