Sunday, January 3, 2010

Still Snobbish After All These Years

For one as given to self-loathing, I remain a frightful snob. When I first got to Beacon, I attended a meeting of a writers group in spite of my dreadful experience at the one in Wisconsin. I just wanted, and knew I needed, some social interaction beyond nodding at the guy at the gym who’d gone over my paperwork with me. I became friendly with one of the group’s organizers, in spite of her having been preoccupied with her laptop before reading some pretty feeble poetry. We even agreed to start a business together, teaching local kids a whole range of creative skills. I exulted in having made a better friend in Beacon in five weeks than I’d made in Wisconsin in 10 months.

But then she found out that I number among my most cherished friends a couple of professional dominatrices, and that was the end of the friendship. She’d found and been horrified by the Website of a dominatrix in San Diego, trading under the same domme name as my friend, who specializes in videos of her crushing insects underfoot. “I’m sorry,” the writer of feeble poetry declared, her voice chilly with Righteous Indignation, “but I just don’t want to be around that sort of energy.” It didn’t matter to her that neither I nor my friend knew this woman, much less condoned her actions.

Then, several weeks later, another member of the writers group, J—, phoned to invite me over to meet her domestic partner and some of their friends. The stories with which they regaled one another had them all laughing delightedly, but struck me as weirdly lacking in payoffs or punchlines. There was no mistaking, though, that J— was a major sweetheart — kind, generous, welcoming, cheerful, an all-around delightful person, but she didn’t do mordancy, or even irony.

And an all-around delightful person whose subsequent invitations I, horrid snob that I am, have found myself concocting excuses to have, with the utmost (professed) regret, to refuse. Being around them made me feel lonelier, rather than less lonely.

But on to more pleasant concerns. I woke yesterday morning with an idea that will surely make someone a fortune. Even in Times Such as These we all need to keep eating, and recent events have surely served to increase Islamophobia among those prone to that sort of stupidity. Behold: Infidelicatessen, Proudly Non-Halal. Can you imagine the, uh, concept not being a big hit with the Let’s Kick Their Ass and Take Their Gas bumpersticker crowd? Forget that he or she probably thinks Halal is a brand of cough drop. (I, the well-traveled snob, remember the word from my years in London, where you see it everywhere, and even, with the intellectual rigor that is one of my halalmarks, just looked it up on Wikipedia.)

[Hear my life-changing new album Sorry We're Open here! Facebookers: Read more All In Tents and Porpoises essays and subscribe here.]

1 comment:

  1. I like being reminded of the word "mordant". A biting wit to riff off makes for a great friend.