Monday, July 13, 2009

Sticks and Stones

Recently I was given a pretty nice compliment:

"There's nothing pretentious about you at all."

I was almost giddy at the words. Not that I necessarily think of myself as pretentious, but I don't think I'm NOT pretentious.

I shared this compliment with Terri and she said that she never thought of me as pretentious; she thinks arrogant or condescending might be better words to describe me. Then, on second thought, she said what I thought was, "Nah, those words are too nice to describe you."


If pretentious and arrogant are too nice for me, what must my best friend of 17+ years think of me? I mean, I'm all about honesty, but sometimes it can go too far. And I don't care how many rhymes you use to comfort me, words can hurt.

When Jeff walked in the door I let him know what his wife had just said to me. As she listened to me repeat her words, she clarified. Apparently, I had misheard. What she actually said was that I was too nice to be described by those words. That's better!

But it got me thinking. What were the right not-so-nice words to describe me--and was I really too nice, or had we just not come upon the right adjective yet?

A few days later I was regaling another friend with this tale when she asked me what not-so-nice words I would use to describe her. This is a tricky situation. You need to tread carefully. I thought about it for a while and came up with the following:

"I think that you are an elitist lesbian."

I explained that I think there is a strong penchant for elitism in any circle, but the lesbians (many of whom I love) have their own, special brand of it. LaRiesse laughed, and added that it usually comes with soy milk and a Subaru.

At this point, we had to cut our conversation short because she had to run in to Whole Foods to pick up some organic pepper-jack cheese for a party she was headed to. (Need I say more?)

I do believe that elitism or pretension does exist in many forms--and I bet most of us are pretentious about something. As for me, I'm going to go with grammatically pretentious. And, yes, I'm proud of it.

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