Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee I’ve never been called this before, but I’ve never known about it.
Though this time I’m not quite so shocked. I understand how someone could gather that from only knowing me through my writing. (I sort of understand how someone could gather that from briefly knowing me in person.) It’s no secret I spout sarcasm at every juncture. It’s not surprising that people assume from the way I’m anal about spelling mistakes and have virtually no patience that I might not be a very nice person. I see it, I suppose. “Sweetheart” has never been a word that comes to mind when even the people I know very well think of me.
Also, I realize that the comment was meant as a compliment, considering the person writing it also refers to himself by the same name. So I should just embrace it, right? Own up to my writing persona and not let it bother me? Know that my closest friends love me and understand I care about them and others and people in general because I’m not the hard-hearted person I may appear to be? Right. I should totally do that. It doesn’t matter if strangers think I’m a jerk, does it?
Of course not.
Just kidding. Of course it does! As a writer, all I want is to be able to reach others in some small way. And if I can’t even communicate properly, how will I ever do that? If all I know how to do is make jokes that push people away, how can I touch them in a way they’ll never forget? If the only method of expression that makes me comfortable is silliness and sarcasm, how can I make lasting connections?
I’ve written about this before, how I wonder if my tendency toward the insincere is doing me a disservice, but now I know for sure: it is. Yet, just like before, I feel at a loss to change it.
So…I suppose I’ll just quietly accept that strangers think I am an asshole. And, to avoid reinforcing the point that I’m relentless in making corrections, I will refrain from telling the writer that he spelled my name wrong.