Monday, October 1, 2012

Goodbye, old friend

Yesterday someone I have been close with came and got me for lunch. We have known one another for twelve years. For a long time I considered him family. He came over for Thanksgiving and Christmas many times. Things have gone through a lot of ups and downs. He came over to tell me that his wife is pregnant and he is moving cross country. He assures me he will come here to visit so we will probably see one another as often as we do now.

If someone doesn't know my kids at all because they have never spent any time with them I can't think of that person as family any more. That is becoming a litmus for me. My children are my family. Perhaps they will be the only people I am that kind of close with. I'm doing my best to teach my children how to have the kind of relationship I want to have.

Family doesn't say, "Wow. Your life is hard and shitty. Sucks to be you." Family helps.

I think really hard about what I want to teach my kids. So far Shanna and Calli automatically share any good thing that comes into either of their hands. When I say, "Oh gosh. This is going to be a big job. I think I will need help if I am going to have the time and energy to go do fun stuff after" both kids jump up because they like doing fun stuff with me. Shanna already knows there is a sharp correlation between how much waiting on everyone I have to do and my willingness to play messy games. I'm a hard ass about it. I have to be or I will lose my fucking mind.

It was hard having lunch with my friend. Both he and his wife have told me emphatically and specifically that he has never said a sexist thing in his life.

Then why did he have to go on for four or so minutes when my drink arrived about how disgusting "girly" drinks are?

I also enjoyed the long lecture about how until a given Indian person has proven that he is significantly more competent than 95% of white people that he must be stupid and incompetent. You know this for a fact because your company outsourced a bunch of junior engineer positions to India and those people are just stupid. You know they will fuck up anything you give them at least three times so you try to carefully condescend to them so they can't fuck up anything important.

Well, it's overall a reasonable business decision, I guess. But do you really have to rant about those people like that? Are they really less competent than the average white person? Really?  Really?! Have you met the average white person?


But you're not sexist or racist.

Oh, when you were trying to describe the focus of your PhD research to people you probably shouldn't say, "Oh gosh I'm not sure if I can dumb this down enough for you" and you probably shouldn't say, "Oh wow. You have gotten a lot more sophisticated. You wouldn't have been able to understand this before."

You mean when I was nineteen and I had absolutely no exposure to computer networking I didn't immediately ping on all the buzzwords? Sure yeah. At this point I am thirty-one and I have been living in this valley a long time. Yes I fucking understand virtual machines you god damn condescending asshole. It took someone assuming I wasn't stupid and talking to me about them. Thanks, Noah.

When I talk to people I met twelve years ago the main thing I think about is how universal their lack of respect for me is. They are shocked I understand things. They are surprised I can understand complicated systems. Wow. That tells me a lot about what you think of me.

People who met me twelve years ago wanted to fuck me or play with me. I didn't develop very many relationships with people in other categories. And they think I am stupid. Any hole will do in the dark, right?

I feel really weird about someone who will tell me over and over that he thinks highly of me while being casually dismissive fucking constantly.

There were a bunch of stupid, insulting little things. Every time he said something rude he would notice me flinch. He said, "Oh I didn't mean that in an insulting way." Oh, of course not. You couldn't possibly be insulting when you react with horror over anything "girly." Nope. I don't know how many times I flinched. Mostly I stayed blank. He told me he couldn't read my vibe. I said maybe I don't have one. He said everyone does. I said maybe mine isn't visible to him. He seemed upset by that. 

I am not a figment of your imagination. I am not a construct that fits your needs. I'm a complicated person. And you don't know me at all. If you know about my bdsm interests and not much else you don't know me. Hell it's getting to the point where I think that people who don't know me as a parent probably don't really know me. It's a very different experience.

I still love him. That's not the point. I love him very much. I have loved him for a long time. I'm really not up for continuing to feel put down, casually, pretty much all the time in conversation. Maybe I'm over-sensitive. Given that quite a few of my female friends won't be in a room with this guy because they find him so insulting I doubt it's just me. I just didn't think I had a right to complain about how he treated me until several women said, "You know, you don't have to let him treat you that way." I don't? But beggars can't be choosers. I take what friends pick me.

Or I stay home. Alone.

He asked me how I have been doing. I told him I wake up just about every morning and catalog the ways I want to die. Everyone who told me that they would be there to support me through having children is gone. Because I am a giant asshole and they don't like me any more. Fair enough.

I'll stay home.

I'm not completely alone. I get visitors. My friends give me what they have to spare. I'm grateful.


  1. I'm sure there must be some correlation between how many people explicate that a person is not a jerk and how big a jerk that person actually is. I sit down to pee because my aim is terrible, is that not smart? And we have created a very girly Pumpkin Pie Cocktail that you are invited to enjoy anytime:

    1. I actually have a habit of dating men who sit down to pee. I have only had one semi-serious relationship with a stander. I'm not sure how that worked out.


  2. If it's the person I think it is, I find he's not always very socially clued-in but has a good heart. Touch of Asperger's, maybe? I realized if I just said, "X is a joke" or "Hey, X sounds SUPER rude, do you realize that?" without a lot of drama attached, he took the feedback rather generously. It took some time to come to that realization though... initially I was put off. And, admittedly, there have been a conversation or two that I just walked right away from rather than get into the heat of it...

    1. I don't think he is a bad person. I'm just done having to ask someone to stop being disrespectful of my intelligence multiple times in every conversation. If after twelve years of knowing me you still expect me to be stupid then I'm done.

  3. I'm sick of folks assuming that ignorance means stupidity. Your insight, your ability to assimilate, correlate and synthesize data, and your emotional and verbal awareness, communication and sensitivity all point to an exceptional intelligence. Anyone who doesn't notice these things is either fundamentally lacking the ability to do so, or isn't paying attention.

    That said, I have opinions about the BDSM community as a general rule, but I'll try not to piss all over that toilet seat :)