Everyone Is Terrible…But Well-Meaning

Everyone Is Terrible…But Well-Meaning

Adrienne BoettingerWednesday,17 September 2014

The Snap

Whilst attending a picnic, I was accosted by one of the overly familiar. You know the type – the person who doesn’t know you well but feels close enough to you to point out the things about your life that make you the most uncomfortable. He’s the awkward uncle at the family reunion asking when a long-suffering couple will get married or the cousin twice-removed who demands to know when the childless couple will start popping out offspring. In my case it was the girlfriend of a friend who asked to talk to me privately and then tried to convince me to undertake relationship therapy to figure out what about me was broken inside that led to me only attracting idiots, psychopaths, or devastatingly adorable guys that live thousands of miles away from me. It was like all my worst nightmares being expressed at the same time. How festive!

The Download

I’m the perennially single friend everyone has — the one with whom you repeatedly sympathize by saying you can’t understand why someone hasn’t snatched her up; the one whose friends keep assuring her that there is someone for everyone. And apparently I’ve reached the point where relative strangers feel the need to help me get to the root of my singleness problems.

But I’m far from alone. I’ve recently interviewed a few indomitable ladies who have undergone atrocities at the hands of good-intentioned assholes. There’s the friend who was asked if she was Jewish because she was told she had a big nose. Or another who was complimented for not being “the stuck-up bitch” that the speaker originally thought she was. And lastly there’s the friend accosted by a woman who once said, “Your grey clothes match your hairs” and “Can I offer you a beauty tip? I’ve got this tape that will totally fucking erase your forehead wrinkles!”

It really would be better if these asshats didn’t have good intentions. That way we wouldn’t have to expend energy feeling guilty for talking shit about them. We could descry their callousness without feeling the need to excuse their presumptiveness because of their well-meaningness. That way — upon hearing they wanted me to acknowledge and correct all my many qualities that render me perennially single, I would feel free to run cackling into the night — forgetting that these accusatory words were ever uttered instead of obsessing about the eerie truthiness of what the speaker said.

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