Today I was standing in the front office when a teacher, whom I’ve worked with closely for almost five years and still have no idea where most of his loyalties lie, asked me, “Hey, is that a new shirt and tie?”
“No,” I replied. He looked me over a second time.
“Are you sure?”
I just stood there and blinked for a moment. In that blink, a myriad of responses filled my brain—it was just a matter of picking one that would work best with someone whose loyalties are still nebulous after five years. Among the best of these possible responses were:
(a) “Well, I haven’t been shirt shopping in about two years, so I suppose it has a lot to do with how you’re defining ‘new’.”
(b) “Actually, I think this was a shirt my ex-wife gave me; and since I pitched her over the side a year and a half ago, yes, I’m pretty sure.”
(c) “Yeah, I’m sure.”
I went with (c). Since my wardrobe was clearly taxing him enough, hitting him with wit was hardly fair. It makes me wonder, though, about the environment I’m in and the people I’m working with.