Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Most People Are Nice, But Some Are Not

On the day God invented vanilla flavoured soy milk, I imagine he said something like: “Here you go humans. Here is a delicious, rich, wonderful treat for your tastebuds.” He wasn’t kidding was he?

Today’s been another good one. I got up this morning and went to yoga, which was a rewarding experience as usual. This afternoon my dad stopped over. He is the cutest and best dad in the world. Tonight I met a guy at Bridgehead who I thought was somewhat interesting. As our convo evolved, I came to realize that he was not.

I wish there was some kind of escape hatch for conversations gone bad. At one point he asked me if he could “bounce something off” of me. I said okay and he proceeded to ask me the most ridiculous questions about how to pitch this idea he has for a show about languages. He was all “what angle should I take? Should I pitch it in terms of the people who will be benefiting, or the actors involved.” I said that I didn’t really know what he meant, but that he should probably consider pitching his idea in terms of its potential as a new and innovative method of language training. He looked at me as if I had just come up with a workable plan for peace in the Middle East and said “pitch it as a new idea? That is amazing.” I thought he was joking and started to laugh, but then I realized he was dead serious. Tanks God, he didn’t stay very long.

I tend to assume that most people, despite their often morally crippling baggage, are fundamentally good at heart. Throughout my life, in all of my travels, this belief in the goodness of people has rarely failed me. There are a few exceptions - people I’ve encountered who I would consider predators, either because I have witnessed frightening behaviour, or because my spidy sense rages and I feel extremely uneasy when I am around them.

I met one such character while I was traveling in Malaysia in 2001. He was a super wealthy, bright, well-educated guy, who initially seemed pretty cool. I was on a very small island with him and his friend, and a girl I had met traveling. The four of us hit it off, but then one night a bizarre turn of events (involving naked Swedish girls) sent things all to pot. I won’t get into the details, but things went totally haywire, particularly after my friend left the island to meet up with someone she had a preexisting date with in China. It was just me and the boys – and the Swedes of course.

During our time together, I came to distrust this man and he kind of started giving me the creeps (his friend was nice, but preoccupied with the Swedes). He had it in his head that we should travel to Dubai together and could not understand my refusal of his offer of five star vacationing (on his dime). I found him very manipulative. He also had a nasty temper lurking not far below his charming, cultured exterior.

Anyway, he just could not wrap his head around the fact that I wasn’t interested in spending his money, or traveling with him. In fact, dealing with him had become so exhausting that I decided to come home from my trip 2 weeks early. He wasn’t pleased.

There were some brief emails exchanged early on, but then I heard from my friend (the one who had left the island early) that she had gone to visit this man in Sydney. Apparently, his behaviour toward her had been totally nasty and frightening. This was all the evidence I needed to cease any further correspondence. I didn’t reply to any of his emails for a couple of years, and finally they stopped coming.

Yesterday he emailed to say that he is moving to New York. He wonders if I could find it in my heart to be friends with him. I believe he is in publishing now. It caught me a little off guard, as I had never expected to hear from him again. He seemed genuine. Is it possible he’s changed? It strikes me as unlikely. Don’t people deserve the benefit of the doubt?

Well, after mulling it over all day, I’ve decided not to reply to his email, not even to decline the offer of friendship; the main reason being that I don’t think he is a good person and don’t want to give him even the smallest amount of fodder. The moral of this story is that when someone makes you feel uneasy there is usually a good reason. I trust my instincts, and you should too. Hopefully this will be the end of it.

I have a couple of other stories, but they will have to wait as I am very tired and going to bed. Also, you are likely bored.

night night,


Blogger bbctchr,M.D. said...

Oh my god, you make me laugh so hard! But only on the inside because I don't want to wake the baby. I love your writing style and wish you would write a book after med school is over, describing your experience. This is something I have always wanted to do, but you are far more eloquent than me.

8:10 PM  
Blogger bbctchr,M.D. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:10 PM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Oh You....

i would love to write a book, but i'm afraid that no one outside of my circle of friends would have any interest in reading it.

maybe if i ever experience the joy of bearing a child, and the sweetness of a corresponding maternity leave, i could string a few stories together then.

thanks for the vote of confidence. i live my life largely to make kindred sprits laugh.


6:19 PM  

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