#347: Be called an asshole

13 Dec

Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee I’ve never been called this before, but I’ve never known about it.

When I read that a stranger thinks I’m an asshole, I had a reaction much like the one when I found out strangers reading my NYTimes essay thought I was a terrible girlfriend.  Mostly: huh?

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.


Posted by on December 13, 2012 in People


Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “#347: Be called an asshole

  1. digisavvy

    December 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    So, I have to say this: I’m sorry. I go through life thinking that I because of freedom of speech I can just say whatever I feel like… Well it’s freedom of speech, not freedom from consequence.

    I do apologize if what I wrote was hurtful or demeaning of you and your obvious talents. I really do admire your talent. You sprinkle awesome on the Urban Dater!!

    Because I barely see an inch in front of my nose, I tend to think people enjoy getting called an a-hole, like me. But that’s not so and you’re correct that we are effectively strangers; I don’t know you and really I shouldn’t be saying these things in the first place. I insert my foot in my mouth more times than I care to admit. Truly.

    I am the asshole here and, again, I sincerely apologize. I corrected your name. I am also a douche bag. I actually accept being called an asshole and being corrected as gestures of affection. Is it some sick cycle of abuse? Maybe. That said, you should have pointed out what an amateur hack I am for misspelling your name, if that’s how you felt. There’s no shame in that. I can take it and in this case I’d deserve it. Call me out. It will further endear you to me. =)

    But I have to ask, what’s with this struggle between who you are and what you put online? I think the whole world would be better if you revealed more of the non-snarky gal you’ve eluded to above. Just sayin’.

    – some hack with a blog.

    • digisavvy

      December 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      And with that last paragraph I further cement my douchiness. You rock. End of story. Period.

      • fishmongerairlines

        December 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        Hey, thanks for the apology, but it wasn’t necessary. I didn’t mean to imply you did anything wrong; I was just commenting on my frustration with my own apparent incapability of expressing myself through any way other than snark (to be clear, I AM the sarcastic person I appear to be, but I’m also more than that, and I have trouble showing that other side to the world because it doesn’t come as naturally). Definitely understood that it was supposed to be a compliment, so please don’t feel bad. If I had a penny for every time I wrote something that didn’t have the intended effect…well, I’d have approximately 786 pennies–which wouldn’t make me rich, true, but it would give me enough to buy a beer to start numbing the pain.

        Plus, it’s your blog; you can say whatever you want. But I do appreciate that you took the time to write, so thank you.

        PS–I’m so used to having my name misspelled, I gave up on that battle a long time ago.

        PPS–If you’re ever in NY, I will use my 786 pennies to buy you a beer so you can tell there are no hard feelings.

        • digisavvy

          December 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm

          Done. Done. =)

          As fate would have it, I’ll be in NYC from 12/28 thru 1/5. =)

          • fishmongerairlines

            December 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

            Cool–email me to claim your beer.


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