One of the things about myself that I've been struggling with for a long time now is whether or not I'm a nice person, and if not, WHY not. I've been told quite often in recent years that I'm either a bitch, or else I'm abrasive, harsh, and other numerous and sundry not very pleasant things. As a matter of fact, late last year I met someone who I felt was a bit insufferably TOO sweet and TOO nice, and eager to please. I was so amazed at how nice of a person she was that I became determined to try and be the same way too. After a week of holding back my usual bitchy comments and trying to be sweet to everyone, I realized I wasn't happy and was also feeling incredibly repressed.
This made me wonder. What in God's name is wrong with me? Why do people always say I'm being/acting bitchy, or that I'm harsh or abrasive? (Note that I haven't been told I'm completely tactless, which I think says something...at least I have some discretion, apparently.) I went through a week of debating on this, wondering if maybe I was a bad person, or someone who was just dogmatic and stubborn, and just not willing to change for any reason. I pondered this from every imaginable point of view and finally came to the conclusion that I might not be a NICE person, but I am certainly a GOOD person. I was satisfied with this until a few months after, where I went out with a bunch of friends, and when I left, one of them told me that I was really rude and inconsiderate. I was absolutely MORTIFIED. Then I called each and every one of my friends and asked them if they thought I was rude, inconsiderate, or whatever, and to add to my long list of faults was the fact that apparently I was considered CONDESCENDING. Add to that, the fact that none of my friends wanted me to know this. They all sort of conspired to NOT tell me so. I was having a hard time at the time and this sort of ended up being the straw that broke the camel's back. I withdrew from everyone and brooded about this for a week or so. (Yeah, emokidslolz)
After that week where I really sort of spiraled downwards and felt terrible about myself and life in general, I sort of got my shit together. I realized I was being stupid. I also further realized that feeling so upset about the matter really went against all my principles: namely, not giving a fuck about what people thought of me, and just being ME.
So. Fast forward several months, and I watch Grindhouse. More specifically I'm talking about the "Death Proof" portion. The character Kim? I loved her. I mean FUCKING LOVED HER. After considering it for a bit, I realized the reason why I liked her is that she was like a somewhat exaggerated version of ME. She was a little fierce, a little angry, but spirited and passionate, and spoke her mind, and never let you believe anything less than the truth is what you'd hear from her.
Now, being a big thinker and over-analyzer, I wondered, what is it about her that made her spunky, and not necessarily BITCHY? Why didn't I hear people saying her character was a bitch?
Then it came to me. The ONE difference between us is that she's black. And I'm not. This realization got me further thinking...what is it about me that's so harsh and abrasive and bitchy? The answer? Nothing. Not a damn thing other than the fact that it's not RIGHT nor is it PROPER for an Asian girl to think and feel and speak the way I do. People, even those people that know me, seem to always be a bit taken aback by my ability and desire to speak my mind freely. I realize now that part of the issue is that I break paradigms apparently by that alone. I constantly cause people to question their previous beliefs about Asian women, but unfortunately this doesn't mean they necessarily accept the things I've said or done, but more like they mentally file this away under: BITCH.
I move on now to my thoughts on how it was that I was perceived as being condescending. I think I've hit on the correct reason, or at least the most accurate and believable reason as to why that is. After getting a representative sample of my friend population, I noticed a trend. Before I get to that, I'd like to explain that I don't think I'm this truly amazing and brilliant person whatsoever. I do know, however, that I just so happen to be a little smarter than your average Joe Blow that's conservative and believes George Bush is the best thing to happen to this country since toilet paper. Knowing this makes me confident that I at least have above average smarts, and I'm fairly discerning when it comes to figuring out if someone's hamster upstairs is running or is taking an extended lunch break. And when someone's hamster IS out to lunch, or I perceive that maybe they don't know as much as I do, then yeah, unconsciously I'm a little smugly superior when talking to them. I believe that this comes off as condescension. Yes, admittedly you don't quite know what someone's hamster is doing up there, but I think we all have a sort of built in gauge to be able to say "Yeah, this person? Not quite as smart as I am."
However, honestly? I am more than willing to listen to what people say, and when I stand in the presence of greatness, I'm properly humble and know my place. Certain people really do amaze me with their brilliance, this I am not afraid to admit. I also respect a lot of people as knowing a lot more than I do on certain topics. But I consider myself pretty dumb most of the time, so if you're even dumber than I am, man, don't even try and talk to me about shit because I WILL look down my nose at you.
My conclusion? Fuck you, I'm me. And if you don't know you better ask somebody.