I can remember every single mean thing that anyone has ever done to me. Let that be a warning to you. Never be mean to me. And if you are, you can trust that I will never forget it. In fact, it is entirely possible that if you never apologized or recognized your jerkiness, over time I have turned the original memory of you being a jerk into something greater. In my memory, you are probably killing kittens. Or wearing bad fashion.
I can remember the woman that came into Bookman’s to sell her crap and, when I rejected her homemade mix tapes, told me that I was both stupid and a bitch. I remember the spit flying out of her mouth, and I can remember exactly how I felt in that moment. You want to know how I felt? I felt like shit. Because nothing pisses me off more than a person treating me like I am less than them.
I remember the lady in Camp Verde who mocked me in front of an entire gas station when I didn’t understand her directions to the ice box. Or the guy that cheated on me so blatantly that it made me feel insane. Oh! And I remember getting fired from a job because I had bronchitis! That was so totally jerky! I was sick, yo! I should have just gone in and flung phlegm right in their eyes. Oooo! Oooo! What about the woman that gave my whole family the finger, thus causing me to write this other post! It probably isn’t healthy, the fact that I remember these things, but it is what it is. I remember.
But, see, I’m a loving person, you dig? I try to have compassion, and as a massage therapist I have tried to find a way to relate to every person I meet. Usually I succeed at that. Usually. Just don’t ejaculate on my table. You do that, and no matter how hard I try I cannot relate to you.
And then every once in a while someone unleashes the crazy.
I’m cool with having differences of opinions. In fact, I’m cool with pretty much any sort of difference you can throw at me. Drink your own urine? Cool. Like to be whipped? Weird, but cool. Have an open marriage? Sounds really tiring, but . . . okay! Whatev. Eat only twigs and berries? Sweet. Make up your own language? Um . . . sure. Cool, I guess. Need to fart for the entire length of your massage with me? Well, I may light a match, but I can take it. Believe that the world is going to end on 11-11-11? Sure. It won’t end, but believe what you like. Feel differently from me about politics or religion? Great. Just don’t turn into a hateful bully, and we are all good.
Nothing seems to make people angrier than politics. It riles most of my friends, relatives, and clients up, and as I’m sure everyone knows, causes some intense debate. Occasionally in my house this looks like John, alone, muttering to himself about the perils of talk radio. Mostly in my circle this debate is a healthy exchange of ideas, and for me it is always interesting. Well, until last week. See, I’m not passionate about politics. I have a strong moral compass, and what feels right to me is pretty obvious, but I don’t usually get emotional about it. I feel that at the end of my life the last thing I am going to be thinking about is an election, or what policy I believe in. So, when I am faced with a difference of opinion, I get curious as to the whys and the whats. Typically I end up learning something either about the topic or about myself. Most times I am left marveling at how we can all be so alike, yet so different. I love that shit!
Ah the sweet power of the blog. Listen. I get that we aren’t all alike. I even get that, for the most part, we can all experience the same exact thing and feel completely different about it. We all receive and process information differently, and we all walk through the same world yet we see it differently as we are walking. It’s called the human experience, I think. It’s what makes things interesting. I would hate to live in a world where every single person was just like me. First of all, there would be entirely too much cute. Can you imagine? So. Much. Cute. Secondly, I would be bored to tears. I find, for the most part, the differences that we all have are totally fascinating.
So, I understand that we are all different. What I don’t understand is why people can be such assholes. There. I said it.
I got into a slightly public debate recently that I shouldn’t have even involved myself in. I didn’t really even feel to me like I was debating, I just thought I was standing up for a friend that was doing her best to politely end a politically heated exchange. I had some idea as to who I was engaging in this debate. I had seen pictures that let me know where they leaned politically, and read something a couple of years ago that was clearly the opposite of my beliefs, and full of hate and anger, but I also know this person to be . . . well, human. So I shared my thoughts and discovered that there are people in the world that are blinded by their bitterness. So blinded that they behave toward people who believe differently from them as if they are dealing with complete idiots. In my entire life I have never encountered such anger or lack of an attempt to relate. I suppose it can be argued that I too didn’t try to relate, but in return I would have to say that at least I wasn’t an asshole. As I now know, sometimes there are people that I simply cannot relate to, or at the very least, there are people that say things in a way that repels me so completely that I can’t even understand them.
Like I tell my kids, if you’re yelling I can’t hear what you’re saying. All I hear is the volume, and all I feel is the anger. In this case, the cyber exchange became so repulsive to me that I stopped reading after the first response. It felt toxic.
So I’m a little pissed. I’m a little pissed that someone thought it was a normal human response to vomit negativity on me. But I’ll admit that a lesson was learned, and I love learning lessons. The lesson is this: mean people suck. You can be as different from me as a crack addicted porn star and, if you’re nice? I can dig it. If you’re not? Well, I may just blog about it.