Monday, September 26, 2016
I recognize somebody walking down the street. It's bustling. I say a quick hello and smile. Nothing.
I see him again in the subway. I give a little wave. Again, nothing.
This is a friend of a friend. He doesn't know me well enough to be angry with me.
This happens with this guy semi-frequently. We travel in some of the same circles at the same time. I am accustomed to giving a fast, non-invasive greeting when I know somebody. Nothing overwhelming. If he's worried that I want to have a conversation with him, he needn't be.
I go over the social strata that I travel in. It is indeed customary to say hello when you see someone you know even a little bit in a public place. I ran into another guy earlier, someone I know even less. That was an entirely different reception. What a difference! This guy seemed delighted - enchanted, even.
I speculate that the unfriendly man doesn't have peripheral vision. I speculate that he has a rare disorder where you cannot recognize faces in public.
Before considering early onset dementia and autism spectrum disorders, I quit it. I must face facts. There is a commonplace explanation for what is going on. And since I've had an extremely good and relaxing day I take my epiphany rather well.
The friend of a friend doesn't like me. He does not want to exchange even the smallest of pleasantries.
Not everybody is going to like me.
This feels liberating so I take it a bit further.
Not everybody is going to like my photography. Not everybody is going to like my writing. Not everybody is going to like the collages I make.
If I go out to a restaurant with Jeremy and dress up, many people will like my outfit. But not everyone. Some people will think it looks like crap.
I am not Beyoncé. I am not to everyone's taste. I'm like a sister to a lot of guys. But a few men find me sexually attractive. I'm either an acquired taste, or a highly specialized one. I'm good with it.
For some I'm funny. For others, I'm annoying.
So after having an unusually satisfactory day and thinking about it much longer and in greater detail and with more analogies than necessary I was a calm, non-attached observer to the friend of a friend liking my friends very much and me not at all.
It didn't even bother me that I previously thought he liked me well enough and that I misjudged the situation.
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