Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Dare You!

People like to be offended. It makes them feel important, like they have values that you have stepped on with your insincere, thoughtless gestures. So, the following is a list of things you should not be offended by. Keep it on you...and check it the next time you feel like acting like a bitter, shriveled ass.
Getting bumped or grazed on the subway, street, stairs...make that anywhere in New York City. Manhattan is the most densely populated of the five boroughs, which make up what was originally the County of New York. The County of New York is the most densely populated county in the US. In 2008 1,634,795 lived in an area of 22.96 sq. miles. There are a lot of us here. So next time I brush up against you, why don’t you wipe that miserable look off your face and move your ass over.
On the topic of subways, don’t get offended if I offer you my seat. Yes, perhaps you look ancient and I’m afraid you can’t support your own weight, but generally it’s just a kind gesture that people offer to others who seem tired, are carrying things, have a baby, are pregnant...or maybe I just don’t feel like sitting anymore and I’m just trying to be NICE. Get over yourself.
Someone spelling/pronouncing your name wrong. I’m sorry that your parents were hippies and chose to spell Sarah “Sahaighra” but I’m not a linguist and I’m pretty sure that’s not phonetically correct perhaps you should fill me in on how to pronounce your weird ass name and give me a few chances to get the spelling down before you jump down my throat and take it as a result of me not respecting you. And maybe consider getting that birth certificate reworked.
When people say “Happy Holidays”. I know this is a controversial one...but seriously, get over it. I’m not saying no one should be allowed to say Merry Christmas or Happy Chrismahanakwanzica...all I’m saying is YOU should not get offended when SOMEONE ELSE says Happy Holidays. Usually this person is not trying to dismantle your faith, only simply trying to be inclusive...and guess what, I try not to use my mind reading skills on innocent bystanders so I have no idea what faith you’ve chosen to devote your free time to. This world could use a lot more inclusive-minded people and a whole lot less exclusivity. In return, I won’t judge you when you pointedly say “Merry Christmas” back at me with that twisted look of superiority. I’ll try not to anyway.
While we’re talking about beliefs, don’t get offended when you find out I’m a vegetarian. I know you probably believe that I’m anti patriotic for not supporting the all american slaughterhouses and chowing down on red meat everyday to help balloon the increasing overweight population (pun intended)...but I really don’t care. I am always surprised by how offended people get when they find out I’m vegetarian. I don’t get offended when I find out you’re a meat eater. That’s your prerogative. In return, I won’t school you on how being vegetarian is better for your body, your wallet, the economy and the environment unless you’re really interested. Listen, it’s more meat for you, right?
Don’t be hyper sensitive when people make general assumptions about you based on your race, gender or anything other than fact. I know this sounds a little backwards, and I’m not talking about racism or negative assumptions. I’m just saying that if you’re black and you dress like Kanye West and I ask you how you feel about the new Jay Z album you probably shouldn’t say something like “what you think all black people listen to rap?”. Generally when people make assumptions like this they are just trying to make connections, not offend you. Take it as an opportunity to educate them on your eclectic musical tastes. In return I’ll try not to get offended when I tell you I’m Irish and you say “so you must drink a lot of beer, right?”. Primarily because it’s true.
Don’t get offended when you go into Starbucks and see they have Italian named just order a large and they’ll get it, they speak English too. And remember, you were the one who walked your Dunkin lovin’ ass in there. On the flip side, if you work at Starbucks, don’t get offended when someone orders a large instead of a venti...because then you’re just pretentious...and no one likes that either.

In general, maybe we should assume that people mean well, before we assume they are trying to insult us. Just a thought.

"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."/Bukowski


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  2. 8.
    Don't get offended when someone has views that contradict yours
    Don't get offended when they try to explain to you (with civility) why it is that you are wrong.
    Don't get offended when you realize you were wrong but continue to pretend that you know exactly what you're talking about.

  3. realizing you are wrong in the middle of an argument/discussion is the worst thing ever. It takes a lot of cahones to step back and admit it.

  4. I like this, Kayla. Good, practical survival advice...& a great Bukowski quote!