Wednesday, November 12, 2008


There are two people in my life at the moment who, whenever I encounter them, I end up feeling like...I don't know, a bug or a dogshit on their shoe or something (It's not you!).

They're not people I feel I can always avoid - one's in my professional life and one's a friend's partner. And I know if I said something, they would say, 'What are you talking about? All I said was [example]. You don't need to be so sensitive,' etc etc. And that would be true. It's not what they say, exactly, but more the way that they say it. Like, I'll be answering them and they'll turn around and walk off. Or I'll ask them a question in my dippy friendly-puppy way and they'll give a really short, terse answer. Me: 'Hi! [enthusiastic inflection] How's the planning for the 2009 creative industries convention going?' Them: 'Good.' Turn away.

See? It doesn't sound like much, does it? I try to remember to be less friendly-puppy and more terse, but I forget and it's so unnatural it feels rude. So dumbhead me tries again.

I know it's not just me. I know with the professional contact, K complained that he waited around for two hours filling in time before a meeting, and then Professional Contact wandered out half an hour late and said, 'Oh, I forgot to call you, I've decided to cancel.'

I just wish I had a way of responding that also wasn't rude, but where I walked away feeling powerful, instead of like a smudge of birdshit on the windscreen.

I'm sure you can do it. What do you do?


JahTeh said...

I would love to advise you on this but I have spent my life as birdshit, budgie birdshit not even Eagle crap.

It doesn't even help to say the bigger the attitude the smaller the person or 'in my mind I outrank you in everything'.

Deborah said...


I know the feeling; it's the sort of thing you can wince over for hours (days, even weeks!) later. I do the puppy thing too, and then wonder what's wrong with me.

There's a lot of bottle-blonde and botox around my daughters' school, and I did far too much puppy early on. Fortunately, I've met some not-so-polished-but-oh-so-much-more-true people as well. But the puppy still smarts a bit. Every now and then I have to remind myself that FSM-dammit, I am a woman of accomplishment and substance.

Even so, who am I to criticise other women for how they choose to live their lives. Feminism - free to make my own mistakes...