Monday, February 06, 2006
Man, I wasn't even going to post about this. I argued with myself back and forth about whether I should get in the middle of it (or MORE in the middle, I guess). Mostly, I just don't care anymore about what a lot of people think about me. But, by nature, I am argumentative, and I think a whole side of this argument is being lost.HERE
is the original chat thread where the following remarks were made.
"Some BSU Alumni really dosen't like me. In fact last night, I asked if I could sit with Froyd, and this kid. AND HE SAID "If I say no will you go away" and I said "Yes" and then he goes "No." Whoa! I went away like a dog with his tail between his legs. A big tail mind you. But still."
That was me, doing the asking to leave. It seems like a real dickhead move, on the surface, so I can give room for people to comment like this:
"What a total shit-bag."
But the surface has very little to do with this, so I guess I will give the backstory.
The guy is Eric Kvale. For some time, I knew him through Sean. We had a class or two together, and that was about it. But I thought he was funny in an off-beat sort of way. My friend, Josh Murray, however, just didn't like the guy. In fact, I think he wanted to punch him on several occasions. And I found myself in the unique position of defending this guy. "No, no, that's just his humor," I would say. Or "He's just that kind of guy, he doesn't mean anything by it." And I could relate. A lot of people from BSU thought/think I am a bigot, woman hating, self centered asshole. I hope they just don't get my humor. Maybe some of them do, and just don't like it. And this guy, for the most part, had a humor like mine. Less dry, and more loud, if you can imagine that.
But it DID start to wear on me. I took it on the chin most time, telling myself what I told Josh. But I really felt like he didn't "earn" the right to act like that towards me. We weren't good friends, or even friends, as I would describe it. So when he would use me for the butt of his jokes, sure, it would get to me. I did remind myself that I do the same thing, and I would hate to be a hypocrite (that last bit is sarcastic, I don't care if I am a hypocrite, but I DID remind myself that I also made people the butt of my jokes, from time to time). And he would do things to redeem himself. Like a game of tug-o-war, he would pull only so much, then let up the slack. One time he gave me a book by Ezra Pound to read over in a particularly boring class, because he genuinely thought I would enjoy it.
But then something happened that just made me decide it wasn't worth the effort anymore. I was a TA for a poetry class. I DO take poetry seriously, and I though I could add something to that class. I was also trying to decide whether teaching was for me, and since the prof was gone a lot, I got to try my hand at it most days. So I was in earnest in this class, and treated it like I would my own classroom. But to Kvale, wow! I was a perfect target. He sat with a group of people who decided they needed no help, and I honestly don't know why they took the class anyway. Usually, I focused on the other groups, who were willing to accept some help and critique, and I left them to their devices, whatever they would be.
But one day Kvale asked me to sit in his group. HE asked me what a "moustache ride" was. I tried to laugh it off, and told him it was inappropriate to talk about, but the rest of the group kept at it, and assured me they didn't mind, so I relented. He gave me his poem (which I think was titled Moustache Ride) and I knew I was being had. But I pressed on, trapped in a pretty bad situation, and read the thing. I told him their was no way he wrote that poem without knowing what it meant, but he insisted. So, using the terms form his poem, I described what it was. He took that opportunity to reveal a T-shirt he had on under his jacket reading "Moustache Rides 25$" Everyone had a good laugh at my ignorance, and I just got up and left them to it. Afterwards, I talked to him about it, and he didn't seem to care. So I actually let it go.
But the problem was, I had been defending this guy. Harmless fun, and all this. This wasn't, though. As a TA, I was in a dubious position anyway, somewhere between authority and lackey, and whatever command I had on other students was completely lost. That may not sound like much, but again, was taking this position seriously, and he, without regard, ruined that. Couple that with how I felt being his defended all that time, and I really felt betrayed. And for what? A few laughs.
So the next time I saw him, I made it VERY clear we weren't friends. Subsequently, at the parties we both visited, I explained to him that the best situation we could hope for would be not talking to each other. I actually said to him "Just don't talk to me, and I won't talk to you, and everything will be fine" Later, when he insisted on talking to me, I said "I am trying to be nice, just please leave me alone." He responded, "Don't be nice." To which I said, "If you don't want me to be nice, we can go outside." He left it there, and I figured it was over.
Now, his friend claims:
"Kvale wasn't aware that he didn't even like him, otherwise he wouldn't have approached in a friendly manner and asked for your company. In fact, he was under the impression that he and JOSH PAGE (for fuck's sake) were on good terms. He gave Josh a book and supposedly it was all good. It's a stupid situation, and most people don't like Kvale for stupid reasons. Why I'm sticking up for him? Because he's not fucking satan or hitler. he's just a guy. And he's my friend!"
The guy is intelligent, and he KNEW I did not like him. But I don't take any fault in him thinking it could be cool, after about 3 years, to try and sit down with us.
Here's the part of the argument lost on everyone in the thread, NOT EVERYONE NEEDS TO FUCKING GET ALONG! Get that? It's not offensive not to like someone. Just move on. I gave him the room to move on, without being mean about it, and it should have been over. If I don't want someone to sit with me, then that is that. I am not saying he has no worth as a person, or that he is hateful and mean, I am saying I don't find any worth in him as a companion. That's it. I am not so egotistical as to think my companionship means so much to a person that they will be so hurt if I refuse it. It is unfortunate (if true) that he thought we were friends, but I am not to blame for that, having said, on several occasions, in no uncertain terms, that we were not.
AND, at the advice of Sean, and his endorsement that Kvale had changed, and "matured", I even apologized for any insensitivity towards him when I saw him at the next party. Now, I don't think we will ever be friends, that's just the way it is going to be. But I did make space to have this whole situation let go, and hopefully keep things peaceful at Sean's house (the only place we see each other).
The problem is, on both sides, we have people championing causes they don't know a whole helluva lot about. I thank Yarbles for saying:
"i don't think there's anything wrong with getting angry when someone is annoying you... it's pretty natural if you ask me. more mature than making fun of them because of it. and asking the person to leave to avoid the entire situation is pretty much the best thing to do. "
But he didn't know the situation either. Even though I agree with him, a lot of other factors could make this statement false.
So, I gave my two cents (mostly to myself, as I don;t think anyone from that forum still reads this blog), and I am done with the thing. If Kvale (who has not responded at all to his original post) still has issue with it, he can find me, and it can be solved, in any manner good or bad.