I see this one guy around town all the time. We don’t run in the same circles, but we must run in the same Venn diagrams or something because I see him everywhere — on my way to work some mornings, inside a Village Inn at 4am, in the same dive bar on more than a few occasions. (I feel like that Village Inn/dive bar thing made me sound like the kind of person who probably has tetanus. I do not have tetanus, I just like crepes. And dive bars.) I don’t know his name and I’ve only spoken to him once, very briefly and about nothing, but every time we make eye contact he smiles and nods in a friendly way. He’s probably a really nice guy.
I hate his stupid guts.
Ten Things I Hate About You
1. I hate how his awful mustache makes him look like a baseball player from the late 19th century. He’s not a baseball player from the late 19th century. His upper lip is a liar and a fraud.
2. I hate his horrible forearm tattoos, which I’ve never actually seen up close. I feel safe assuming they’re horrible. They seem like they would be.
3. I hate his fixed-gear bicycle, and I want to punch him off it.
4. I hate his smug face with its Paul McCartney smirk. Sir Paul is my least-favorite Beatle, including Pete Best.
5. I hate the cutoff jeans he wears regardless of the season. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure he wears cutoffs year-round, or even at all, but my mental image of him does and I call them “jorts” and I hate it.
6. I hate that the first time I ever saw him, he was wearing a hat with a rooster on it that said “cocky”. That would have been bad enough, but you could tell from his dumb face that he was doing it ironically.
7. I hate that the time I saw him at Village Inn, he did that stupid smile-and-nod thing and I was filled with so much uncontrollable rage that I almost didn’t eat all of my crepe. I managed, though. Despite the hardship.
8. I hate that he has never been anything but friendly to me despite my behavior. He must have noticed the bulging eyes and the facial tic and the clenched jaw by now. Maybe he thinks my face is just like that.
9. I hate that he probably thinks my face is just like that.
10. Most of all, I hate the way that he makes me hate him the way that I hate him. I hate my hatred of him. I HATE IT.
I can’t help it. Something (everything) about this man makes my entire body shake with rage every time I see him. Every time I learn new information about him, I shove it into a mental file labeled, “Damn Good Reasons”. I hate him so much that if this was a Jane Austen novel and not real life, we’d be getting married any day now.
The intensity of the anger I feel towards this clown is particularly dismaying because lately I’ve been trying really, really hard to be a better person. I’m trying to be a kinder, gentler me, both for the people I care about and for my own internal well-being. Patient and cool-tempered. Loving and uncritical. I want to be more of a Bubbles and less of a Buttercup or Blossom.
Let me tell you something–being nice is the worst. Every single time I open my mouth or even think, I catch myself speaking harshly, or whining or generally being a poop head.
Ten Things Nice People Do
1. Nice people don’t make fun of the choices people make with their upper lips, even if those choices are infuriating.
2. Nice people inquire about others’ tattoos politely. They don’t judge them, particularly if they have not actually seen the tattoos in question.
3. Nice people don’t punch others off of their modes of transportation.
4. Nice people know that no one can help what their face looks like and that Pete Best was the worst Beatle and that they’re probably wrong about Paul.
5. Nice people don’t talk about jorts if they have nothing good to say about them.
6. Nice people probably laugh good-naturedly at distasteful hats with idiotic visual puns — LOOK, EVEN NICE PEOPLE HAVE A BREAKING POINT.
7. Nice people do not feel uncontrollable rage and if they do, they don’t let it affect their crepes.
8. Nice people are friendly in kind.
9. Nice people have accepted and made peace with the fact that their faces might just be like that.
10. Nice people understand that what the world needs now is love, sweet love, and that even the word “hate” shouldn’t be thrown around because we don’t need that negative energy up in here. Nice people might dislike some people, sure, but they reserve their hatred for things like celery and genocide and negative reviews of The Phantom Tollbooth.
I was hoping that by the end of this post I would have made peace with all that rage. That I would have had some kind of epiphany and that the next time I see this guy, I wouldn’t be filled with the urge to set his bike on fire. I don’t think that’s going to happen, based on the muscle twitching under my right eye.
I guess the only thing I know right now is what I’ve always known. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, there’s only one rule, babies — you’ve got to be kind. Even to people whose very existence makes your face twitch.