If You Don’t Have One of These Enemies You Are Doing Something Wrong
Do you have a good old fashioned enemy? A dance on her grave, spit in his soup full-blown enemy?
Don’t be shy. Is there a person you really, really hate, with every fiber of your being, and you are beyond certain the world would be a better place without him or her in it?
Do you despise her perfect peaches and cream complexion? Is his gravelly voice an assault on your ears? Does your hair stand on end at the mention of her name? Does it take superhuman effort to stop your eyes from rolling when he brings up his latest brilliant idea?
Congratulations, you lucky duck.
Life would be pretty damn dull if you liked everybody. Enemies add color and energy to your day-to-day existence. Enemies are the spice of life.
Enemies give you a reason to get up in the morning. Enemies make you a better person.
Enemies do so much more than distract and drain you. They evoke from you a laser focus on details and radar for weaknesses- your own mostly.
If you don’t have at least one good enemy, you are doing something wrong.
With enough enemies, or one true evil genius, you develop a super-human ability to read people. Spot a glint in his eye or a twitch of her upper lip and you know to check your facts and your beloved’s whereabouts.
At work, rest or play, enemies can bring out the best in you. If you can overcome any instinctive vulgar or violent reactions. Here are a few amoral mortals you might recognize, and ways they help you up your game:
He plays mentor despite being younger than you. In private, he says that your idea is brilliant and gives you pointers. Then he shreds you and your strategy in front of the boss. Once. Because once humiliated, twice prepared. Next time, your presentation is flawless, as is your plan.
She goes out of her way to speak with you and it’s flattering when she asks what you are working on, where it stands, who is helping you and what you need. Then she tells everyone you are a gossip and gets your project assigned to her. So you master the dual arts of omission and obfuscation.
You only see her at parties but she sees all of you, in one glance. “Not many people can pull that look off,” she says. The “including you” is implied. She’s a bitch. Still, you do get your roots dyed and shirt pressed when you get an invite. You look better. Yes, for you, but because of her.
You bring macaroni salad to the picnic, she brings pasta salad with six different veggies. Or it’s your brownies vs. her toffee crunch chocolate chunk brownies. This summer, no more food fights: wine, beer and margaritas and you win. Food run out? No big deal. Booze gone? So are the guests.
Every time he gets out of his car, he takes up two precious on-street spots. You learn to parallel park a tank onto a postage stamp. He puts his trash out two days early and it becomes critter-food and litter. You discover your city’s 311 non-emergency complaint line.
Legend has it that some friendships arise from the ashes of love. Truth and police blotters tell another tale. The fury of hell is for suckers compared to your feelings toward certain former objects of your desire. And the objects of their desire who were not you.
Mean Girls. How did high school torturers make you a better person? Soul-crushing anxiety aside, Mean Girls taught you compassion and empathy. Mean Girls taught you that nice girls finish last because they help people along the way. Mean Girls taught you that it sucks to be mean.
Nobody ever says, love thy enemy as thyself, for good reason. It’s ridiculous. It sounds all noble and transcendent to forgive slights and turn cheeks but face it, when you hate someone, any attempt at smiling is just a way of baring your teeth.
As it should be.
One of the major benefits of enemies is you don’t have to fake anything. Enemy-ship is more honest than just about every relationship. Friends (and lovers, presumably) try to avoid hurting one another. They keep secrets and tell white lies. Or worse.
When an enemy screws you over, it’s predictable. Expected, even. You see or should see it coming. You don’t look for betrayals by friends (and lovers, presumably). When a friend cuts and runs, you bleed all over the floor. When an enemy cuts and runs, you are chasing him out with a cleaver.
The worst enemy was once a best friend. The most hated was once most beloved.
You don’t have to love your enemies. You can love what they do for you. That said, don’t go thank an enemy today. Buy her a drink. Make her wonder what you are up to.
Bring out the best in her.
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This week, on our “Let’s Make a TV Show” project: Rachel’s Enemies. We all have enemies. Sometimes we are related to them. Enemies are not always people. The government makes on a lot of hate lists, so does almost every internet access provider. Some consider chocolate an enemy, or credit cards. Technology is the nemesis of many a woman on the Sweet Side of 40, though clearly not Rachel. Who is out to get Rachel? Who does she despise, and why?
Show Genre: Drama/Mystery Heroine: Rachel Dennis, CEO
Concept: Rachel developed an algorithm to enable dynamic authentication of commenters on websites while in college. She founded and continues to run a network security company that provides cloud-based credentialing and certification services. To date, none of her solutions has been penetrated; her clients’ data and networks have been 100% secure. Realizing this unblemished record is statistically improbable if not downright impossible, Rachel quietly examines her company and finds some troubling patterns.
Rachel’s Enemies List
Does Rachel have any professional enemies? If so, do they work in her company?
Does Rachel have any enemies about whom she is unaware?
What has Rachel done that could cause someone to consider her an enemy or a threat?
Does Rachel have any personal enemies?
Is there a former boyfriend Rachel despises (with reason, of course)?
Are there any friends or relatives from whom Rachel is estranged?
What is the biggest betrayal Rachel ever experienced and who perpetrated it?
Has Rachel forgiven someone she should not have forgiven?
Is Rachel holding a grudge against someone unfairly?
Does Rachel have a childhood nemesis who has long since been forgotten?
How do Rachel’s enemies make her better professionally or personally?
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Do any of our evil-doers sound familiar? What about the do-overs? How do you handle enemies?
Next week on “Let’s Make A TV Show:” What is Rachel’s problem?