Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Stealing my thunder...

I have a confession to make.  Sometimes, I'm kind of petty.  This isn't news to those of you who either know me offline or have read this blog for awhile.  I am imperfect, as everyone is.  Sometimes, I'm really petty, though, and not in the cool way, like Tom Petty was.

I have written about this phenomenon before, but it bears repeating.  I understand why some people find bloggers annoying.  If you think about it, it's kind of a self-centered activity.  Why should anyone care about my thoughts on anything?  Who made me the authority?

Well, the truth is, I don't really think of myself as an authority on anything outside of my own life.  I freely admit that I don't know it all.  The older I get, the more I realize I don't know nearly as much as I'd like to think I do.  I just have a lot of opinions forged by experience and education.

There's a person in our local community who is a blogger, like me.  She hasn't been in this area for as long as I have, but it appears that she's trying to horn in on my action a bit.  I tell myself that it's fine that she's doing that, since competition is healthy and I can't go everywhere or try every restaurant.

However, if I'm honest, it does annoy me a little, since I have kind of tried to create a niche for myself.  I'm sure I annoy other bloggers, too.  It's like a bunch of women fighting for precious mirror space while they fix their hair or put on makeup.

The more mature side of me tells myself that I should relax.  The Internet is a big place and there's room for everyone.  But, to be honest, I still feel kind of irritated whenever I see a link to her latest piece.  It's not lost on me that others probably feel that way about me.  In fact, a lot of people find me annoying whether or not I'm writing.  Sometimes, people just plain don't like me (or you), for whatever reason.

Now it's time for another one of my stories...  I hope a few of you will bear with me, although my guess is that most people won't.  Posts I think are interesting always take a back seat to my posts about finding a dog hair embedded in my foot or the illegality of unstamped mail left in U.S. mailboxes.

Although I generally try to be kind to most people, the truth is, sometimes I can be really bitchy and even mean.  And sometimes, it's really not the other person's fault.  When I was in college, I lived with a woman who drove me absolutely batshit nuts.  I was a sophomore that year, and didn't have a "bestie" to live with.  My bestie in those days went to another school, and we're no longer friends today.  It's probably a blessing we didn't share living quarters.

Anyway, this woman I lived with was a very dramatic person.  She always made a big show out of everything.  She had super long, thick hair and had gone to high school in Germany.  Although she was American, she'd try to convince people that she was actually German.  She rarely showered or did laundry, smoked a lot, and hung out with annoying group of "Christians" who would invade our room and be all fake and syrupy.

I put quotes around "Christians" because, to me, it seemed like Christ was more of a fad to them.  Like, it was "cool" to be Christian, but they weren't really doing much more than occasionally talking about Jesus, wearing weird clothes, and hanging out with each other.  My ex roommate thrived on attention and would love it whenever they would be all "caring".  It was enough to make me want to puke.

In fact, one of the most nauseating incidents that year was when our entire suite came down with gastroenteritis.  There we were, the six of us puking and shitting our brains out thanks to a virus.  My roommate would bring her friends into our room and they'd be fawning all over her to the point at which they insisted that she go to the hospital.  When she came back to the room after having had an IV and a lecture from a doctor, she'd gush about how everyone was so caring and solicitous.  As an adult I can understand why she was like that, but when I was in college, it was truly puke inducing.  In fact, it was literally puke inducing.  I had been throwing up and shitting all day myself and watching and listening to that was really obnoxious.

My ex roommate always preached about avoiding alcohol abuse as she smoked cigarette after cigarette.  She'd sit in the window on the landing of our building and dramatically inhale, then blow her smoke out the window.  Their stench would get in her voluminous tresses and stink up the room.  More than once, I fantasized about giving her a push.  Fortunately, though I may be mean sometimes, I'm no killer.  I'm not even as mean as she is...

My ex roommate also fancied herself a writer and used to write "Christian fantasy" stories.  I remember she dedicated one story to me and a male friend.  I don't remember what she called it, but I do remember the brilliant opening line...  "Alcohol, slippery little lizard..."  I want to say the title was something with the word "Thee" in it (Edited to add: I remember the title now-- "Thee Game").  She'd use biblical language in her stories as well as a very affected writing style.  Thanks to Facebook, I see now she's teaching school in Virginia and has finally cut her hair.  I might find her a lot less annoying today than I did when we were 19.  We had a personality clash.  It doesn't mean she's a bad person.  We just didn't mesh.

That year, I overloaded on classes and activities simply because I couldn't stand to be around my roommate.  She really got on my nerves.  It didn't help that during the fall semester, my roommate's freshman year roommate moved in with us temporarily because she and her new roommate had been busted for smoking marijuana.  It was the early 1990s and there had recently been a big drug bust at the University of Virginia, so all Virginia colleges were cracking down on drug use.  The end result was that these two women had to separate, and my roommate's ex roommate needed a place to live.  Our temporary roommate eventually got kicked out of school, probably for smoking weed and not going to class.

By May of that year, I was pretty well fed up with my roommate with the long hair.  I don't think I ever talked to her again after we parted ways.  I remember being a full on bitch at the end of the year because I could barely tolerate being in the same room with her.

Three years after I stopped being roommates with the smoking "Christian", I joined the Peace Corps. I remember sitting there in Washington, DC, meeting my group members for the first time.  There was a woman in the group who reminded me a whole lot of my old roommate.  She wasn't a "Christian", but she had the same flair for being dramatic.  She had long hair and smoked all the time, taking big exaggerated drags off of her cigarette while wearing bright red lipstick... And she didn't shower very often, even when showers were readily available to her (which they weren't always in Armenia).  She had a really deep voice and it seemed like she went out of her way to be irritating.  From the very start, I took a disliking to her, mainly because she reminded me very much of my former roommate.

She knew I didn't like her.  She even claimed I was "persecuting" her.  I wasn't, really... although sometimes I will admit to making fun of her.  I got so used to imitating her deep voice that one time I did it right in front of her.  It got a laugh from those who witnessed it, but I have to admit it was kind of embarrassing and I was ashamed of myself for being so overtly mean.

One time, during our second year of service, I apologized to the woman whom I had taken such an immediate disliking to.  It really wasn't her fault that she reminded me so much of my old roommate.  In fact, I came to admire some things about her.  She was very dedicated to her service, for instance, and had a good sense of humor.  Yes, she was very dramatic and annoying at times.  Yes, when it was 90 plus degrees out and we were all sitting in small classrooms trying to learn Armenian, she'd take off her shoes and stink up the whole room.  But she was basically good-hearted and kind.  I shouldn't have been so petty and nasty.  It was almost like I couldn't help myself, even though I certainly knew better.

She was very surprised when I apologized, although of course we were never really friends.  We have a few mutual Facebook friends, so sometimes we bump into each other.  I often feel a twinge of regret for being kind of mean to her.  In fact, sometimes I "see" my old roommate on Facebook and regret that we couldn't have been better friends.  I know how it feels when people are mean.  People have been mean to me, too.

So... the point of this long story is that I know I shouldn't feel annoyed when other bloggers come to town.  The truth is, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  We all have things to contribute.  Not everyone is going to like what I do.  Maybe they will like her stuff better.  There's room for everyone...  but sorry, sometimes I still struggle when people try to steal my thunder.  :D  Also, I know that a lot of people are annoyed by people to try to be "above it all".  I freely admit that I'm not "above it all"... I just think I should try to go higher sometimes.  But even that is probably irritating to other people, so there you go.  Who wants to be around a "goody two shoes"?

And here's a song for all my haters...  :D


  1. Did your ex-roommate live on 2nd floor Tabb her Freshmen year? If she did she had us all convinced she was German. If it was her she she had the worst odor. I figured out it was her feet. She was dramatic and would cry because no one wanted to hang out with her because she smelled bad. Once I figured out it was her feet I talked to her, took her to the store and got some odor eaters and foot powder. If it was the same person she was SUPER annoying!!

    1. Yes, you are thinking of the right person. The "Angel of Death" herself... :D She was super annoying. I really should have tried to make more friends in those days.

      She didn't shower or do laundry very often. And she wasn't German; she just lived in Germany for a few years.


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