Do I look like a self-obsessed twit in this?

Do you ever wonder if random people from your past ever think of you? I don't mean people you loved or who loved you, or people you grew up with and knew for a very long time, or relatives you've lost touch with, or people you married in what turned out to be the biggest mistake of your life. I mean people who were on the periphery of your life ... maybe you were friends of a friend of theirs 15 years ago and you went on an awkward weekend ski trip together, or they met you for the first time at a New Year's Eve party and insisted that you feel their new boobs to see just how real they seem, or maybe you worked together for a couple of years when you were very young before both of you moved on to bigger and better things.

I always assumed the answer was no. Seriously! I mean, think about the sheer number of people with whom you have this kind of non-relationship and think about how slim the chances are that they remember you -- let alone actually think of you. Can you remember the names of half of the people you worked with at your first job out of college? I can't.

Well it turns out that somebody from my past -- someone I worked with at my first job out of college in fact -- has been thinking of me. And it also turns out that this person hasn't been thinking very nice things about me.

About a year ago I wrote an entry about being a newbie reporter and my editor at that time, who was the best writing teacher I ever had and who had such an impact on me that I still hear his booming voice in my head sometimes. Sometime last night someone left a nasty anonymous comment on that entry claiming they knew me then and that I was an obnoxious, self-obsessed twit ... and adding that it looked like I hadn't changed very much in the last 10 (OK, 13) years. They said some other crap, too, but that was the sentence that felt most like a punch in the stomach.

Meanwhile, what they said is partly true. Of course I was an obnoxious twit -- I was twenty-something years old, for Christ's sake. I think the more remarkable thing would be to find a recent college grad of that age who isn't one. As for being self-obsessed back then, I'm not sure where that comes from. What I remember of that time is feeling woefully inadequate and unprepared and completely incompetent. I recall feeling like an outsider there, as well -- someone who didn't fit in with my more experienced and seemingly more confident co-workers.

Maybe I was a better actor than I thought.

As for today? Of course it's just a joke to read one entry in someone's friggin' blog and pronounce them self-obsessed. Uh, hello? I write a blog that's mostly about me and my life ... How am I supposed to do that without coming off as self-obsessed? If you don't like it -- and this is just a suggestion, here -- maybe you shouldn't read it.

Of course now I'm thinking of all of the people I worked with back then, trying to remember all of their names, and hoping that the anonymous chicken who wrote that comment is the mean stuck-up girl I never liked anyway, and not the cute guy I had a wicked secret crush on ...


Alicia said...

How wierd. They think you're an untalented twit, but yet they remember you years and years later...and feel strongly enough to go back in your archives and leave a comment on an old post. Sounds like jealousy to me. I'd feel flattered if I were you. :-)

Suburby said...

What Alicia said, or that they didn't know you at all, and it's just some random asshole on the internet who amuses himself by leaving stupid comments like that.

people still depress me though. They really do.