Having forgotten to take my phone (with the little bubble-bursting game that drives me fricken insane) with me into the bathroom the other day, I was rather brutally forced to examine life, the universe and my own sense of grumpiness as I stared with slightly bulging eyeballs at the wall three feet away. Quite how my mind arrived at this particular thought is unknown and is likely to remain so, but arrive at it, I did.
It's a startling and disturbing truth: most of the people that I have met in my life have proven to be people who occupy a position somewhere along the asshole (or as we say in England: arsehole - I think it has a nicer ring to it) spectrum. Now before my friends (both of them) leap to their feet in protest, I'd like to make a few things clear. Firstly, that last sentence made it sound like my friends share a pair of feet, and that's simply not true - how would they get around, after all? Secondly, I have more than two friends (and no, the number isn't three either...or four...), and thirdly, anyone I consider a friend definitely does not sit anywhere along the arsehole (I told you it sounded better) spectrum. Finally, I have more than four friends, if you're going to get silly about this.
I have to wonder if it's the same for the rest of us. Most of the people that I have met in my life still fall into the category of work-related meetings, although that particular graph is probably slowly changing shape these days. Having worked in roles that frequently required me to deal with people who had already firmly established their arsehole credentials, it's not particularly surprising that the statistics lean in that direction. Where it gets more disturbing for me is in relation to people who really shouldn't be anywhere on the spectrum (either by virtue of their reputation, their professional position, or their association with someone who is a thoroughly decent person). In such cases, I'm forced to wonder if it's me who's the arsehole.
Most of the time it's easy - take, for example, this evening's encounter with a small, very hairy and shrivelled specimen of ape-descended being who decided - purely on the basis that I had appeared in his line of vision - that I deserved to be told what a useless piece of shit I am, and that he will, when he's feeling up to it, kick my ass all over town. Obviously, this man is an arsehole. I've met him before, and even when sober, he's an arsehole: simple.
What I'm finding, however, is that more and more often people can be so profoundly disappointing - either through poor professional service or observed behaviour in any number of circumstances. Take for example a fellow for whom I had quite a high regard in relation to his professional work. Then, a few weeks ago, I witnessed him behaving in such a way that knocked him cleanly off the pedestal that I'd built for him, and firmly sat him down upon the arsehole spectrum. Or the reasonably intelligent person who, despite knowing enough about me to avoid doing so, insists upon talking to me as if I just climbed out of my alien pod last week. Or the only neighbour who has never made any contact of any kind (eye or otherwise). Or the person who sold me that fucken car last year - now he....he is a HUGE arsehole. Sorry...give me a minute....*deep breaths*....
The problem that I seem to be facing is that my standards are - rightly or wrongly - excluding me from making as many friends as I might prefer. I can't compromise on my values, however...which leaves only one obvious solution: the rest of the world had better get its shit together and stop behaving like arseholes.