Archive for the ‘annoyed’ Tag

Random Bits

Been a week or so since I checked in. Thought I’d give a little update on some random things to keep the posting streak alive.

  1. I went to a charity event Friday night with some friends. The luxury cars and planes on display were cool. The food…not so much. But the hip taco place my friends and I hit up after was well worth it. I got to wear my suit and feel awesome in it, have a great time with cool people, and eat amazing guacamole and street tacos. That’s a Friday night that did not suck! 😎
  2. I’ve been having some deeply satisfying philosophical discussions with a variety of good friends lately. As is the way with philosophy, no hard answers have been achieved. It’s in the journey of the discussion where the value lies. What I appreciate most is the quality of the time and emotional labor my friends are investing in me and our relationships.
  3. Some of that deep thought has been spent on my job search. Still plotting my escape. It’s just going more slowly than I’d like. Certainly slower than the resurgence of the stress load. But, as I posted on my FB the other day, I’ve learned my lesson on speaking freely when invited: they don’t really mean that. So, heads down, coping smile in place, soldiering on. Anyone know where a hard working, smart and experienced commercial transactions attorney can find work where she’s appreciated?
  4. I live in a pretty comfortable small city, fairly clean and accommodating. But even here there seems to be a faction of people who can’t mind their own business and who feel a compulsion to police the use of public restroom facilities. I’m growing weary of having to clear the hurdle of old biddies who want to challenge my right to pee in the women’s room, especially when it’s a pressing need. Geez, yes! I know my bow tie is an unusual accessory choice for a woman, but it’s not a reason to make me nearly wet myself preventing me from getting to a toilet!
  5. Because I wanna be positive and end this list on a good note: I am riding the wave of good vibes picked up when spending the long Labor Day weekend with good friends. They hosted me in their home, nourished my body and spirit with tasty food and fellowship, laughing freely and connecting deeply. I’m so blessed to have such good people in my life!

Friends, I hope the balance of good and annoying experiences in your life are tipping decidedly towards the good, positive side and that you find at least one good thing to celebrate today.

Sorry, Not Sorry

I’m proud and a little awed to be able to say that there are cool, exciting, fun things going on in my life right now and that, overall, I’m one happy, lucky butch. Not surprising, then, that I’ve been a bit more smiley, a bit more easy-going lately. And people around me notice. It’s all good.

Until someone tries to turn my happy into guilt.

Here’s what happened: I get to the conference room five minutes before a long, tedious meeting so I can get a good seat by the door. I’m sitting hunched over my iPhone grinning like an idiot at some Tweet or comment or other from one of my online pals. The silence is abruptly broken by a loud, irritated “what the hell is there to smile about?” Looking up, I continued to smile and tried to pass it off as a joke with a light-hearted “oh, I’m just feeling good today.” But my accuser (that’s how it felt) scowled and muttered darkly “those of us who pay attention to the world know there’s nothing to feel good about.”

The implication was clear: my happy was inappropriate and offensive. I was immediately sorry for my flip comment and felt a stab of guilt for being happy in the face of his gloom.

Guilt is my go-to, conditioned response to anything that feels wrong in my little world. My non-clinical opinion is that a lifetime of “raisin’ ‘n learnin'” from a bevy of fierce Southern women (Steele Magnolias ain’t got nothing on my mamma, granny and aunts) has instilled in me a fundamental conviction that if its wrong and in my general vicinity, it is (a) my fault, and (2) my job to fix it.

However messed up that is, it’s my reality and I’ve learned to deal with it. So, after the obligatory, knee-jerk guilt, my reasoning brain turned back on and I began to think.

As I sat through that boring meeting that had almost nothing to do with me or my department, the reasoning part of my brain picked at that encounter, cataloging each element. When the meeting was finally over and I could consciously pay attention to it again, my guilt was replaced by irritation and resolve.

I was irritated at the guy who’d tackled me, yes. Because, seriously, how rude! But I was also irritated at the underlying principle: if anyone is unhappy, you must be, too.

How idiotic! While I believe myself to be a compassionate, empathetic person, I learned in the hard way in law school family law clinic practice that absorbing the sadness of others is the worst way to relate to someone. Making their pain yours paralyzes you both and you, as the advocate, become worse than useless. You become complicit in that person’s pain going unresolved. The trick is finding a way to convey sympathy and understanding without internalizing their horror. In an attorney-client relationship, I’ve honed that skill. But it’s still easier said than done in my personal life.

Yes, over the last week or so the world has witnessed a lot of terror, loss, violence. I do not trivialize any of it, nor do I judge any individual’s reaction to it as too acute or unwarranted. Every person deals with grief in her own way.

Still, I was blessed to be spared any deeply personal impact of these events by not losing any loved ones or being the target of any these acts of terror. If nothing else, that fact alone is worthy of praise and a smile. And feeling blessed in this way does not in any way negate any other person’s experience or feelings.

Thus, I rose from that conference table resolved to continue feeling good about all the good things in my life and the world in general. I will not allow anyone else to dictate my feelings or do my thinking for me. And I will not feel guilty for being happy when I have reason to be, regardless of sorrows that exist in the world at large.

So, Angry Coworker, I’m sorry I’m not sorry. That’s as close to a guilt trip as I’m willing to bear for my non-crime of happiness.

And…I’m still grinning like an idiot every chance I get. 😉

Positively Pissed-Off

I’m about to do something I never do: break my word. I committed to myself on Sunday to spend this week being, thinking, acting positively. This post breaks my streak…sort of. (I’ll try to show at the end how even this rant is a positive thing, for me.) Also, be warned: I’m feeling all the feelings just now, so this post may not be as polished & well edited as it could be.

I’ve been watching something amazing happen across various social media over the last several days. What started off as a Tweet by an understandably upset traveler, has bloomed into a full-on media roll. I’m talking about Butch On Tap‘s Tweets and blog posts, and now Huffington Post feature article, on why Butch Hates the TSA.

At first, after getting past the empathetic flashbacks of my own similar experiences, my sense of solidarity soared at how Butch was able to rally and give voice to the problem with an altogether positive, constructive tone and attitude. But then I read the comments on the Huff Post piece this morning, and some of the Twitter buzz about them, and am still shaking with the outrage. When I last looked at the HuffPo page,there were 317 separate comments. I was sickened by the end of the second page and stopped reading them.

Full of victim blaming* by self-proclaimed members of the LGBTQI so-called “community”**, the consensus of commenters seems to be that Butch invites such public humiliation by her very nature.

Gee, thanks guys, your support and solidarity is so overwhelming! [Yes, for those who didn’t tumble to it, that last sentence was dripping with scorn and sarcasm.]

So, let me make sure I get this right: because Butch lives authentically, dressing and acting true to herself and her gender identity, she is to blame for the ignorance,insensitivity and dismissiveness of those she encounters in the world?

Nice.

News flash: butch women, effeminate men, androgynous persons of all ilk, and anyone who is even moderately gender non-conforming*** already know about our nonconformity. We know that our appearance and mannerims can be challenging. Look, we get it. We acknowledge the hegemonic, mainstream gender norm exists and that we’re swimming against it. Butch girls expect to get the occasional “Sir”. SO NOT THE POINT OF THE “WHY I HATE THE TSA” POST!!!

Not trying to speak for Butch about the intent of her article, but for me, a similarly situated reader, the point was about the dismissiveness, the insensitivity and hurtful ignorance of the TSA agent and the engineered false “norm” of a gender binary-based system.

The issue isn’t even exclusively about gender or presentation. Accidents happen and can happen to anyone, regardless of appearance, age, economic status, or any other differentiator. But this wasn’t an accident. This was humiliation wrought by lazy insensitivity and systemic ignorance. A reaction piece by a former TSA worker yesterday nailed it: there are so many easy ways to to avoid the soul-crushing embarrassment of the traveling public than basically blurting out a demand to know what someone has between their legs!

No one should have to endure public humiliation and the scorn of the already-agitated, tired, bored crowd of strangers in a security screening line when there are easy, non-intrusive, non-embarrassing means to the same end. But because the TSA permits (some would argue, encourages) blinkered, robotic, unthinking behavior in its agents, those who struggle every day to be seen and valued for who they are get trampled and further marginalized. That’s repugnant to my sense of justice.

But, as promised, I can see a glimmer of positivity in this very visceral reaction. I view this reaction, more specifically, my conscious choice to speak publicly about it and despite my positivity vow, as personal growth. I’ve lived all my life futilely trying to keep small not take up too much space, not appear to be the huge ogre I’m assumed to be based on my size and appearance. But I’ve had enough, today at least, of choking down my own outrage. I’m rocking the boat because I and everyone like me deserves to be treated with basic consideration, be recognized as humans with inherent worth.

I’m pissed off, but its a good kind of pissed.

* Don’t misunderstand that phrase. I don’t know if Butch Jaxon views herself as a victim in any sense, and I am not painting her as one. It’s a verbal short-cut to describe the behavior observed in the comments.

** I say ‘so- called community’, because in my view there is little communing, almost no commonality seeking, happening by people who preface their viewpoint with “I’m gay, too, but” and continue with a diatribe about how the person suffering brought it on themselves.

*** I despise the expression “non-conforming”. As if there’s a right way to exist and you’re doing it wrong. But, again, my otherwise wide and deep vocabulary fails me in trying to accurately describe how I and others like me fit into the spectrum.

Annoyed

I was tweeting about this earlier and wanted to explore it just a bit. I’ve been in management training this week. Now, I admit that being unable to keep up with my regular work load, on top of having to listen to the touchy–feely consultant-speak all week, predisposes me to crankiness. Add to that the bone tiredness I talked about in yesterday’s post, and I’m a little on the prickly side. I acknowledge this. So perhaps my story today is slightly colored by this pre-existing grumpiness.

Still, I was hella annoyed during class today.

A dozen professionals from different organizations within my company, all trying to lift up managerial skill. We’re all veterans of the company and experienced pros. So you’d think we could all sit through the seminars, participate appropriately and do everything we can to get to the end as quickly as we can.

But no, there’s always one who has to stink up the works. Today’s gem is a self-satisfied, middle-aged middle manager. He has been increasingly talkative all week, but today was an order of magnitude worse. Dude would NOT shut up! And no one else could say or do anything that was correct to him. He was right about everything and everyone else needed to benefit from his expertise. Healthy debate is great, but this guy argued just to hear the sound of his own voice.

I’m not proud that by 3pm I had given up all pretense of civility and just let the snark flow. I wasn’t alone. Still, his annoying existence isn’t an excuse for my rudeness. I know this. I’m disappointed that I fell to his level. Yet, I’m still tweaked about the whole thing.

What I’m struggling to parse out is why. It’s normal to be pissed off when someone is rude. But you get over it after grinding your teeth for a minute and move on. That’s my normal pattern. In this case, though, hours have passed and his condescending, sneering voice is still in my head.

What bugs me the most is that he’s succeeded after the fact in what he was unable to do during class: silence my response. In class, I refused to let him stifle me; even if mine wasn’t the last word, I always made my point despite his obstructionism. But now, his arrogant and ignorant assertions are rattling around inside my head, where I can’t refute or silence them with informed disagreement. Ugh, it’s frustrating! Even worse is that I know that only I can let someone get under my skin–no one can ‘make’ me feel a certain way. So, not only has he poisoned my peace of mind, he’s co-opted my own inner voice to do it. Geez!

Ah well, I’ll get over it, eventually. It just irks me that a jerk can get inside my head and affect my mood, even though he’s not even in my presence. Grrr!

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