Recently I worried I had offended someone for whom I have great fondness and high esteem. I had made some lameass joke, she looked quizzical, then slightly distressed, then she frowned. What I said, when stretched, could have taken the grotesque form of condescension or derision. So I wrote her a quick email, apologizing for a possibility, and she, of course, wrote,
"I can't for the life of me remember what you could have said to have offended me. All i remember is thinking that you looked
lovely and was excited that you had a painting studio and were writing."
When I refreshed her memory, illustrating the moment when she had worn that pained look, she replied,
"Yes, i think i was trying to figure out if you were joking or not, probably started down the road of "uh-oh, am i stupid for
not getting this?" that's probably what you were reacting to--isn't it interesting that it's almost always about the other guy's
issues and not about us? i get slammed by that all the time. IT'S THE CURSE OF THOSE OF US WHO ARE INCREDIBLY
SENSITIVE!! But then again, we make good art."
You see how pathetically self-censuring I am? Ridiculous. Much ado about nothing. In this vein I replied:
"those of us who are incredibly sensitive" should probably be taken out and shot. maybe we're the source of the world's confusion and woe. dispense of us, and who's left to complain?"
and whine and worry. Of course, I think it's better to be careful with people and apologize for any wrong. Mitigate any harms. But I should probably have more confidence in myself and know that I am good to people to begin with.