I’ve decided to start a regular-ish thing called “Mz. Mannerz.” It will feature exciting content about how we can all be less of a jerkass in our daily lives. Dissenting opinions will be printed out, put through a shredder, and used to line the cage of an angry rabbit that I have not yet acquired named “Dr. Stabbers”. This is a dictatorship and will be governed accordingly.
Here’s the first installment! Try to control yourself.
So there’s this person I don’t like. He is my current Nemesis (I keep a rotating cast of enemies a la Nixon). What he did to gain that ranking isn’t important, just know that he totally sucks and is completely outer limits rude and disrespectful, and if you had the misfortune of ever meeting him in person, I have zero doubt that you would agree that he is a universal double turdburger with cheese.
The thing that drives me the most insane about Nemesis, is that even though we do not get along AT ALL, he feels the need to barge up to me any time he sees me at a restaurant, a concert, even just walking down the street, to wave frantically and say hello to me.
And touch me.
Did I mention the touching?
I have watched in slow-motion horror as he’s sprinted across a city block to flag me down and touch me.
Ohh well, you see, even though I have instructed Nemesis on no less than five occasions, in no uncertain terms and with a look of death on my very married face, that he is NOT to touch me, there he is. Touching me. You would think that my glaring at his hand and through gritted teeth saying, “Do NOT touch me.” would do it, but nope! Apparently, Nemesis feels completely entitled to touch me even though I could not be more clear that it is not okay to touch me. WHO DOES THAT?
Also? I am not “ha-ha don’t touch me” laughing when I say this to Nemesis. There are no mixed signals here. I am openly hostile to him. When he approaches me, I take this particular stance. NOT THAT HE CARES.
This is to say, Nemesis is very aware that I don’t like him. The feeling is mutual – I can assure you he doesn’t like me, either. Yet there I am, trying to run twenty rows back at the movie theater, hoping that he won’t see me when I realize he’s sitting in the fifth row.
Oh, he’ll see me. He ALWAYS sees me.
Sometimes he yells out my name from across the street and I pretend I don’t hear him. That’s when he starts sprinting towards me.
Can’t we just pretend that we don’t see each other??
So here’s the thing. Nemesis is certainly not the first person who has done this to me, and I’m sure you’ve probably had plenty of people do it to you, too. The person you can’t stand – who knows you can’t stand them – who can’t ever see you out in public and just LET IT GO.
It’s like every ex who feels the need to come up to you and say hello every.single.time they see you in public, even though your relationship was a flaming napalm toilet of shame that ended with you smashing the original tapes of his early recordings with a hammer on your back porch after you found out he never stopped cheating on you from the first day you started dating until the last, routinely stole money from your purse, and went to Ireland for a month and came back with a permanent Irish accent and started calling french fries “chips” even though he was from Colorado.
Oh man, did that guy have it coming. Trust me. This was the same guy who gave me a secondhand rock for Christmas.
“Well, I saw you from the other side of the club…”
Then stay on that side of the club!
Now you’ve just made it awkward for both of us! Yes, I saw you when I came in, and I am totally okay with neither of us acknowledging each other’s existence. I am so, so 100% willing to pretend I didn’t see you. I am so, so 100% okay with you pretending you didn’t see me. Let’s pretend to not see each other together!
“I figured we could act like adults and at least say hello when we see each other.”
No thanks! I’d really, really, mega prefer that we behave like pissy teenagers who pretend the other person no longer exists! I’m fine with that. Please, by all means, let’s not act like adults! Acting like adults is highly overrated!
So! To summarize:
- Don’t ever, ever touch anyone who has told you that it’s not okay to touch them.
- If you’re not actually friends with someone, feel free to just leave them alone when you see them enjoying a nice dinner out.
- Just because you dated someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you have to chase them down to say hello, especially if the reason your relationship ended was because you were a nuclear asshole. Let it go and let that other person live their goddamned life.