Monday, March 28, 2011
GETTING OVER IT
I managed to piss off a friend a few minutes ago on the land-line telephone. We have a major yin-yang between us. He believes opinions are the highest of the high and I believe opinions are nothing. I state opinions, but I don't take them seriously, even though I might sound like it. When he states an opinion it is fact edged in gold. As per our conversations, he asked me a question that took some answering, like how the bass got into old-time music. I didn't know, so we were looking about, sort of fishing for whatever we could find that might lead us to it. I mentioned Bill Monroe in the mid 1930s went to Chicago and worked in a factory. There, he discovered Chicago blues and jazz. It came to him to jazz old-time and he called his style of jazzing old-time bluegrass. "I don't like bluegrass." Totally out of the blue, had nothing to do with what we were talking about. It got on my nerves, because this is, indeed, as per our conversations. He always interrupts with an opinion out of the blue triggered by key words, in this case bluegrass. I don't like it. My thought: Duh! Who gives a shit? But what I said was, "That has nothing to do with what I'm saying." Silence other end. I attempt to follow my thinking before the interruption and there was the dead silence the other end of someone not listening. OK. I get it. End of subject. Good bye.
Much of the time when we're together talking, this is how it goes. He'll ask me a question, and in the answer I unknowingly speak a key word that provokes an involuntary response, knee-jerk, and it usually amounts to I don't like it. His opinions are holy and to counter one of his opinions is to go up against uber-fact. I often think of the Duck's Breath Mystery Theater when in conversation with friend, "Hi! I'm Doctor Science. I have a Master's Degree in Science. I know more than you do!" I concede. I'm happy you know more than I do. It would be a shame if you knew less than I do. It's just that I've come to a place within where I'm tired of irrelevant interruption having nothing to do with anything but to bust up the conversation and get out of it because he's not the one talking. This is how it goes every time with said friend. If I speak beyond a few sentences, then it turns into a challenge to shut me down, because he isn't listening to all that talk, when he knows better. It pisses me off. I've been pissed off well over a hundred times, over 500 times, maybe even a thousand, as I've known friend for 35 years. It's always this way. This time I spoke back to the rude interruption and pissed him off.
It's something I've not said anything about for years, just bore with it. Then there comes a day that the camel's back broke and I spoke my meaning. OUT OF ORDER. Tough shit. Perhaps I should have addressed it years ago. Perhaps not. I've learned long ago that when we're together, he's the one with dominant knowledge, dominant intelligence, dominant ego, and I see it's incredibly important to him to view himself the one on top, and I have no problem. He wants to think he's top dog, so I say, go for it, have a ball. I really don't care about hierarchical ladders. I'm at the bottom of every ladder there is. I have only one degree. I don't commit political correctness speak. I don't assume myself someone to be reckoned with, position. I don't want "position." I don't want any of that shit, yet I live in a world of people who value that shit. It's called out of step. That's me. I do not do the goose step. Don't even know how. Will not learn it.
He would say I'm over-reacting, and I may be. Over-reacting in this case is simply speaking up about it when rudely interrupted by irrelevant opinion. I don't care whether it's over-reacting or not. He doesn't care that his interruption had nothing to do with anything except to stop my talking. It worked. It works every time. I quit talking when he interrupts and he takes off talking like I'd been holding his head under water. This time, perhaps the thousandth time, I spoke up about it. Buzzers and alarms went off. Politically In-correct. The one of lesser education challenging authority. Voided. Like: That's nothing, listen to what I have to say. Testosterone at its best. Two roosters at the same trough, keeping pecking distance, one pecks if the other gets too close. You pissed me off! Humph! You pissed me off first! Sounds like PeeWee Herman. "I know you are, but what am I?"
This aspect of my friend is tiresome. But I don't care. We've been friends a long time, the kind of friends that can be counted on. This is one of his ways. I have my ways. He can't stand it that when I say something I got from somebody else, I'll cite my source. It runs all over him when I cite a source, until one day he told me to just quit it. Say there are a million attributes to this person my friend and one of them is objectionable. Big deal. I really can't be bothered by that minor an irritation. So I have my moment of letting off steam, which this present spewing satisfies, and then it's over. I fume with it in my head until I've solved it, come to: so what! It's just humans being humans. I don't want to make him into a clone of me. I just decided to speak up for myself today and stepped on a toe. No blame, really. Two egos in the boxing ring of the mind. Both with daddy issues. Look out. I'm actually amazed we can tolerate each other as we both have such overwhelming egos. We practice Being Peace when we get together. He's one of my friends I value. Hail far. Brothers piss each other off and get over it. Friends do too.