The Asshole Hypothesis
I’m what you might consider an expert on assholes.
No, not that kind!
I mean people assholes.
Ugh, I mean people who are assholes.
There we go.
Some people think I’m one. Take, for instance, one of my first outings in Minneapolis.
A little bit of background: I moved here almost two years ago and I love introducing myself to strangers (in the right setting)–I’ve met some of my closest friends this way.
Being new, I knew no one. To remedy this, I engaged my affinity for strangers and took to the bars, to networking events, to fundraisers and volunteer activities–any way I could meet friends.
During one night at an establishment I now frequent all too frequently, as I walked around the bar smiling at all those Minnesota boys, Red Bull-Vodka in hand, a rather feisty man stopped me.
“I just want to let you know,” he said bitchily, “that you look real cute, but you look like a complete bitch.”
He rolled his eyes and left me standing in shock by a dimly lit pool table.
I thought about dropping my drink for dramatic effect, but took a sip of it instead. That mother was $8.
The bar suddenly felt empty. I wanted immediately to return home to North Carolina, to a place where I had friends. Where what people thought didn’t matter because you had people who loved you.
In Minneapolis, it dawned on me in this moment that no one here loved me. I wasn’t just in a strange city. I was alone in a strange city.
Was it my hair? I have spikey hair. Maybe that rubs people the wrong way here. I couldn’t imagine anything else. I smiled at everyone I saw. I spoke to a few. I laughed at the bartender’s silly jokes. I did everything an unbitch would do.
I knew what an asshole was, too.
I knew my ex was one the first time he hit on another boy in front of me. His later verbal abuse and threats of physical violence only confirmed it. Once, in one of his frequent fits of rage, he called me a “mistake.” Über-asshole.
His was an obvious case, though. There are more subtle examples. One acquaintance, who proudly admits his assholiness, is what I’d consider subtle. He’s one of those people who, when you first meet, seems nice enough, but will suggest his life is superior to yours at every turn: (Excitedly) “Oh, you got fries with your meal! I haven’t had fries in years! How long does it take you to burn that off at the gym? Do you ever go to the gym?”
The assholes in life come in many breeds (I know many more–most of whom I’ve dated). Here’s my working list, in order of most intolerable:
(1) Hypocritical A-Hole: if you’re gonna be an asshole, you should really stick to your principles.
(2) Two-Faced A-Hole: nothing’s worse than a disingenuous person. A disingenuous asshole, though? Really? Isn’t the whole point to be yourself without regard for others, or decency?
(3) Go-for-the-Jugular A-Hole: this was my ex (and the lovely guy I met at the beginning of this column). Vicious!
(4) Subtle A-Hole: they’re sneaky bitches!
(5) Wannabe A-Hole: these are socially awkward assholes who stumble on their criticisms of others. They’re amusing to watch ramble.
A common theme between all breeds of this socially magnetic animal: insecurity. There’s gotta be something going on to make one waste energy on making other people miserable.
This article isn’t for you, Minnesota–99% of the people I’ve met in the Twin Cities are genuinely nice people. You embrace, perhaps most impressively, a sense of humility despite how great you are. I’m proud to call myself a resident of this area, and I hope you’ll keep me in your heart for a long time to come.
This article is for the Ice Queens who do exist. Think about what you say before you say it. Symptoms of assholiness include word vomiting.
Oh, and to that one guy who called me a bitch: I promise I’m not. Unless, of course, it takes one to know one.
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