Taking offense — it’s a gift

You ever had one of those days — that turned into one of those weeks — where no matter what you did, no matter what you said or to whom you said it, it was just inexplicably wrong?

It has been one of those weeks for me.

The kind of week when simply saying “good morning” to a random stranger comes across as an affront that earns you a fierce scowl. Or you say, “what a beautiful day” and someone hears it as an insult to the night, which they indignantly inform you is their favourite time.

Or you think you’re encouraging someone with a hearty, “You go, girl!” and it’s taken as a directive to go straight to hell and not come back. Or you tell a co-worker her new shirt is a good colour for her and she sniffs and replies, “Oh, and I suppose that means all my other shirts are a poor choice?”

People don’t usually react like this. It’s as if the rules of polite behaviour have changed. And no one told me. Is this something we were supposed to set back along with the clocks a couple weeks ago?

Then there are the people to whom I’ve said, “Can’t talk. I’m writing.” Which used to be Just Fine and they’d mumble something vague about calling them later. It is now, apparently, considered to be a great insult. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea.

You know it’s bad when you can’t even get it right with the cat, when telling her she’s a “pretty kitty” results in her turning her back in regal displeasure before she stalks off in a stiff snit to hide for the next five hours.

It’s enough to make you want to hide away too and never speak to anyone again. But even that gets you into trouble. Just try not answering your phone for a couple days. Not that I did that or anything. I wouldn’t dare do that. Again.

Because you get terse emails, “Mom called me. You didn’t answer your phone. Now she’s worried. Call her.”

Or impatient text messages, “WTF? Mom R U there?”

And surly voice messages, “So. You’re just not going to return my call? I hope at least you’re writing.”

At this point, I’m almost afraid to write anything. I’m pretty sure it won’t turn out to mean what I think it means.

And I know — really, I just know — that even this blog post will offend someone. Most likely it will be the three people I have so far managed not to offend this past week. They’re going to come over here, read this, and say, “Well, I was not offended by you this week. What made you think I was? You always misinterpret everything. How can you say you’ve offended everyone? Am I not someone? Am I that insignificant to you?”

I’m telling you, it’s been that kind of week.

How was yours?

15 Comments

Filed under miscellaneous bits

15 responses to “Taking offense — it’s a gift

  1. First off:
    You know it’s bad when you can’t even get it right with the cat, when telling her she’s a “pretty kitty” results in her turning her back in regal displeasure before she stalks off in a stiff snit to hide for the next five hours.

    Okay, I’ve had two cats, that’s what they were like all the time, so what’s your issue? If you don’t want a cat that acts like that get a Pomeranian. my husband calls mine a cat, but at least she loves me and is willing to show it. All. The. time.

    Next, re: people who act like you’ve put them out because you cannot 1) read their mind 2) be at their beck and call or 3) please them no matter what…

    You’ve read my comments on other blogs enough to know my personal philosophy:

    F*ck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

    And as far as my week goes, I finally got published, finished my edits, sent my MS to an agent, and now I have Costochondritis, which, BTW, hurts like a M****r F****r.

    So, yay! But at least I’m not worried about offending anyone. Because many times it’s my goal. So, I guess I worry if I don’t…

    Like

  2. Wait. WHAT? You got PUBLISHED? And didn’t TELL ME?! What, did I offend you too?

    I can see I need to do a better job of keeping up with my blog reading. Or something.

    Sorry about the Costco– whatever. Try Wal-Mart?

    I know. I need to grow a thicker skin. And stop trying to be nice. It doesn’t work.

    Like

  3. McB

    “Well, I was not offended by you this week. What made you think I was? You always misinterpret everything. How can you say you’ve offended everyone? Am I not someone? Am I that insignificant to you?”

    I didn’t want to disappoint you.

    There’s some kind of planetary alignment out of whack this week. I don’t know about offending people, but everything I’ve said seems to start an argument that I have no clue where it came from. Or it might have been me.

    Nah.

    Slavedriver – congrats!

    Like

  4. Something sure as hell is out of whack. Probably it’s not you, McB. Unless… no, you don’t even know most of the miffed masses.

    I’m happy to let the planets take the blame. After all, they never try to deny it.

    Like

  5. WapakGram

    My mother used to tell me that I could P**s off the Pope. We’re not Catholic. So yeah, I get you.

    SlaveDriver, I know you from other blogs
    on which I lurk. Congrats on the Publishing!!!!

    New Moon on Thursday. Maybe that will refresh us all. Nah, but it’s all I’ve got right now.

    Like

  6. Wapak, it’s enough. I’ll hold on to any slim hope at this point, even that faint slice of light around the new moon.

    Like

  7. Now you know you couldn’t possibly offend me. You are just so sweet that I could get diabetes, oh wait. I already have that. Well then I guess you need to be a little more belligerent.

    Btw I think I am both your Canada flags because I accidentally clicked off the page before I submitted my comment. Had to come back you see.

    Like

  8. Lou

    My mother used to tell me* I would argue with a fence post if it would argue back…

    And I don’t know how to make the flag counter work…

    Sob… it must be all your fault!! Or maybe Lori’s.

    Book done yet??

    Like

  9. Lou

    Oh – and I think your Aunt Mabel is beautiful and brave!!

    Like

  10. LOL! Penny, I don’t think anyone but you would ever describe me as “sweet.” Though I do try to behave myself in public.

    Lou, I love to argue — so long as it’s a valid rational argument and not just trading insults the way so many “arguments” seem to devolve these days.

    I think Mabel was beautiful and brave too. I hope you’ll come back and read the rest of her letters. They truly are remarkable and so was she. I’ll do my best to post more of them in a day or two.

    And the flags are self-sufficient. No need to do anything. Every time a new person visits, it counts them and their country. Sorry Penny, only one flag per person (or IP address). I think it’s pretty cool. But I really am very easily amused.

    Like

  11. cbpen

    I am trying to think of a reason you have offended me*….sorry, I can’t. Got lots of others on that list. And situations. And my own general grumpiness. But not you. 🙂

    Like

  12. I do believe that I might be deeply offended that you haven’t ever offended me. Or it could be that I’m delaying writing the next 2k…

    Like

  13. Nope, I recognize deeply offended. I’m an expert at this point. You’re procrastinating, babe. Go write.

    Like

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