Here’s a repost from December 30, 2014. I remembered it this morning as I was reading through my Facebook memories… back in the days when things like this would get me riled up. Actually, as I was reading the original comments, I was feeling annoyed anew. It does irritate me when people tell me what should or should not irritate me. Youngest child syndrome at work again, I guess… I’m still trying to decide what else to write about today, as 2021 winds down.
Edited to add– it’s eerie that I reposted this two days before Betty White died! And people are sharing that misattributed quote as a way of honoring her.
go take a flying leap!
As Dr. Phil would say, I have a “psychological sunburn” about some things. Folks, I am well aware of my “thin-skinned” nature. I am neurotic and I know it. Little things that “shouldn’t” annoy me often do. I know I should work on it. I know that if I were less easily irritated, my life might be better. Here’s one thing that doesn’t help me get over it, though… Don’t tell me what should or should not offend or annoy me.
Yes, this came up on Facebook yesterday… it’s kind of a rerun of my many issues, I suppose. Someone on SingSnap— apparently much younger than I am and from Alabama– left me a generic comment, called me “sweetie”, and invited me to go listen to one of her recordings, which already had lots of hits, comments, and likes. I ignored the comment, but decided to vent about it on my Facebook page. I knew full well that someone would come along to tell me that homespun terms of endearment is a “southern” thing and I shouldn’t be offended by it. Naturally, I wasn’t disappointed.
Okay, first of all, I am from the southern United States, so I am well aware that cutesy pet names are a “thing” there. Having been born and raised in Virginia and spent lots of time in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, I know very well that southern people, in particular, can be casual about using a pet name in lieu of a person’s real name. And if the terms of endearment come from someone I know, or an older lady who is waiting on me in a diner, or something, they usually don’t upset me.
It’s when I get them from total strangers who are young enough to have crawled out of my uterus that I get especially irritated. Why? Because names like “honey”, “sweetie”, and “darling” from a total stranger imply a familiarity that doesn’t exist. They also suggest laziness, since in the case of the SingSnap commenter, all she had to do was go to my profile page and see that my real name is provided there. She could have called me “knotty”, or she could have called me “Jenny”, but apparently, it was easier just to call me “sweetie” and pimp her song. Sadly, her efforts to woo me to her page failed.
Secondly, while I understand that getting annoyed by a stranger calling me “sweetie” is pointless, so is telling me that I shouldn’t get annoyed. Because I am already annoyed. Your telling me that I’m being too sensitive and need to get over it is not going to make things better, because that will also annoy me. It’s not nice to discount or diminish other people’s feelings, especially if they are adults. Besides, I think I should be the one who determines what I find irritating and what I don’t, especially if I’m posting about it on my personal blog or Facebook page. Trust me, I wish little things didn’t piss me off. They do, though. I can’t help it. And if I want to vent about it, that’s my business. If it bothers you, you can choose to hang out elsewhere.
My “friend” who chastised me for getting annoyed pointed out that she’s been called worse than “sweetie”. She said, “At least they didn’t call you a bitch.” Being a card carrying southerner, I will tell you that sometimes, when a southerner calls you “sweetie”, they really are calling you a bitch. It’s a passive aggressive thing that terminally “nice” southerners do when they really want to let ‘er rip on someone, but don’t want to stoop to cussing them out.
Recently, I was watching old episodes of America’s Next Top Model cycle 14. Contestant Anslee Payne-Franklin of Dacula, Georgia, got into an argument with fellow Georgian Alasia over the fact that Alasia left some raw chicken on the counter. Did Anslee flat out call Alasia a bitch? Well no, not at first. She said, in a rather acid tone of voice, that Alasia needed to put the chicken away, but then sarcastically added the term of endearment “sweetheart” to her statement. Do you think that made things better? Well, no, actually it didn’t. Because Alasia, who instantly caught on to Anslee’s condescending tone of voice, immediately escalated things by attacking Anslee’s mothering skills. The rest is television cat fight history.
I happen to be one of those people who is sensitive to a lot of things. It would make my life so much easier if I were a really laid back person who didn’t notice the things that regularly get on my nerves. But if I were like that, I wouldn’t be myself. A lot of people love me for who I am. Bill is one of those people. He loves it when I get wound up over dumb things because it usually results in an entertaining rant. Believe it or not, Bill actually likes listening to me go off. He says my rants are often funny and usually make perfect sense. I also tend to say the things he’s thinking, but lacks the temerity to say out loud. The world would be a very boring place if everyone were low key and laid back, don’t you think? We need a few folks around who provide excitement by raising a little hell.
The person on SingSnap who inspired this rant wasn’t calling me a bitch when she addressed me as “sweetie”. She was just treating me like a little bitch by pimping her song to me on SingSnap. Apparently, she thought that calling me “hon” or “sweetie” would flatter me and make me more interested in hearing her recording. Instead, I found it off-putting, the same way I find the picture below off-putting…
Someone posted this yesterday… interestingly enough, it was a woman.
Have a look at that photo. Notice that it basically says that if you have “hurt feelings” you are thin skinned, a woman, or gay. I find it also interesting that the form says that people who have hurt feelings are “pussies”. As a comedian other than Betty White famously quipped,
The reality is, folks, vaginas tend to be tougher all the way around than balls are. So calling someone a “pussy” is kind of counterintuitive. Moreover, I have some homosexual friends who are among the strongest people I know. Same goes for some women I know, though a lot of them are just as equally annoying as they are strong.
So, there you have it… yet another rant on cutesy pet names and the people who think I have no right to be pissed off by them. I have a perfect right to think and feel whatever I wish and express myself accordingly, fuck you very much. Likewise, you have the right to respond, but don’t be surprised if your advice falls on deaf ears and makes the situation worse. Of course, sometimes, I think that’s the whole idea. Remember, people like it when someone raises a little hell. It gives them something to talk about.
And, in case you were wondering, yes, it is still snowing. (Alas, in 2021, all we have is RAIN. That was an epic snowstorm, though… very pretty! I saw the pictures from the storm on today’s Facebook memories, too.)