Chronic lateness vs. occasional lateness

Friend on Facebook posted a link to this article, in which we are all done with humoring people who cannot be bothered to show up on time:

Why do people, invited for a dinner party at 7.30, think its cool to arrive at 8.30? It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s selfish, as I witnessed in a coffee shop near my home one weekend. Three “ladies who lunch” (a species not confined to, but heavily represented on, the lower North Shore of Sydney) were chatting loudly at the table next to me. One inquired what time the ‘drinks do’ was that night. The reply for all the world to hear was ‘Oh 7.30, but we won’t get there till 9 because by then it will have warmed up and all the interesting people will have arrived’. Nice. Imagine if everyone took that view. Cocktail parties would start at 3 am eventually.

Or a dinner at a restaurant where I was meeting two other couples. My wife was away, so I was flying solo. I arrived at two minutes to eight for an eight o’clock booking. At 8.20, I was into my second glass of Pinot and at half-past I got a text saying ‘on the way’. We finally were all seated at 8.45. There were not even attempted excuses from either of the two couples, who seemed oblivious to the fact I might actually have got there at the agreed time. Meanwhile I had put a huge dent in the bottle of Pinot, and was ready to go home.

I’m one of those people who are compulsively punctual, often erring on the side of early, and I try to plan around other people’s lateness, but it would be better if more people simply gave a shit about showing up on time.

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This is not the first time I’ve seen this. Lena Headey just posted this on Twitter:

I’m not sure where she went. But now she’s back.

Go to the replies under her Tweet and see how many people are calling her “mom.” Did she volunteer to be their online mother? Somehow I doubt it.

There are certainly worse ways for fans to treat their beloved entertainers! A parent is an authority figure, usually a trusted one. Designating someone as a parent is a sign of tremendous affection. It means you look up to them, you love them, and you’re happy to see them.

It also implies you expect this person to take care of you, and that’s weird. I sort of wonder how celebs on social media feel about fans calling them Mom or Dad.


No, see, that’s where I think you’re lying.

Here’s another thing that popped up in my OKC inbox:

Judging by her use of “we” pronouns, I suspect this user represents a couple who are looking for a threesome partner. And that’s fine! I’m not interested in threesome-ing, but good luck to them. Compared to most unicorn-hunters, this one seems fairly inoffensive. I see at least one face in the profile pic, and the language they use in the message is (while grammatically cringeworthy) more comforting than what I usually get from couples seeking bi women. I suspect this young woman and her boyfriend are more likeable people than most of the pairs that want a piece of my ass. 

When they say they “read [my] profile and like it,” though? Nah, I don’t believe they read my profile. I put a clause in my profile in which I encourage interested users to pay me a compliment that has nothing to do with my looks. That shouldn’t be too difficult, yes? I mean, if you’re messaging me on OKCupid, I assume you can look at me and not cringe. If you want to take up my time, surely you should be able to appreciate something about me aside from the fact that I’m not ugly. I don’t think that’s asking too much, and yet so many people cannot give me this much when they show up in my inbox. They all want to tell me I’m pretty! In the grand scheme, it’s not a bad problem to have, but if they can’t even be bothered to puke up something basic like, “You seem smart and have interesting hobbies,” then we won’t get along very well. (If they simply have terrible reading comprehension, I feel for them, but we still won’t get along.) Telling me I’m pretty is boring. Do better.

So with that in mind, I don’t think this user liked my profile. I’m not convinced they even visited my profile. I think this is yet another user who ran a search for bi women within a certain geographical radius and age range, gathered up all the usernames with decent-looking profile pics, and sent the same message to all of them at once. That shit is insulting, folks. We’re not an undifferentiated mass of interchangeable bodies. Do not treat us like we’re all the same. 

I’m not surprised our match percentage is only 60%. 

Put the cameras AWAY.

I saw something on one of those main sites for Game of Thrones news that bugged me today. It was more material on the “Hair Watch” of Jon Snow, in which fans painstakingly document every appearance by Kit Harington in Belfast, and keep track of his hair length. I may have participated a bit in this business myself, so I’m not in a position to throw very large stones.

This much does bug me, though, and this is why I’m not posting a link to the article in question: there were a couple of photos of Kit Harington clearly not wanting his picture taken. They’re blurry, but not too blurry to let us see his facial expression, which is obviously not consenting to the camera. I Tweeted about the article early today, then it finally occurred to me that I was adding to the problem by sharing the link with the photos. I deleted the Tweet and explained why.

If we really treated celebrities appropriately, we wouldn’t even insist on taking their pictures without their knowledge, but as I have already done my part to talk about Kit and his man-bun showing up in Belfast, I’m not in a position to criticize. That ship has sailed, with me on it. When they can see you whipping out the camera, though, and are clearly communicating that they don’t want to be photographed? Then put the damn camera away and back off. Everyone is allowed to have boundaries, including famous actors on popular TV shows. Even the most positive attention can get exhausting after a while, and Kit Harington has clearly passed that point. He should not have to be on his guard every time he leaves the set.

Also, if you run a popular fansite, and you post pictures that were very obviously taken over the actor’s objections, you’re part of the problem. Stop rewarding people for violating boundaries.

The most AMAZING search terms, and what do amoebas have to do with this?

Since my post this morning, someone else found my blog today by searching:

  • okcupid hide from straights

Ooooh, my dear, sometimes I wonder. This thing happened last night.

Someone with a 90% match says to me: "Please don't be an ameba [sic] or jerk like most of the people here, at least dare to message me.

Someone with a 90% match says to me: “Please please don’t be an ameba or jerk like many here, at least dare to message me. Seriously, give it a try! Oh, yes, I’ve done my homework, I’ve read your profile and enjoy it.”

This is an example of how a high match percentage only goes so far.

Does he think I have packing foam for brains?

He implies that I’d be a jerk not to reply to his message, and yet there’s nothing there to suggest that he read my profile. Nothing in his message appears to have been written to me in particular. Doesn’t even address me by my username. Nothing to suggest he didn’t send the exact same set of words to dozens of users all at once, chosen for geographic proximity and decent-looking profile pics. But I’d be a jerk not to respond. Right.

And what the fuck does an amoeba have to do with his dating difficulties? Maybe he thinks I’ll respond just to ask what that’s supposed to mean. He’s mistaken.

You hope my down to earth what?

If the post title looks like word salad, never fear: I’m engaging in a bit of grammar pedantry. Give me a moment and it’ll make sense.

This showed up in my inbox at OKC:

Someone with a 38% match percentage says to me:

Someone with a 38% match percentage says to me: I hope you don’t mind me writing you though I don’t know if you just date white boys, lol, I can’t believe it’s raining! Are you going to cook out and see the fireworks? I hope your [sic] down to earth and do write me back to see if we click since I like what I read in your page.

Maybe it’s unfair of me to harp on his confusing your/you’re, as this message shows better language skills than most of what I get.

Do YOU see the places where this user is trying to manipulate his recipients into responding to him?

When he says, “I don’t know if you just date white boys, lol” he’s not really worried that I’ll be annoyed about getting a message from him. It’s a dating site. We expect to get messages from people we’ve never met. The system wouldn’t function otherwise. The meaning here is really that I am expected to write back to him, to prove that I don’t only date white guys.

The sad thing about this is that I’m sure it works. There probably are plenty of white ladies on OKC who will spend valuable time on a conversation with a guy who does not interest them, just to demonstrate that they’re not racist. (And that is not the sort of mindset that leads to healthy relationships.)

Can you see how this is uncool?

Nobody owes you a conversation. It’s fine if you send a message, but no one is obligated to respond. Not even if she’s more privileged than you. She still doesn’t owe you her time.

Same thing with “I hope your [sic] down to earth and do write me back.” It’s a challenge for the recipient to give you her time, lest she be seen as a snob.

(I am the kind of person who uses “lest” in a sentence. This probably means I’m not down-to-Earth, so, bullet dodged!)

Also, this is yet another message in which the writer gives no sign of having actually read my profile. He may have copy-pasted the same message to dozens of white ladies with US locations all at the same time. That’s not the sort of thing that makes me want to write back.

Well-Dressed Air Traveler, do you even hear yourself?

Slate allowed this to happen, and I’m just sitting here with my face contorted into this impenetrable mask of WTF. Someone named J. Bryan Lowder is trying to browbeat the rest of us into dressing a certain way when we travel by air because his eyeballs can’t take the assault of our grungy t-shirts and sweatpants all over the airport. I was going to do a translate job on his piece similar to how I did with Emily Yoffe’s rape apologist fuckery, but now that I’ve read it in full, I think my brain has been forced to put too many neurons in quarantine. Something about Lowder’s writing has inhibited my creative abilities.

Look at this shit here:

However, the primary reason I make the extra effort to plan my travel outfit is because, well, no one else does. Among the cavalcade of pajama pants, tracksuits, nightgowns, painting rags, and ill-fitting sweatshirts that one encounters in the world’s terminals and stations these days, the competently dressed individual stands apart as a beacon of civilized life, an island of class amid a swamp of schlumps. By dressing myself as a decent human being who is aware that he is in public, I like to think I am performing a small act of resistance against the increasingly slobbish status quo.

and this:

When we dress well for travel, we are not only making ourselves look good; we’re also signaling that we are invested in making this shared experience pleasant for everyone around us. Think of it as a kind of sartorial social contract: Honor it and your minor efforts make transit a more pleasing activity; break it, and reveal your misanthropic narcissism to, quite literally, the world. What else to call putting one’s own base comforts above the comfort of all?

And meanwhile he insists that he’s not elitist, no, not at all.

The difference between his position and mine ultimately comes down to a matter of priorities. Lowder feels good when he’s dressed nicely. I feel good when my clothes are as accommodating as possible to my body and the positions it might assume in the incredibly tedious, time-consuming, uncertain endeavor that is air travel. Lowder thinks I would feel better about traveling if I dressed better for the occasion. He is mistaken.

Aside from the inherent scarcity of the preferential treatment that airlines occasionally roll out to passengers who dress to advertise their inherent superiority from the swamp of schlumps, some of us simply aren’t interested in making friends that way. I have no intention of making a new pal on a flight, and I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who doesn’t understand how I stay comfortable while packed into a coach seat. If everyone took the same care with their appearance as J. Bryan Lowder, then nobody would get a better seat on an airplane based on their presentation. For those who currently get that Sartorial Elite treatment, they can fucking keep their new Fashion Police BFFs and go sip their airline cocktails in some hoity-toity Beautiful People Club where the rest of us will not assault their poor beleaguered eyeballs.

When I travel by air (and it’s not something I do on a regular basis), my fellow airline passengers are almost uniformly people that I do not ever expect to see again, ever, in my life, and I have not the slightest reason to care what they think of how I’m dressed. This is something that makes me different from Lowder: I honestly don’t care how those other people in the airline feel about my clothes. Really don’t give a fuck. Can’t even bring myself to dredge up any sympathy for those who have an opinion of how I look when I get on an airplane. I do my best to smell decent when I’m jammed into a sardine can with a hundred other sardines, but those other sardines are not entitled to an opinion of how I look. Here’s another difference between me and Lowder: I do not make friends with people based on our ability to rise above the unwashed masses with our keen fashion sense. I bond with people based on shared experiences and affinity for creative insults.

I just can’t quite buy Lowder’s argument that dressing a certain way makes transit a “more pleasing activity,” because his use of phrases such as “civilized life,” “competently dressed,” and “shlumps” shows what his real attitude is. He wants everyone in the air terminal to have the same priorities as he does. He wants us to know that our dressing like slobs make air travel more uncomfortable for him, and that our failure to prioritize his sensibilities over our ability to sit in coach seats for 10 hours is a demonstration of “misanthropic narcissism.” If I decide that wearing a shapeless cotton dress with grungy sneakers is the best way to get through the hell that is a transcontinental flight, that’s what I’m gonna wear, and if that makes anybody else’s travelling experience less pleasant than airlines make it, they will find my apology buried twelve inches inside my big dimply ass. If I have to run the risk of spending the night in Athens airport, I have fewer than zero fucks to give about anyone’s Sartorial Social Contract.

“You live in America, SPEAK ENGLISH!”

I just found this little tale of “Guess the ethnicity!” on Microaggressions:

While in a hotel restroom at a teacher conference, a middle aged lady came up to me and said “HI” in Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean, then asked, “Did I get any of those right? Are you one of those?”

When I responded that there are many other Asian countries out there with different languages, she proceeded to gush that “It’s so nice to see one of you people not working in a nail salon and speak good English.” I told her I spoke English well, and it’s a damn shame the future generation has to learn from people like her.

Teacher-lady knows how to say “Hi” in three different Asian languages, but doesn’t know well enough not to be an asshole to a random stranger in the ladies’ room.

Look, folks, just…don’t do that. You don’t need to guess a total stranger’s ethnicity. You don’t need to be clever whenever you see a person who might be from somewhere else. Heck, how do you know I’m not from somewhere else? If you haven’t heard me speak yet, how do you know I’m not German or Swedish? Some people of Asian ethnicity are native-born U.S. citizens, and of those, many don’t even speak any languages outside of English. But it’s only people of color who are assumed, sight unseen, to be newcomers to this country, and who are treated like rare exotic animals for having a solid command of the English language. No one (in this country) comes up to someone who looks like me and says “Hi” in three different Northern European languages, followed by the question of “Are you one of those?” White people can rest assured that our place in American society won’t be challenged.

I see there’s at least one reblogger on Tumblr who calls the original poster a “bitch” and insists that the teacher is “just trying to be friendly.”

How does anyone get the idea in her head that the way to be “friendly” to a total stranger whose path she crosses in the restroom is to spray a bunch of foreign languages at her and then demand to know if she’s “one of those”? How does anyone think this is welcome behavior? Based on her comments about “you people” and “working in a nail salon,” I assume teacher-lady isn’t well-acquainted with any Asian people, but if this is her idea of friendliness, she’s not going to make many new friends outside of her racial group.

Intent is not magic, and even if teacher-lady thought she was “just” being “friendly” to the random Asian woman in the restroom, that doesn’t mean her approach was acceptable. It doesn’t mean the original poster on Microaggressions is obligated to act like this doesn’t bother her. The message behind this type of communication is to tell the possibly-foreign person: “You are a stranger in this land. You don’t belong here. Don’t forget.” I’ve been on that side of the foreign/native line myself. During my Peace Corps assignment, the games of “Guess the Ethnicity!” and “HOLY SHIT I SEE A FOREIGNER” dominated my life basically every time I left the house. I know what it’s like to be treated as the “exotic” one, and let me tell you: it sucks so incredibly hard. It is obnoxious and exhausting as fuck. I, at least, had the advantage of actually being a foreigner, and knowing I was only there for 27 months before I would go home and be treated like a normal human again. This kind of attention in Western countries is regularly directed at people who’ve lived here all their lives, or close enough to it, and have no plans of moving anywhere else. The OP is not a “bitch” for trying to enforce her boundaries. She does not need to “take the stick out of her ass.” She’s not in the wrong.

If you must be friendly to a total stranger in the ladies’ room (and I don’t see what’s so difficult about peeing, washing your hands and getting out of the way), why not just say: “Hi. Are you here with the conference? Where/what do you teach? Oh, what a cute purse!”?


No One Can Make You Feel Guilty Without Your Consent

Oh, Kate Menendez. Oh, honey, I used to feel sort of the way you do. When I was younger and inexperienced, I had a similar chip on my shoulder. My family was never as well-off as yours, and I didn’t go to grad school, so let’s say I had a smaller version of that chip riding around next to my sheltered, tunnel-visioned head. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the world, and here’s something I’ve discovered about privilege:

No one hates you for the advantages you have in life. They hate you for your attitude.

Your article begins on an explicitly defensive note: “What do you suggest I do about it?”

For one, you could stop lying to people about your lifestyle.  When someone asks about student loans, it’s okay to answer that you’re debt-free because your parents are paying for your education. That’s fine. I was debt-free soon after completing my BA; my parents took out loans to pay for most of my education, I took out loans to pay for the remainder, and my grandmother wrote me a check for most of my debt soon after I graduated. I paid off the rest within the year. That my family paid for the overwhelming majority of my college expenses makes me extremely lucky, and I know it. I’ve never lied about this, and I’ve never gotten a bad reaction from anyone.

You don’t have to lie about the suits you buy for your internship. Don’t tell people they’re hand-me-downs from cousins. There’s no reason you can’t say thank you after a compliment. If anyone asks where you bought them, there’s no reason you can’t answer honestly. If they want to know how you can afford to dress well, you can say your parents pay most of your expenses. Really, it’s fine to put that out there. If you admit you were born on third base, then you’ll be appropriately called out when you act like you’ve hit a triple. Is this what you’re afraid of? That your accomplishments of partial scholarships and part-time jobs won’t look so impressive?

You don’t need to impress anyone. Just live your life. Accomplish as much as you can with the tools that you have.

Another thing you can do is to stop assuming that someone else’s bad mood is a personal insult on you.

Why are you so quick to assume your doorman is giving your dirty looks because you ordered work clothes from J. Crew? Could it be that he’s giving you dirty looks because you behave like an asshole to him? Or could it even be that he’s just not super-friendly when he sees you because he’s exhausted from acting cheerful all day? Your doorman does not owe you a smile, and his crankiness, whether perceived or actual, might not be about you. Your assumption that people working for a meager hourly wage owe you a smile is probably bugging people a lot more than the professional highlights in your hair.

But all that said? Sure, there may be some people who’ll act like simply having privilege makes you part of the problem. If the difficulties you face consist in being told that living in a highrise apartment makes you a bad person, your life is in a pretty good place. Maintaining some perspective about the degree of difficulty in your life is a vital part of checking your privilege. You are not morally obligated to prove wrong every person who exhibits a bad attitude for no good reason. You are free to walk away.

And below, I have screen-capped the original article, in case Thought Catalog decides to make it go away.

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