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Monday, February 13, 2012

Now, wait a minute. Did you just insult me?

            “So you’ve been having trouble coming up with interesting topics for your blog, haven’t you?” My husband looked at me sympathetically. “It must be hard to think of something to publish three times a week.”

            “Um…yeah, I guess,” I mumbled back. Did he mean that my last few blog entries had been uninteresting? I’m pretty sure that’s what he meant, but sometimes I find it hard to tell when I’ve been insulted.

            For example, a couple of weeks ago, a colleague wished me a “happy birthday” and then proceeded to assure me that I certainly didn’t look like I was fifty. Now really, is that an insult or not? It seems to imply that fifty is old and that my colleague wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that somewhere in the world there are dinosaur fossils younger than I am. Luckily, it appears that I don’t look ancient, unless, of course, she was simply being polite?! Oy vey.

            On Thursday, I received an invitation from the Dean of the School of Science and Technology at the college where I tutor to speak at a seminar about how to help struggling students in the classroom. When I showed the invitation to my boss (he has to approve my hours), his first comment was, “How did she get your name?” He then proceeded to give his approval for me to represent the Student Success program at the seminar and to tell me to ask for help if I needed it. Had I been insulted or not? I’m still not sure.

            I have come to the conclusion that it’s easier to ignore these possibly-insulting comments rather than try to figure out if I should be offended or hurt by them. As my children would say, “Whateva.”

            “Yes,” I answered my husband. “It is hard to find interesting topics for my blog. Thanks for suggesting one.”

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