Monday, February 6, 2012

well. I'm a jerk...

"What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then, then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said."

"...I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows."

-Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox, You've Got Mail

Have you ever been so sick and tired of hearing the same sort of comment regarding the same things in your life that you accidentally let slip a rather unkind, judgemental blurt of your own? Well. I did tonight. Now I feel absolutely terrible for it.

I went to a Sunday dinner for previous and present LDC members at Preston's apartment tonight. It was to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in February...not sure how that works but I was totally up for it. How could I miss a chance to see my buddies? After spending an hour (I kid you not, an hour) trying to find the place and getting horribly lost I got there half an hour late. I walked in the door and was engulfed in hugs. Then the questions started, "How do you like school?" "Why did you leave the choir?!" "What's going on your life now?" and the like. Feeling frazzled after being lost for an hour and then arriving so late (I hate being late) I answered them as quickly as I could, gradually getting back into the swing of the loud, happy LDC crowd.

One of the girls asked me why I went to BYU. I told her about the program I'm going into, American Studies. She asked me what I was going to do with the degree, and I told her I was going to use it as a background for a Master's Degree in Library Science or Museum Curatorship. Out of nowhere, the guy sitting next to her threw his hands up in the air and said, "I can't believe how many girls are getting Master's Degrees! What a waste, it makes me sick!"

What I should have done was ignore him, but no. No, I couldn't do that. Immediately my frustrations rose to the surface. It was the same sort of ignorant, belittling, small-minded, sexist comment I had been faced with for months and months. 8 out of 10 times (not exaggerating -- It happens ALL the time) my goals and dreams come up in a conversation, some man thinks it necessary to pop off, always basing value on gender. I can do just as much as a man can! I'm just as capable and intelligent! Up until this point I have always, always ignored them or changed the subject, then vented to a friend or a family member, or written it down and slammed the book shut. But tonight I was done with it.

Before I even thought I replied, "Wow. I don't like you already and I don't even know you."

Um...jerk much? Yeah. How do you recover from that kind of rudeness? We didn't even know each others' names. The look on his face...he was definitely shocked. I didn't dare look at my friends' faces to see their reactions.

And so, the past few hours have been spent replaying the situation again and again in my head, mentally berating myself for my stupidity. If I'd just kept my mouth shut, for crying out loud. Nope. Jerk. *facepalm*

1 comment:

Q said...

You know, you probably could have said something a little more tactful, but do NOT feel bad for calling him out on that sexist remark. He should examine his own dismissive attitude toward women. He needed to be called out.

I say brava.