Friday, February 08, 2019

Yes I'm petty

One small recent incident, anonymized as much as I can:

I was in a situation where I encountered someone I've tangled with before. Now, you must understand: I strive to be the human equivalent of a Golden Retriever; I want everyone to like me, even if that comes at the cost of me swallowing some of the things I want to say or not expressing my opinions. (And I will add this is someone about whom a former colleague once jokingly said: if I was out driving and saw him in a crosswalk, I'd accelerate")

Well, anyway. We were in a group of people and he referred to me as MISS (lastname). (He has a Ph.D., as do I. And he seems to like being called "Dr.").

Anyway. I generally don't stick up for myself in cases like that, because it does feel petty and small for ME to be doing it, and I also have the impression that this fellow doesn't have a terribly high opinion of me anyway, from some of the things he's said to me in the past, so there would be no point.

BUT. A woman who was in the group with me, who has known him longer - and in different capacity - than I have, piped up: "No, she's DR. (lastname)" and she added something to the effect of the honorific making a difference.

And, as I said: I get the impression from this fellow he doesn't have a good opinion of me AT ALL (not that he dislikes me so much, but that he....disdains isn't quite the right word, but I get the feeling he thinks I'm not serious and not that smart) so I doubt it made any traction in his head, but I'm glad FOR ME that she said it.

And yeah, most of the time, I don't even care. Shoot, on my Folio Society membership, I am Miss Lastname. Because I feel like that's separate from my worklife, which is the only place where being Dr. Lastname matters. (And yeah, maybe I have some weird leftover romantic thought that some nice, literary-minded fellow who is ALSO single will see the "Miss" and think, "Well, she also like Marjorie Allingham novels and books about history, maybe I should see if I can get someone to introduce us.")

And yeah, I get that it's petty of me to even care. And probably fruitless of me to want most people to respect or even like me. (But dangit, I do. And I know there's also the old question of "Would you rather be loved or respected?" and my response to that is "Why can't it be both?")

Though I will also note, given my general Golden Retriever tendency: when I butt heads with a person (which is rare), I tend to feel it's not so much because of some lack in my personality alone. (And as I said: I know several women who have rolled their eyes when this fellow's name came up.)

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I tended to be Golden retriever. Found that it doesn't usually work, because they perceive kindness as weakness.