Offending

I don’t mean to be an offensive person, but sometimes it’s as though I have no choice but to say something that will piss someone else off. I spent most of my childhood being told that I had to be nice to everyone, smile and laugh, be charming, be agreeable, not stir things up. I’m sure the reason for this was a combination of my being a girl and being Asian, but either way, it’s not very conducive to making sure that people don’t think that you are a doormat, stupid, or have zero personality.

So I was on my way to dinner with some college friends, and I am telling one of these friends a conflict I am having. She immediately starts giving me advice, i.e. how to assimilate and be something I am not. She is dead serious. She is not even half joking. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I refuse to accept being a phony (and anyone who got anything out of Catcher in the Rye should know this, too), so I proceeded to tell her off. I told her that I am 28 years old working at a tech company, not in K-12 trying to “fit in” and struggling amidst cooties, boy trouble, and self esteem issues. If I can’t be myself now, when the hell am I ever going to be myself? If anyone has any desire to lead a meaningful life, s/he would not just walk around being a fake and doing things for the sake of doing them. At the end of my rant, she was obviously rendered completely speechless and just had this half stunned, half “you’re so evil” look on her face. So, I changed the subject.

Needless to say, I won’t be initiating any more outings with this person. In fact, I was reminded in this moment why I’d made no effort to contact her in the last five months since I saw her last.

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