I think one of the worst things you can say to someone is, “you look tired.” Because a) they actually are exhausted and don’t want to be reminded of it or b) they aren’t tired and are now questioning their makeup and clothes and hair and very existence.
This morning I was feeling completely chipper. I was dancing around as I showered and I even blow dried my hair and tucked my shirt in and it was going to be a good day. The past few days have sucked but this–this was going to be a good day.
I got to school and people actually commented on how healthy I looked, which is nice because
My classes went well. Really there were no complaints. I get it now. I know how to do this. Not that it’s easy but something clicked last week and everything just makes sense. I still have to sort through the mess that is the End of the Day but it doesn’t take as long as it used to.
And I know how to plan things and how to wing things as well. I look at my beginning posts about how confusing everything was and it’s just kind of laughable. Like–what a silly girl that Mallory of 3 weeks ago.
So you can see how disheartening it was to have Director come to me mid-sort and ask how I was feeling. I said I was a little tired but doing well. She asked if I needed any help–no I’m good. Do I need more rest? Can I still work? Yes of course. Then she asks if she can take me out to dinner. I had 10 book reports to grade that were supposed to be to my Korean teacher 5 minutes ago and technically we’re done at 8:30 and we don’t get paid overtime so while the answer was no what I really said was
We went next door to a take-your-shoes-off place where I was naturally wearing my Minho socks–the exact same pair–I wore my first day in Korea when we got samyupsal.
She bought us Korean chicken noodle soup. The chicken stock and rice is the same, but Korean version includes sprouts, octopus, and kimchi. It sounds gross but it was actually really good.
We chat a bit and she says she isn’t worried about money situation at all. Instead she is worried about me. She said that she pushes her teachers hard, and she wants to treat everyone equally, including me. I agree. I am 100% better now. She says that the tests showed no symptoms. Yes. That’s because it was an unfortunate bout of food poisoning that has now left my system. After beating around the bush she finally just says it,
“to be honest, you look sick.”
I know at the end of the day my shirt has come untucked and my mascara smudged and my hair unruly but I mean…sick? So now I’m looking at myself questioning everything I did today.
Me: “did the kids say that?”
Director: “no, just I’m worried about you.”
That’s something I’m realized about Korean people. They take their health very seriously. The solution to everything is nutrition and rest and maybe even the hospital.
So now I have to put even more effort into looking not sick because I AM NOT SICK.
So I changed my mind. There is something worse to say to somebody.