Bad habits...

I have more than my share.  I smoke.  I bite my nails.  I pull at my hair.  Most of mine come directly from my dad. He's a know-it-all of the highest caliber.  Anything you have to say, he has an opinion about and understands every single aspect of.  He is always right (in his mind).  Watching excessive television...  These things I have worked hard on improving about myself.

The habit of his I have had the hardest time breaking is his insulting sense of humor.  He will make the most harsh, insulting jokes about his friends to their face and keep them coming.  It's all well and good because his friends have thick skin and have grown accustomed to these potentially hurtful comments.  However, when they attempt to dish a little of it back to him, he gets his feelings hurt and things turn ugly usually by him saying something genuinely nasty.  

I've got that same mean sense of humor.  I make a lot of harsh jokes at my friends' expense.  Most of them are used to it but I get uncomfortable stares almost as often.

I always say that I'm not too good with empathy.  I'm in my head so much of the time that I can be really insensitive and a little self absorbed.

An example of this is when I was in 10th grade.  The class was assigned a diorama depicting Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.  As per usual, I waited until the night before to put something together.  It actually came out quite well.  My dear friend Priscilla made a very impressive diorama.  I mean, she built everything for it and replicated the parlor room where most of the action takes place dead on.  As always, she never procrastinated and put a lot of effort in the project.  When we got our scores, she received a perfect score and I received slightly less.  I was shocked about this and went on a tangent about how hers was worse than mine and that I deserved that 100%.  Priscilla silently was offended by my comments and I had no idea.  I wasn't keen enough to realize that I was basically saying that something I built in a couple of hours is superior to something it took days for her to do.  Nope, I was clueless about it until she told me how it hurt her feelings years later.

Another instance was me referring to one of my best friends' son as "it".  I figured that she knew I hated kids and it was the most natural thing in the world not to give a shit about him.  When she finally had enough she yelled at me.  I just didn't get it.  I didn't get her attachment to this kid she didn't even want.

There are many other stories like this and many that are far worse.

I guess I just believe in honesty even if it may hurt someone else's feelings.  I believe in not always putting things in a pretty light.  Mostly, I am just thoughtless and inconsiderate.  The irony is that I'm one of the most polite people you'll ever meet.

Other people's feelings are a mystery to me.  I can analyze them and understand them in theory.  I understand why people act the way they do for the most part.  I honestly never know if I say something that will offend someone.  That's why I encourage my friends to tell me if I offended them immediately.  I compose a diagram of what I said and the possible reactions to it based on logic.  Eventually, I will be able to decipher what happened.  If I am aware of what I have said doing damage, I will always apologize.  I never genuinely mean to hurt anyone that I care about unless it's a fucked up situation where I am angry.  Then, I am ruthless.

My friends like my honesty for the most part.  That, and I do actually have some decent qualities that keep them hanging around.  They know that I can be a real jerk but they accept me for it.

Why should they, though?  They're good people and I can be very abusive.  They don't deserve it.

So I say to all my friends past and present, I'm sorry.  I am just down right mean sometimes and it shouldn't be something you learn to live with.  I'll try my best to be more considerate.  I'll try to spare feelings.  I won't, however, stop being brutally frank.  I will just save it up unless you ask for it.

From henceforth, I will only be mean to people I don't like.  (ha ha ha)



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