Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Backhanded

You ever get what you think is a compliment, then later on, you consider what was said and realize that maybe it wasn’t so nice after all? Let’s take the following comment made to me by a lovely woman here at work:

“You would be a hit on all the dating websites!”

At first I thought, “Wow, that was nice of her.”

Then I remembered who visits these websites and am now wondering if she thinks I’m a potential serial killer, sexual predator or some sad, desperate, lonely man craving 5 minutes of attention. Wait. I actually am that. But I’m not a serial killer. At least not of people. I have killed more spiders than I care to admit, but my wife’s scared of them, so it’s up to me.

So, this little, innocent (?) comment got me thinking about all those supposed ‘compliments’ I’ve received over the years. Fortunately, I can count them on one hand. Were they really compliments? Were they sarcastic, little digs and I didn’t catch the tone or the mockery? Did that person just tell me what I wanted to hear so I would untie them and leave them unharmed? I consider myself an expert in sarcasm. Hell, I’ve nearly turned it into an art form. But, maybe sincerity is the new sarcasm. A person can make what sounds like a legitimate comment about your looks, behavior or stalking abilities but be thinking the exact opposite and never let on. They're basically lying to your face. Can you believe it?

This throws my entire world into chaos. If I can’t trust what someone says than how can I trust anyone? How can I continue being my own eternally optimistic self? How can I maintain my belief that people are benign and beautiful?

See? Right now I’m being sarcastic. But if I didn’t tell you that how would you ever know?

I will leave that up to you. I have faith in the intelligence of my readers. All one of them.

And I’m completely sincere about that. Completely!

Today’s distraction: Bone up on how the brain interprets and comprehends sarcasm. If you think I just wanted to use ‘bone up’ then you’re catching on. Congratulations. Sincerely.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4566319.stm

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