Sunday Soapbox: Spare Me the Explanation

>> Sunday, September 27, 2009

*Steps on soapbox*

I'm well aware that most, if not all, people have moments when they're not very nice. In other words, when they're assholes. As adults (if not as human beings, age notwithstanding), we all have to deal with someone being an asshole as part of life at some time or another. Admittedly, some people seem to simmer in this state constantly but, for most people, it comes and goes. Dealing with the occasional thoughtlessness or stupidity of others is just part of the price for breathing.

I'm not going to tell anyone they can't ever be a jerk. I've had my share of nasty moments and I don't think it reasonable to assume those around me are immune. But, if you're going to go through a spell of complete butthead, spare me the explanation or rationale defending your right to be so.

Here's an example. Someone I know well, I'll call him L, went shopping with me today. While I was driving through a parking lot, someone was planning to pull out of his parking spot as I was turning into the row they were in. My companion screamed at me to avoid what he saw as an inevitable accident and told his mother, on the phone (who he was talking to) how I almost got them killed. Note that the car had not yet pulled out and that we were stuck in a thoroughfare while we waited for them to leave. Miraculously, we managed to come through unscathed. I didn't like the big deal he made over it (and the snide comments that kept coming even after we'd parked), but I knew it wasn't a big deal and just stewed quietly without saying anything. Note, I never said one thing about the situation or to him about it. Nor did I make any snide or otherwise remarks. L, who usually refuses to go his separate ways when we shop, left me to my own devices and regarded all my proposed purchases with disdain.

By the next stop, he'd worked himself to contempt as he explained I had ruined the trip by "being angry" and, apparently, he was out to recoup the situation by chewing me out royally for, presumably, having an emotion without permission. He did not argue that I said nothing but I "projected" hatred and therefore deserved everything I got.

In short order, we reached an agreement that it was a stupid thing to fight over. Then, for the next two hours, I got a long philosophical monologue on why it was perfectly reasonable to take me to task for "being angry" even though my teenage daughter and I aren't allowed to presume he's in a bad mood even if he snaps our heads off every five minutes all day. Then, when I pointed out the double standard (no, I was not silent), he explained I was just as guilty of a double standard because I was harder on myself than I am on everyone else.


Dealing with people during their asshole moments is par for the course or adulthood. But no one, in my opinion, should have to deal with people defending the indefensible. Ideally, of course, one should acknowledge one's moments of unreasonableness, beg forgiveness/perform atonement and move on. Many can't do so, but, if you're going to be unashamedly an asshole, admit it and be DONE.

If you're going to spout any nonsense you hear from "reputable" sources, if you insist on being unreasonable or overbearing, if you're going to be a bigot, just do so. Don't compound the BS by propounding all the reasons by your prejudice is reasonable or why you're doing those you overbear or misuse a favor (I hate the "teaching them a lesson for their own good" nonsense), or why it's your god-given right to spout horse manure to any and every audience. (By the way, it's not a violation of your rights to point out the smell.)

*Steps off soapbox*

(Apparently, there is a breed of wild rose called "Asshole" who knew?)


  • Shakespeare

    Darn! My comment didn't go through, and I lost it!

    I just commented on how completely UGLY that wild rose was--seems it's aptly named.

    As to L, and others of us when we get like him, sometimes people don't realize that the more they try to be "right," the less they are happy.

    Be happy, and let L be "right." It sounds like you already did that to some extent. Better to feel at ease with one's self... then one doesn't have to shove one's attitude down anyone else's throat to validate it.

  • flit

    Sounds like an absolutely ~charming~ day!

    Aren't you glad the asshole-ness is not constant?!

  • The Mother

    A rose by any other name? Who chose that one?

    I think I would have given the jerk bus money and sent him home. No sense ruining your fun with your daughter.

  • Jeff King

    I do not react well to back seat drivers, and I react even worst to people whom try and tell me how I should do things(unless I ask for instruction of course)

    I would have put an end to that conversation before it even started regardless who it was. No one has the right or gull to be like that to me... I hope L got the point and will never do that to you again.

    I find it amazing some people treat friends that way, it is like they really do not know how to act. Or never really have a true friend in their life, and everyone to them is merely just an acquaintance to help pass the time…

    I hate people who think they are better than others, it drives me insane and I would never associate with them in my free time that is for sure…

    You are a better person than myself, good for you for taking the high rode.

  • Poetic Shutterbug

    It's that self righteous attitude that always gets me. Although there are times when I have displayed the same behavior. It's just a part of human nature I guess.

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