27 February 2008

Doth I offend?

I gotta get this off my chest while I can still remember it. For a few years I taught the young women in our ward here. There was a ward missionary assigned to the Young Women who would show up once every few months to see how we all were doing. The two of us got along pretty well together as our senses of humor seemed to click. She would even stay past opening exercises to sit in on my lesson once in a while in hopes of being amused. I was always happy to see her and I'd strike up a conversation with her when I did. I had been told that she can be easily offended, that she left the church for a while because someone offended her. But I didn't believe it. How can someone with a sense of humor like that get offended so easily?

One day I came in and sat in front of her in YW. She hadn't been in for a while so I said with a smile, "Good to finally see you again. I had started to take it personally." Minus a smile, she countered with, "Really? I would think you'd be used to rejection by now." Huh. Ouch. That's something that my good friends would say to me. I rarely see this woman and I would not consider her a good friend so it surprised me that she wanted to take it to that level. But hey, I can kick it up a notch too, so I laughed it off and asked how she was. She went into a long tirade about how her dog was dying, her job sucked, etc. I joked, "Wow. You're the type of friend I call when I'm having a bad day so I can feel better about myself." Now, I've said this to applicable friends in the past, mostly Misty because, holy crap, she has the worst luck of nearly anyone I know. Anyway, I felt it was a mild comment, particularly given her comment to me before that. Did she laugh like my friends with crappy lives do? No. She ran out of the room in a fit of tears and hid in the women's bathroom. After that she ran off and the YW President had to go look for her to comfort her, after which the bishop had found her crying and was also comforting her. What the huh? Needless to say, the "easily offended" label came true for me. I even called her that night to apologize and she curtly replied, "I know you didn't mean to," and hung up. That was the last time she ever spoke to me. She avoided me thereafter like the plague and I haven't seen her back at church for at least a year now.

Holy crap in a hat, what is WITH people? If you can't take it, then don't dish it out, lady. To this day her reaction bothers me. Not because I think I was at fault, because she indicated that's where she wanted the conversation to go. You lead me down a certain path, I'll follow. It bothers me because she seemingly had humor about her previously--a sarcastic humor at that. So where did it go? If she was honestly in a bad mood that day, why respond to me at all? If you're going to be snarky to me, I'm going to be snarky back, particularly if I've been led to believe you were only joking. See, this is why I hate people.

10 comments:

Benteti5 said...

A lot of people love to dish, but like to keep their plate empty. Believe me, I've offended many a disher. I guess I never learn to just shut it. What I hate the most is people that get offended about things that are true. But like I'm trying to learn, some things are better left unsaid.

Stephanie B said...

Remind me not to get on your bad side.

judiroso said...

I don't really find that offense, in a way you were empathizing with her, she DID have a crappy life and you were just concurring. I live by the motto, "You choose to take offense." And ofcourse there are times that I DO CHOOSE to take offense but really people shouldn't be so sensitive especially when it was obvious that you were joking....or WERE you?

Holly said...

I have been offended by people in our ward (can I still call it ours if we don't go anymore??)...and I know people say "you choose to take offense" (sorry judiroso) but sometimes people are just rude, and offense is meant but they think "I'm ok, because if they take offense it is their sin...

I don't think that with this story - she chose the lane with her "I thought you'd be used to that" comment...and then she didn't like it - well tough for her.
I have always found your honesty refreshing :)

Misty D. said...

Um, wow. You have the power, Abby!

Like I always say... my life has concentrated crazy so others can be free of it. I've come to accept my lot in life.

It's lot a lot, but it's my life.

Abby said...

Yes, I was only joking with her and certainly meant no offense. I'm not usually one for intentionally kicking you when you're down. Usually.

You serve a valuable purpose, Misty. I thank you for it.

And do I have the power as in a He-Man/She-Ra way? Because that would be awesome. "By the power of Grayskull...!"

Or did you mean I have the power to offend? Because I totally have that, too.

Benteti5 said...

i loved He-man, that was an awesome cartoon. I agree with jr, that one chooses to take offense. Rude people are not selective. Offensive things get said to everybody.

Misty D. said...

Dude, it was so totally in the He-Man way. I'm ashamed you had to even ask!

And you'll defeat that Skeletor yet...

LISAandSOMETIMESJ said...

Ok- Here I am again.. a little late. But I just want to say that if someone had said that to me I would have laughed or told them to shut up- but not stop going to church. There must have been something else going on in her life.

And by the way Abby, I know you claim to hate people, but I know it's not true; you are so full of love it's bursting out of you!

Abby said...

Well of course something else was going on in her life; that's what I was making fun of her for. Sheesh, pay attention, Lisa.

And thank you for thinking I'm full of love. You lie, but I still thank you for it.