June 9, 2009
An apology, and a need. A need for cynicism.
First, to the woman sitting next to me on the metro this morning: I got up when the elderly couple got on, because it seemed the right thing to do. I then proceeded to zone out to my iPod. The fact that my head was turned towards you was nothing more than coincidence, and I certainly wasn’t glaring at you.
But it was very nice of you to get up as well, so they could sit down together.
I am entirely too predisposed towards believing the best of people. If anyone out there has any advice on how to become a cynic, please help a woman out.
Last night, I was practicing pool with some of my teammates, and was sitting down while my opponent sank 5 or 6 balls. A man I did not know came over to the pool table area from the bar (the two are naturally separated by the layout of the establishment), and asked me to stand up for a second. Thinking he might have left a jacket or something on the counter/railing behind me, I complied.
Then he asked me to turn around, and I was concerned that I’d managed to get cue chalk all over the back of my sweater… AGAIN (when you’re my height, the tip of a pool cue leaning against a rail is at just the right height to brush against your shoulder blades). When I turned back, he gave me the slimiest of once-overs, and said, “Very nice.” I summoned my most sarcastic thank-you and disgusted grimace, and he fled.
I tend to assume that people won’t be intrusive, or offensive. I tend to welcome people in, only to feel surprised and humiliated and chagrined and offended when they do something that’s not particularly nice or considerate.
Like telling me I’m “white trash, just like everyone else in Jersey.” Which, even in the context of a lighthearted conversation among friends, managed to come across as intended barb, rather than jocular banter.
I have really got to stop expecting everyone to be nice all the time.