Getting fan mail is one of the things I love about this job. Cosmo readers find me on facebook and they say such nice things that they always make smile and make annoying noises of happiness. Sometimes they ask for relationship advice –which I’m not really qualified to give considering that I only had ONE successful relationship in my life (thank you Will for your love and patience), but I try my best. Every once in a while I get hate mail too. Which invariably makes me laugh and make annoying noises of amusement–especially the one from the person claiming to be the most dedicated Britney Spears fan and threatening to have me fired if I wrote another bad thing about her.
A few days ago came another kind of mail, something between I’m-your-dedicated-reader and I’m-really-disappointed-in-you love/hate thing. At first I was annoyed and replied with witty and faintly insulting lines just to win the argument. But the girl answered back and although I’d rather die than admit it, she was right. At least at one of her points: that I’m judgmental. She also accused me of racism but that only made me give out my if-only-you-knew laugh.
Back to the vice of judging others and being mean about it, well she is right. I tend to do that a lot, especially whenever I detect the stick- burning smell of hippies (see, here we go again!). I always defend myself with the time honored argument that I can joke about myself as easily as I joke about others, but of course this is as far from the truth as I am from burning sandalwood sticks in my house (I just can’t stop).
I only joke about things that I don’t mind so much or just to get them out there so nobody else can make fun of me first –works really well when you gain weight. And no, I don’t take other people’s sarcasm very well, especially when it’s on something important to me.
So, here comes a story which should have made me realize that ages ago. When I moved to LA in 2006 I was going through my mid-twenties-breakdown and I didn’t know how to cope with the new environment. So I did what I do best: I made fun of everybody and everything. I just didn’t stop when I started being mean and judgmental. Around this time I started dating this guy that I really liked. I’m sure he couldn’t tell because I was acting like a 6-year-old boy (kicking and mocking the girl he likes best in the playground). I swear I don’t remember saying one nice thing to him. Anyway, for unknown reasons and although I did EVERYTHING wrong (everything I tell my friends and my readers not to do) he actually called me back a couple of times and tried to make a decent fresh start –by then his best friend was dating my best friend so I guess he thought he could give it a try just for the sake of carpooling. Total failure. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and every time I opened it I wanted to kick myself afterward. Also, the fact that I liked him so much deteriorated my fluency in English and finally he just had too much of my attitude and bad accent. He never called again. Of course, I asked my friend to ask his friend to ask him why and through my espionage wire I learned what I should have known already: he thought I was a know-it-all judgmental rude person he couldn’t stand. I replied that he was too coked up to appreciate my intelligence (unfair, totally uncalled for and probably untrue, but in LA you could get away with a line like that) and never talked about him again –I just spent my days thinking of him, but of course I’d rather die than admit that.
So, if only I had listened instead of trying to come up with another line, I might have had a chance. Because I saw him again a month later at a house party and he actually tried to hang out with me –although we was one of the hosts. Did I feel like the belle of the dance? Did I try to be charming and nice and convince him he made a huge mistake? Did I act remotely polite since I was his guest? Well, you can only describe my attitude with the same 6-year-old in the playground. On sugar high. And add something like a kick in the balls just for the fun of it. Now that I think of it, he really DID try to be hospitable and make me feel comfortable in his house so I’d enjoy the party despite the awkwardness of it and he DID try to flirt and I just couldn’t keep my (know-it-all /judgmental/ rude) mouth shut. I guess I was mad at me for blowing this off but I acted like I was mad at him. Yup, that was really my last chance, I never saw him again.
For weeks afterward I couldn’t stop thinking of him and the fact that his best friend was always around didn’t help much. And of course I never admitted that either, the only time I talked about him was just to badmouth him — and then cry over the hoodie that he chivalrously lent me one morning, swearing I lost the love of my life (if only I had a penny for every time I said that!).
Well, after the moping period was over I forgot all about him (talk about real love) and didn’t think of him for a long long time, until recently, especially after the girl’s letter. I just feel so bad about how I behaved. Not because I regret not being with him (hello! I DID find real love after all) but because I regret not treating somebody nicely, especially somebody I truly liked.
Well, this story is now filed under: “Past mistakes I can’t do anything about” and the reader’s letter under “Random things that made me a better person”.