Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Constructive discussions...

Sooo...  my old friend ...tom... came back at me after I told him to "fuck the hell off".  Here is a screenshot of what he said and my response.

Forgive me for my hypocrisy.  Just two days ago, I wrote about why this kind of shit is kind of narcissistic...  But at least ...tom... is not one of my children being publicly punished on Facebook.

This may come as a surprise to some readers, but I actually had a hard time telling ...tom... to "fuck off".  Although I enjoy using profanity, I don't generally enjoy swearing directly at people.  I was raised not to use profanity and, in fact, had a father who hated to hear cussing.  He rarely swore himself, unless he was really angry or drunk.  Even then, he usually only used words like "damn" and "hell".  He'd get mad at my mom when she tossed out the occasional "shit".  More than once, I got knocked upside the head for saying anything stronger than "heck, "crap", or "darn". 

For some reason, I've never had issues with using profanity.   In fact, I think the concept of "bad words" is kind of stupid.  How can a specific word be "bad"?  Words only have the meanings that people give them.  I think rather than focusing on specific words, we should focus more on intent.  Don't listen so much to what was said; listen to what the person meant.  But even as I write that, I understand that cuss words are a turn off to many people and it's not my desire to be annoying, even if I often am. 

Sometime when I was in high school, I started swearing like a sailor, even though I grew up around old school people who discouraged swearing.  And, while some people might think I'm condescending, snarky, and sarcastic, I don't enjoy making people uncomfortable, although I know that when I was growing up, I definitely did.  I remember some guy at a frat party, of all places, asking me if I "kissed my mother with that mouth".  The answer to that question is, "Not very often.  My mom isn't a fan of sloppy sentimentality and discouraged kisses from her kids."  Anyway, the point is, I don't like to cuss people out and will rarely do so directly.  I have to be pretty angry or annoyed to directly tell someone to "fuck the hell off" and actually mean it.  

The truth is, ...tom... has been annoying me for about 13 years.  However, there are times when I find him funny or entertaining.  He's not all bad, as most people aren't.  I first ran into ...tom... when we were writing product reviews on Epinions.com.  He was an advisor for the books category and prided himself on welcoming new members.  I wrote a lot of book reviews, so I ran into him fairly often.  He'd leave what I'm sure he thought were "constructive comments".  Sometimes his comments actually were constructive, but they were often delivered in a way that was offensive.  I don't always have the thickest skin when it comes to being corrected, especially by people whose opinions I don't respect.

Over the years, I was less irritated by ...tom..., probably because I was less new to Epinions and he had more fun "mentoring" new people he felt needed his help.  I'd only get the occasional comment from him and sometimes they were even full of praise.  Like, I remember reviewing a book called Sex Disasters.  ...tom... enjoyed my review and said so.  He even told me that he considered giving me a "Most Helpful" rating, but ultimately decided not to.  Um...  thanks?  No, but really, that was a high compliment coming from ...tom...  He prided himself on being a strict rater and I respected him for that because, despite his tendency to leave obnoxious comments, he generally was fair and consistent with his ratings.

Many years later, ...tom... friends me on Facebook and continues with his snarky comments.  Facebook isn't Epinions, though, so he's not an "advisor".  He's just some guy out there I've never met in person.  We have different political views, which is just fine.  I can hang with conservative folks.  I have a family full of them.  I just don't like being talked to like I'm an idiot.  Call it one of my many quirks.  It probably comes from my own "daddy issues" and having a father who would say things to me like "You'll never make more than minimum wage" or "You are a very arrogant person" or "You're fat and retarded and no one will ever want to marry you".  If I had responded to my father in they way I would have wanted to, he probably would have felt very justified in hitting me.  There were a couple of times when I did lose my temper and swear at him and he did physically strike me.  And, in fact, when I was a child, hitting and yelling were pretty much his usual responses to me when I offended him somehow.  So I learned to swallow the indignation and tolerate a lot of abusive behavior from him and other people.

When I was in my mid 20s, I went through a pretty severe bout of depression coupled with significant anxiety.  All of those things my dad used to tell me seemed to be coming true.  I was living with him at the time, which was not helpful to the situation.  But, because I lived with my parents, I had enough money to see a therapist.  I did that and took medication and that helped me get out of that situation and on my own.  And now I've changed and can no longer take abuse like I used to.  When someone is shitty to me, I am inclined to respond in kind.  Sometimes, a good "fuck off" is exactly what is required.  However, I still feel uncomfortable telling someone to "fuck off" or "eat a bag of dicks".  It takes awhile before I resort to that.  

I usually try not to respond with severe profanity, but I know ...tom... irritates a lot of people and truthfully, many people would enjoy seeing him told to "fuck the hell off".  In fact, some even told me privately that they couldn't understand why I didn't block him or at least tell him to "fuck off".  My own sweet husband, Bill, doesn't like ...tom... and is much less confrontational than I am.  I figure telling ...tom... to fuck off or eat a bag of dicks is better than resorting to blocking, which will probably be my next step.  Not that he cares one way or the other.  

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