December 19, 2006

Mean People

Tonight, I left a ton of work (which I like) to attend a social event where I was surrounded by people, who frankly, treated me like crap.

They made fun of me in a language they knew I sort of spoke. It was this odd test of politesse...I'd made the apparent faux pas of speaking their native language poorly so they were going to talk shit about me in it and dare me to admit that I was eavesdropping. Surprised at their rudeness, I declined to take the bait.

Later, in English, they made self-deprecating comments comparing themselves to aspects of my life I'd mentioned earlier only exaggerating what I'd mentioned and saying things like, "of course, I couldn't possibly compare to the cultural greatness of your highness over here..."

The worst part? I really have no idea what I did. But clearly I offended these people. Granted, they were quite drunk.

But still... I wasn't too fond of being the butt of their jokes for over 2 hours. I had the last straw when one of them asked me in a snide voice, "I hope you aren't getting up before dawn tomorrow to run? That's horrid. Of course it does help with the alcohol, doesn't it? [Insert knowing look]"

I silently observed the person make this comment to try to figure out what they were saying. I'd mentioned that I'd been up at dawn to run to compare the frigid temperatures that we'd all be experiencing and someone had commented on, not to try to impress people or say that I get up earlier than anyone else or to go on some holier than thou I work out more than thou train -- to make conversation. Furthermore, it's common knowledge that I'm a slow runner. I honestly feel no need to even try to compete in that realm. So I couldn't quite figure out the gist of the comment.

But I'd also only had 2 glasses of wine, the second of which I hadn't quite finished. So the alcohol basis for the comment made no sense as well.

After a bite of dessert to compose myself, I asked what they meant and they said, "I meant no offense, I just saw your necklace and heard you say you got up and dawn and figured you must be an 'athlete' you know, a *professional runner.* [sly grin] Before I could even start to get annoyed, they followed up with, "and I don't want to talk to you anymore." At which point, they turned their back to me.

I'm not kidding.

I seriously was told, "I don't want to talk to you anymore" by the person sitting to my right at a dinner party, who then turned their back to me.

Needless to say, I made a small scene by quickly and somewhat quietly leaving. I told people it was a pleasure to meet them and got a few knowing glances. One went so far as to shake his head affirmatively after he asked, "you're not going are you?" and I said, "I fear I've offended some people." That's when I got the affirmative head shake.

I'm not in the habit of offending people (without intending to do so, anyways...)
And, I am quite agitated by the whole experience.

Why would people choose to pick on me like this? It's such a terrible feeling to realize you probably did something that really made someone hate you. I want to go back in time, to examine the whole evening in detail and to apologize for anything I could have done. But, no.

E tried to cheer me up by pointing out that one of the perpetrators was peeing publicly outside the event as he left. I'd like to excuse the whole thing with alcohol, but it's not just that. Your gut knows when people intend to pick on you. And these people did. I just wish I knew why.

Oh well... C'est la vie. Tomorrow is a new day.

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