Inappropriate Projections

“I didn’t know this place ordered any Super Bowl tickets…heh?  Hahahaha!” 

And so goes yet another one of the thousands of human exchanges I’ve had to endure where my antagonist assumes facts not in evidence.  In this particular case a rather Costanzaish looking fellow, fully equipped with a reverse Geordi LaForge Visor haircut, abnormally apish forehead, and small squinty eyes assumed one or more of the following: (A) That I watch American Football (or as I like to call it, Handegg), (B) That I shared his opinion of the quality of game that was the Super Bowl this year, or (C) That I wished to converse with an odd looking man standing sheepishly in the waiting room of an OBGYN while I was making a delivery.

Now I know there are some people who would say I am being too judgmental of this man or that he was just trying to be nice and I should be alright with that, but truth be told it is the contraposition which I believe holds true.  Allow me to illustrate.
Let’s take the first statement that I am being too judgmental of this poor old bloke.  The line of argumentation, I suppose, would go something like the following:  Look at this guy, he’s standing in the waiting room of an OBGYN (presumably waiting for a woman he knows) and is probably feeling very uncomfortable (hence him not sitting or reading a magazine or whatever).  He sees you come in with your boxes of wares to make livery, and sensing a (at least temporary) way out of his uncomfortable situation, he seeks to perform some male bonding utilizing a subject he (and most likely his friends) hold very dear.  Stop being such a judgmental prick and just be nice to the guy.
Well argued indeed my charming interlocutor (minus your scathing ad hominem), but now please allow me to retort.  I would firstly concur that my remarks as to the man’s stature at the beginning of this piece were indeed judgmental, but those were words typed in the heat of passion.  Besides that, it is HE not I who judges.  I entered these premises strictly for business purposes and engaged in no conversation except of business matters with the staff.  However, by seeking me out with his football related folly, this man made judgments about my tastes, my sense of humor, and even my demeanor, and he did all this by projecting his own self onto me.  In assuming I would giggle at his little quip as he was, he was subconsciously projecting outward the very things he held dear onto me, a stranger, and basically hoped for the best.  For if we had known each other as friends or even acquaintances then this would have been impossible because he would have known my distaste for all things Handegg.  By not knowing me and engaging me on this subject, he was in essence using me as a vessel for an outward manifestation of the mental masturbation that was him coming up with that terrible joke.  And this makes me feel terribly unclean and violated.

Now if you were to come back at me by claiming that maybe this man was just trying to be friendly and I should lighten up on him, then to you I say this:  I was cordial with him as I am not a rude person.  But that being said, again he is assuming I want to be friendly in that situation which, again, is a manifestation of his own desires.  I was reaching the end of an eleven hour day, exhausted, and in no mood for small talk.  Under different circumstances I would love to make small talk over certain matters, and perhaps we could have even found common ground.  And if you say that he could not know my particular state at that moment, I would reply with an emphatic EXACTLY!  He doesn’t know, so why is he trying to be witty and engaging?  What’s wrong with a simple “Hi, how’re you doing today?” which I always welcome from strangers as it’s a simple, innocuous, safe way to engage those you do not know.
In short, I think it is a terrible habit I see far too often when we start going on about the things we find important without prompting and without regard for how the other person will receive it.  That’s not to say that there’s not a time and place to talk to people about things outside their particular prevue, all I’m saying is that it’s inappropriate to do so with strangers who are just trying to do their job.

F.Y.I. The stranger’s “joke” was his way of responding to a case of toilet paper I was bringing in.  Ha…ha


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