presence

Stinky Butthole

A few weeks back, on a long weekend, on the holiday Monday, I went to the grocery store to pick up some odds and ends.  It was early in the morning and being a holiday, the store was fairly empty.

There, I ran into an old friend, whom I probably hadn’t seen in ten years, though we followed each other on Facebook.  He was always a well-liked guy, full of jokes and a generally nice demeanour.  A smart guy, good-natured, and focused, he’d always had a kind of slacker vibe to him, despite his education and pseudo-conservative beliefs, but we won’t hold that against him.  He knows Trump’s a clown; his belief in self-reliance and personal responsibility just doesn’t allow him to totally disavow conservative politics.  That I understand.  I don’t really get the whole left-right divide.  It doesn’t make sense.  There’s more than two ways to look at any subject.

But this isn’t about him.

We had a nice chat, caught up a bit and went on our way.  We’ll probably see each other again in ten years by accident.

What got me though, was the way his fiancee looked at me.

Now, perspective is key here.  I was having a fine morning.  I was in a good mood, present, working hard on my writing and generally pretty focused.  I was even social, which isn’t always the case for me, especially early.  I feel like I aced the interaction, which is rare for me.  Small talk is awkward, most of the time, like it’s a waste of a life.  This time though, it was natural and genuine and just seemed to work out, from my perspective.

And still, she looked at me like I was a stinky butthole.

Now, maybe I was misinterpreting the look.  I’m a stranger.  She could just be shy.  I’m an introvert by nature and not always comfortable around new people.  That’s something I’ve had to learn (and re-learn, sober).  I’m still more quiet than vocal around people I know well when it comes to personal thoughts.  I don’t want to burden them.  It’s my shit to deal with.

So maybe it’s that.  I had a fresh haircut.  I wasn’t dressed up, but I was showered and in a decent t-shirt and shorts.

And still, stinky butthole.

For now, I have to give the benefit of the doubt.  I’m going to assume that it wasn’t anything in my immediate appearance or demeanour that caused it.  Maybe it was just a bad day.  Maybe she’s shy.

Maybe she’s a snob, and can’t talk to anyone who makes less than six figures.  But then, they were shopping at the cheap grocery store, so maybe not.

In either case, does it really matter?  It just struck me as odd, as one of those things that if I’d been a Jerry Springer candidate would have had me snapping fingers and saying, “Oh no, you didn’t.”

But I did not.  We should all have some sense of how others see us.  It helps us learn.

We just can’t let it define us, or be a primary driver.  Know, but choose the application.

Understand, and decide whether it matters to you, and whether you care.

For me, I do not.  And if that makes me a stinky butthole, then that’s okay, I guess.  I’ll have to live with that.  Until I’m famous, then I can just label everyone that doesn’t like me a “hater” and pretend like I don’t need to be culpable for my own actions.

But then, that would make me far left, wouldn’t it?  Or was it far right?

From where I sit, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of difference sometimes.

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