Monday, September 13, 2010

Serious topic, ridiculous topic, don't forget

I'm pretty good at pulling nuance and subtext out of the written word, but am not so good at it when it comes to understanding the subtext of what people are saying.

Except, my husband would argue, with him, at which point I just start making shit up, like I'm a fan of Marxist literary theory.  Sample conversation:

Him: How was your day?

Me: Dude, fuck you! Just because there's still a basket of unfolded laundry in the living room and I was reading when you came home doesn't mean that I spent the day doing nothing! I was BUSY.

Him: . . .

Me: Honest to god, it's like I can never do enough here!

Him: I'm going to go plug in my phone.

Me:  Fine!  I'll just spend my life making sure everything is picture perfect! Is that what you want?

Him: [Walks away.]


Anyway, he likes to say I read things into what he says and does, but I don't really see it.  In point of fact, I'm generally not very good at that type of thing.


I had a job interview last week, and upon further reflection [and relaying the discussion to the husband] it seems that the interviewer was racist, and I missed it until later:

First, she said something about a group of people being "the Obama demographic".  I immediately thought: DEMOCRATS? LIBERALS? Cool!

Second, she said something about another group of people being "Community College Students", which I thought meant, hey, at least they're trying to get into school.

Finally, as I was leaving, we discussed a city in my area that is predominantly African American, but where a lot of corporations have their offices.  The husband works there and she asked how it was.  I assumed she meant the commute, and said, "Oh, it's fine.  It's only like 20 minutes for him to get to work." And then she said, "No, I mean, it's very sketchy, you know?" And I said, "No, it's fine." BECAUSE IT IS.  And then I ran to the bathroom, because I had been holding my pee for the past hour and half.

And then I called the husband to let him know how it went and it FINALLY dawned on me that hey, maybe this woman was RACIST.  And really casually racist, like I would agree with everything she said.

And I wondered what, about me, made her think it was o.k. to say that kind of stuff.  Because I am mistaken for any number of ethnicities, and very seldom am I considered generic white person.

And I wondered what I could have said in that situation - a job interview - that would have put an end to her idiocy.  Is there anything? I'm pretty good in general conversation at calling people on saying bullshit things.  Sometimes politely, sometimes just telling them to fuck off.  But, when I haven't realized what was being said until later? Odds are really good I won't ever hear from this person again [she kept telling me how vastly overqualified for the position I was, which I am, but I also need to pay my fucking bills].

What do I do? Try harder next time to read into what people are saying?  I guess that's where I'm at right now.

In addition to having an encounter with a casual racist, my interview was about an hour away, and the girl would be taking the bus home from school for the first time this year and also coming home to an empty house for one of the first times. [Yes. I am overprotective.  What about it?]

So I told her to call me and her dad when she got off the bus and when she got home.  So, when she hadn't called by the time I knew she should have been off the bus, I called her as I was still 30 minutes from home and guess what? SHE MISSED HER FUCKING STOP.  Yes.  She did.

It all worked out in the end, after the WONDERFUL bus driver dropped her back off at her stop, and I walked in the door a while later and said, "Hey, Magellan, NICE JOB!"

So that's her new nickname.  And I have another job interview today an hour away [in a different direction!], during her drop off time.  I'm thinking positive.

Fucking Magellan.


Don't forget, it's time to submit your un-photoshopped photos for this month's RAW PHOTOS CONTEST!  The theme is BACK TO SCHOOL!


  1. maybe you didn't notice she was racist because you're a good person and assume most people are good like you?

  2. Andygirl, I think this may be the case. I am always stunned when people don't think the same way I do, and I'm appalled when I find out that people I like have really shitty qualities.

    PS - shockingly didn't get the job I was overqualified for.

  3. Also, thanks for thinking I'm a nice person!

  4. I think my husband imagines that we have conservations like that too. :)

  5. Oh, the racist stories I could tell you.

    But I thought I'd share that one of my friends is racist.

    I mean, really racist.

    And I didn't notice until we'd been friends for TWO years.

    So don't feel bad, you're still far faster on the uptake than me!

  6. Cecelia - Husbands are silly, silly men, aren't they?

    Meagan - Wow. Did you just assume that your friend was on the same page as you? Isn't it weird when people just seem to have a double life?

  7. Welcome to the World of, "I should have said ________, yeah, that would have been good, or how about ______DAMN, why didn't I think of that.

  8. Chicken's Consigliere - That world makes me crazy, because I wish I was in it and I'm not.

    I always wish I had interesting comebacks on auto-dial so I could be snappy and cutting. Instead, I miss the point or end up stunned and combative. Want to hang out?

  9. I cannot BELIEVE what some people will say in casual conversation. My favorite is when people start in on 'those damed foreigners' ruining our country. I'm always happy to point out that our nation was founded by foreigners. The Native Americans were none too happy that we came along and ruined everything for them.

  10. MomZombie - Isn't that insane? Why would people assume that this is OK? I love when people say stuff to me about immigrants, because then I just say, "My parents are immigrants." That shuts them up pretty quick.

  11. I hate it when I revisit conversations in my brain, and only then notice the red flags. Not helpful, brain. Not helpful at all.

  12. Alone - I know. At that point, I would appreciate amnesia.

  13. Whenever I notice that someone is being prejudiced in any way? I always immediately claim membership in the group that is being disparaged. This has made for some very awkward conversations.


    As for the husband conversation?

    I am forever telling my husband that I would appreciate it if he stopped using that sarcastic judgmental tone.

    He claims to have no idea what I am talking about. That there is no tone. That there never has been a tone.


    I know sass when I hear it.


Every time you comment, I get a lady boner.