You know what I hate? (“Everything!”) (That’s not true, Internet.) I hate when someone puts me in a position where I have to be confrontational, and not only that, a position where I am automatically the bad guy for saying anything. So my choice is either to sit and silently deal with something that is bothering me OR be the asshole, and neither of those is a good option FOR ME.
This usually happens when someone decides, of their own accord, that they’re going to do something nice for you. Except, you never asked them to do this nice thing for you. See, you already think I’m the asshole, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened to you.
Once is no big deal, but sometimes someone gets it in their head that they’re going to do an ongoing nice thing for you. Or they’ve set up some kind of… system or whatever… that will repeat the nice thing for you. I’m saying, maybe they do a nice thing one time, but maybe they do this nice thing OFTEN, either with effort or through some kind of set up that repeats the event without any maintenance, effort or money or anything on their side. I’m trying to give you a wide description here so that you can think of a situation in your own life that fits, so that I get a little sympathy over here on the asshole side of things. So take a second, and work yourself into this mindset.
Anyway, person is doing something nice for you – or something that they think is nice, if that makes sense. Something they have assumed you will appreciate or enjoy. And you didn’t ask for it – not because you didn’t want to impose, but because it’s not something you really appreciate or enjoy. It’s a basically harmless something, though, so maybe you can ignore it for a while, but eventually, it just GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN.
OKAY, MY SKIN. IT IS UNDER MY SKIN.
Why should I have to ignore it? Maybe I would like for it to stop, you know? But you basically HAVE TO IGNORE IT, because the person is being nice. If someone does something with the intention of being nice, you have absolutely no choice but to just accept it FOREVER, unless you want to be the asshole.
“I was just trying to be nice” is basically an inarguable defense. You hear that and you’re the asshole. No matter what.
So it can’t just be a simple matter of asking the person to stop, because they were trying to be nice. To indicate that their unrequested niceness is not 100% appreciated makes you the asshole, no matter what. And who wants to be the asshole? Either because you don’t want other people to think you’re an asshole, or because you don’t want to be perceived as an asshole by the person who was just trying to be nice to you, you know? I mean, you don’t want to HURT FEELINGS. You just want the thing to STOP.
And you know what ends up happening? Resentment gets all built up. Against the person who is just TRYING to be NICE. Because by being nice, they are forcing you to accept their niceness or be a total ASS PANDA, when you’re probably not an ass panda at ALL. By being nice, this person is forcing you to submit to something you DON’T WANT, or to be something that you don’t really think you are.
But you see, no matter what I say here, half the people reading are thinking, “You sound really ungrateful. Someone was just trying to do something nice for you.”
“Hey, do you mind not doing that anymore?”
“Well, I was just TRYING to be NICE.”
“You know, I’d really rather do that myself.”
“Well, I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE NICE.”
“Can you stop stabbing me in the eye?”
YOU CANNOT WIN when someone is “JUST TRYING TO BE NICE.”
Sometimes I feel like my entire day is one of those problems where you’ve got a goose, and a goose eater, and a pile of whatever geese eat, and for some reason, you can only fit one at a time in your boat, and you want to take them across the river instead of just leaving the whole damn lot to fend for themselves because, come on, they don’t have geese or goose food on the other side of the river?
What I have, though, is not goose-related. I have Penny, I have two dogs, and I have laundry, and sometimes I also need to use the bathroom.
I have to wait until Penny is asleep or at least content someplace secure before I go hang the laundry, because I can’t hang the laundry and carry her, and I’m not strapping her into her wrap for a two minute trip. And I need both dogs to come with me while I hang the laundry, because while I have NO CONCERNS about my dogs and the baby, I don’t leave them alone together, ever, because that is just how it’s done here.
The trouble is, the clothesline is around the corner of the yard, and Sheldon jumps the fence when he feels like no one is looking. We have not yet purchased an electric fence, but it is on our list, so slow your scroll, there, comment jumper. I take the diapers to hang on the line, and I need to wait for Sheldon to do his business, and then somehow convince him to stand next to me while I hang diapers, without knocking me over or stealing any diapers or think that me hanging them out of reach on the line is a FUN CHALLENGE.
And I have to be fast, because as soon as Penny realizes that my eyeballs are not fixated on her, as they should be even as she slumbers, she will LOSE HER GODDAMNED MIND.
I’ve got using the bathroom down to a 36 second science, saving anything elaborate for when Phil comes home, because alone time in the bathroom is a luxury I do not want to squander by sharing it. If Penny is awake and feeling needy (often), I tuck her in the Bumbo and set her on the bathroom floor. If she’s asleep, I leave her where she is, which leaves me with the dogs. Sheldon can usually be convinced to stand in the bathtub, because he’s an idiot, while Brinkley will do anything for a scratch on the head. We need a bigger bathroom.
Construction of Pennysylvania begins next week, and will be a completely baby-proofed safe zone, gated off from the rest of the house, that will keep her and the dogs separate without me having to put her in a cabinet for safe keeping while I just try to go without an audience.
You know what else I hate? (“Everything?”) (Let it rest, Internet.) I hate when something breaks, or doesn’t work the way it should, or is unnecessarily complicated, and you SAY as much, and someone tells you a workaround, as if you hadn’t thought of it. I mean, maybe sometime you HADN’T thought of it, but most times, you’re just saying, “Hey, it should work this way.”
It’s like if you walked into your office and said, “It’s so annoying that Big Main Road that leads to the office is still closed! It’s been forever, this is really an unreasonable amount of time for a road to be closed, especially a large highway such as that!”
And someone says, “Well, you can go the back way. It’s only 10 minutes more.”
And you’re like, “… I’m here. I got here, to the office, where you are speaking to me. I know there’s another way. I used it. TO GET HERE. I’m just saying, I shouldn’t HAVE to.”
Or an example on Twitter. If you don’t use Twitter, let me quickly explain that your timeline can be public, for all to see, or locked, so that only those you allow can see your timeline.
If you come across a locked account and you would like access to follow that person, you send a request for that person to approve or deny.
When someone follows me, I check out their timeline to see if they’re a real person and someone who looks enjoyable to me. If they are, I follow back. Well, that’s how I used to do things, and my new way presents even more problems, but ANYWAY.
When someone who has a private account follows me, I can’t check out their timeline without requesting to be allowed to follow them. You’re forced to follow someone to find out if you even want to follow them.
I understand why some people want to have locked accounts and I’m not going to argue with them. But I think that if YOU, with a locked account, follow ME, it SHOULD COUNT as approval for me to see your Tweets. I shouldn’t have to go through the approval process. You wanted to follow me, so it should be assumed that you’d like me to follow you back so we can talk.
If you mention this issue on Twitter, three things will happen:
1. Some people will agree, because THIS MAKE SENSE.
2. A bunch of people will get all huffy because they don’t read well and assume you’re campaigning against locked accounts in general.
3. Someone will say, “Well, you can just request to follow and then unfollow right away if you don’t like them.”
I KNOW I CAN DO THAT, THREES. I just SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.
I get tons of spam Twitter followers, just like everyone else, and some days are worse than others and my inbox is just flooded with “new follower” messages from Twitter. I’ve started to ignore them. When someone talks to me, I check to see if I’m following them, and if I’m not, I follow back. If I’m not following you back on Twitter, it’s probably because you followed me and then never spoke to me. Your perogative, but I’m just explaining.
Anyway, if you follow me from a locked account and then you talk to me, I can’t see it. Even if you @ me. Because your account is locked. That is why I think that if your account is locked and you follow me, your account should become visible to me. It just makes sense.
Shut up, threes!
“We were just trying to be helpful.”
I fucking hate you, threes.
NOW HIRING: STYLIST
Must demonstrate concern for dignity of baby.
“What… what is going ON here?”
“Is she KIDDING me with this?”
“What the shit IS THIS? I don’t remember buying ANY of this.”