Unwitting dictators


Charlie Chaplin in “The Great Dictator” (if y’all need that explained)

I still feel low sometimes, as I’m sure you’d imagine, and tonight has been one of those times, but it’s made me realise (hooray, epiphany time again) that I need to stop letting unimportant (to me) people control aspects of my life.

Although I’d been feeling a little withdrawn this evening, due to a “British-American Dating” event set for Independence Day falling through due to lack of interest (i.e. I was the only one who RSVP-ed), and possibly also due to visiting the dental hygienist, it was a silly offhand comment on a web forum that sent me down.  Yeah, serious business, but it’s a forumite I’ve known for years, and who has started being a lot more impatient with me, and a lot more critical of things I say, since beginning her own transition (literally — I’m using feminine pronouns out of respect for her chosen gender), and it was simply a claim that I’ve got no friends and thus don’t know how normal people would act.  Maybe she didn’t realise it would set me off, and maybe she regrets posting it now (or at least posting it without a 😛 smiley), but hey, too late.

As a result, I nearly left the forum entirely; due to this very same person I’d tried to do so last autumn, during the depths of a depressive phase you guys know about, but didn’t manage it then (I ended up leaving Facebook for longer!).  However, why should I let one person control where I go?  I guess it’d be easier if this person was a genuine bully (admittedly the jury’s still out on that), because I despise bullies and believe in standing my ground against them and defying them, as though they’re trying reverse psychology; but when the person doesn’t realise they upset you, or realises but doesn’t care, and you’re too shy or polite to tell them (or have tried to no avail), what can you do?

It’s like (and I can hear you groaning already) the annoying woman at work: when she’s in the office kitchenette, I find myself curiously reluctant to go to the adjacent water cooler, even if I’ve already crossed to that side of the office with my cup du jour (yes, I reuse plastic cups, save Gaia and all that).  I’m even reluctant to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the office for fear she’ll come over to thank me (and probably ask which one’s my favourite), or to wear a suit in case she feels the need to tell me how smart she thinks I look, unless I know she’s going to be out for the day (which is a task in itself as she seldom updates the whiteboard properly, effectively using it to show what she was doing last week).  She definitely knows that she annoys me, because she asked if I would be able to bear her sitting next to me at a recent restaurant-based leaving do (mercifully, she ended up sitting with a new mother instead).

It’s stupid, isn’t it?  She’s not even intentionally annoying, just noisy and over-enthusiastic, yet I’m letting her dictate my actions.  Well, it needs to stop: if I have to mumble “g’morning” to her by the water cooler, I will (since my job probably depends on it or something), and I’m certainly going to wear a smart shirt tomorrow so my friend can take a picture of me that’s worthy of a dating site.  I don’t want to be friends with her or anything like that, but I shan’t let her intimidate me any more.  And, similarly, I won’t leave that web forum just yet, though I am wondering why I still go there… maybe it’s the fact that some of them (not the annoying one) are Gwar fans.

And on that topic, perhaps I should emphasise how the Scumdogs of the Universe not only help me drown out the annoying woman at work (which is perhaps something else I should change), but also cheer me up when I’m down.  On that basis, here they are…


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