Sometimes I get the feeling that people just don’t read me right… or maybe I don’t read them. It seems to me that people feel okay saying incredibly rude things to me– things that they don’t expect to come out as rude, however when it happens they seem completely surprised by their choice of words. I don’t get it.

For example, when I was working at an internet services firm last year, upon shaking a client’s hand, he remarked something like “Jesus, what are you, still in college? This looks like the B-team. You look 18.” To which his partner remarked, “more like 14, Jim”. Nice to meet you two, I’ll be the person you’ll be speaking with on a daily basis for the next 4 months. I mean, I was wearing an expensive brand-name suit and I even parted my hair which is something I never ever do. I thought I looked the part.

Now, this weekend, I finally met Kate, someone I’ve known online from time to time. She was visiting from dc with her sister, so pres, danno and I met them for coffee. The whole thing was weird before we even got there for reasons that I really don’t want to get into. And so we met, and sat and proceeded to chat for about an hour. Now, admittedly I was a bit withdrawn mostly due to my mood earlier that day and to those unmentionable factors, so I was quite happy listening to the two of them carry on– they were very entertaining and I remember thinking that it felt good to finally put this internet friend into real time and space– it felt very good.

And then, somewhere near the end when we were wrapping everything up, Kate summed me up with one word: poser. or poseur, as I’m sure she’d put it. I don’t remember how it happened– but I’m sure that I reacted badly. It hurt. It was one of those stupid things that I’m sure she wishes she hadn’t let slip out.

And so another slag has been added to my psyche. I think my girlfriend sees my reaction to incidents like this as paranoid and nothing more, but maybe that’s her job to be unrelentingly supportive… I don’t think it would do much good if she agreed with me. Still, I’d be dead-surprised if someone that she knew were to tell her unsolicited that she’s a poser, or something equally as low. It just isn’t done. I’m the most judgmental person on the planet, and I can’t imagine saying such a thing in a semi-serious tone. Yet, I must give off some kind of vibe that screams “tell me what you really think of me…”

What to make of it? The answer that always quiets my mind is to say fuck it. I can’t waste my time worrying about it, whether it’s true or not. I’ll have to give people the benefit of the doubt.

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