I’ve known for years that I can be a bit, hmmmm, what’s the word? snobby? no. Pretentious? maybe when needed.
I was raised by a very conservative father who I never, ever saw even in his underwear. Privacy was important. Your body, your space was yours. Our family didn’t go around airing their dirty laundry.
I recall a couple of time that I turned from the fun, nice girl into the stern, pretentious one.
Case A: We had gone to a family wedding up in Kansas and somehow got stuck with the cousin my sister and I didn’t like. D was a rough as a corn cob and was married to J, the biggest ass I’ve met. (He actually gave me the creeps) I was driving my Mom’s car with my sister in the passenger seat and D and J in the back. They begin to tell us all of their efforts to have a baby. Really? I didn’t need to hear about what was required to get a “sample” from Jerry. But they felt it their obligation to tell us. I was 19 years old.
Case A2: Same wedding weekend and D & J invited us to a club. Club was pretty much the wrong word. It was a dive. It was some sort of bar where you had to be let in by a bouncer that slid the viewer back on the door and you had to give him the password. I kid you not. This time my MOTHER was with us. I kept saying, “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to go.” But my Mother insisted. I really believe there was something else going on in that dive other than drinking. I sat for about ten minutes with truly icky nasty men hitting on me and my sister and then stood up and announced I was leaving and would be in the car. We all left.
I’m not sure pretentious is the right word for it because it is more of a feeling of good vs bad; a gut feeling, a trigger. It is a feeling of “I don’t wish to be around this type of activity” and why should I? If I am uncomfortable with something, then I know it cannot be good.
I have a very strong instinct for that type of thing.
Case B: There is a woman in the office who I first thought was a bit rough and well, rough. I made it a point to be nice and even commented on her tattoo. I don’t have tattoos but will comment on one that is colorful. There has been an attempt on both of our parts to become friendly and we have. I just have one issue. She is so open with her personal life. She has told a group at lunch that she joined one of the personal online dating sites in order to “get laid”. Ummmm, ok, that’s fine. I just don’t know that is the kind of thing I would share with a table for six at Senor Tequila’s during lunch. Not too long ago she was riding in my passenger seat and there were two others in the back when we started discussing politics and how crazy everything was getting. At some point during the conversation she casually told us she had an abortion. Now, I’m completely Pro-Choice. To me, that admission isn’t something I would ever share in the context of co-workers coming back from lunch.
I also don’t need to hear about good friends of mine that others have had sex with. It just makes it hard for me to look them in the eye. If you slept with them, fine, great, good, knock yourself out. DO NOT give me specifics.
Does this made me pretentious, snobby, my nose up in the air? I don’t think so, I think it’s just good manners and my ability to stay away from ickiness. I do know that your personal life really should remain that way and shared with close personal friends, if you need to share, but not people you work with.
I know I can remain friendly with the woman in the office, but we will not be close friends as I’m not comfortable. I would never be sure that what I tell her isn’t told to others.
Is it the first person that has told me she had an abortion? no. But in the other cases it was one-on-one with someone who needed to tell me for consolation. You see that’s the difference. I’ve had friends tell me private things about them in a one-on-one situation for comfort or because they needed to tell someone and that is honored.
You see, any personal information you give me stays with me and isn’t shared. I learned this from my father. My brother-in-law is the same way. I know I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t even share it with my sister.