I’m offensive

Here’s an experience.  Perhaps you’ve had it.  Me?  It happens to me shockingly often.

I write something.  It might be a general something.  It might be a tweet or “subtweet.”  Maybe it’s a little sarcastic.  More often, it’s not.  More often, it’s earnest, straightforward. Serious.

And then, an hour or day later, a person – who I never imagined could possibly be offended by what I had written – because I hadn’t thought anything offensive, hadn’t written anything I understood possibly could be construed as offensive – is horrified by what I’ve written.

This is either because a) I’ve revealed myself to have no fucking sense of humor, not to have understood they were joking, and can’t I take a fucking joke, or b) I’ve insulted, offended, upset, outraged, or whatever the person in a way that’s essentially unforgivable.

In either case, the upshot of the communication I receive is, “… and let’s never interact again.”

There are two things that universally seem to characterize these sorts of interactions, best I can tell:

1)  They happen in the context of quasi-sexual relationships that have evolved in primarily public spheres (on the comments pages on blogs, on Twitter, on Google+).  With me, it’s women who react this way, invariably.  And it’s women with whom I’ve flirted just a little.

2)  They happen in public, or semi-public.  Both my offense-giving and the resultant outcry.

For the record, if I’ve offended you, I apologize.

But in the coming days, I plan to offend a lot more…. Winking smile


  1. You are very straightforward, more so than many. So that might feel a little brusque in comparison. And because you are, I suspect that some don’t read your “tone” very well when you shift gears. We have had a misunderstanding or two, but thankfully we’ve had them off the page, in private conversation, where (I think) they belong. But maybe it’s because we don’t have a quasi-sexual relationship playing itself out in a public forum. Anyway, I’m ready to be further offended.

  2. I think with your interactions being so public, you have the issue of having to maintain the feeling for those women that each one is unique and special and for the most part, I think you do that very well.  However if you invite interactions with lots of women (especially those you don’t really know), you risk reducing their ‘specialness’ from the equation inadvertently, say, with an off-the-cuff remark, and then you hurt their feelings.  Cue offence, possible name calling and a good old fashioned flounce.

    This is a delicate dance you have going on, and from what I have seen you handle it very well, but I am actually surprised that this doesn’t happen more frequently with you.

    Me, though, I love public drama… as long as I can be waaaay over *there* with a glass of champagne and some snacks.Ferns

    1. What’s funny, though, is that the women who’ve done this aren’t those with whom I’ve even gotten remotely “close.” These are women who have flirted once or twice with me, or rejected my attempts to flirt once or twice.

      1. *shrug* Maybe they were particularly delicate flowers.

        Though it just occurred to me that I stopped following you on Twitter because your random “instructions to the ladeezzzz” were creepy-icky to me, so I get how some women might find it offensive, but if they are, you just unfollow, right? No biggie. The public drama-flouncing really does smack of “waaaahhh… butt hurt…”



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