I love it when people say, ‘as you say...’ when what they mean is ‘as I wildly misinterpret your words to mean so that they fit in with my diametrically opposed view’.
I have a sort of weird secondhand standing. I don’t know how it happened, but, because of the husband, and because I work fairly closely with him, I have had some exposure to his fanbase, and some of his followers have come to know me a little bit.
I’m not a public entity. I haven’t done enough work to be known in my own right, but I have been adopted, co-opted and even conscripted into a sort of merry little band. I like it there.
These people are positively lovely. They are from all genders, ages, backgrounds and races, although, to be fair, there are more white guys between twenty and thirty than anything else. There are people who share my views and those who openly don’t. There are those with whom I laugh and cry and debate, and those with whom I nod and frown and debate. Some I have a cup of tea with and some a glass of wine.
There is a close-knit core, but there is also a broader base, and there are one or two people, on the periphery, who are the oddest creatures on the planet. They are like people everywhere. They are like acquaintances I have met in all sorts of other arenas, in school and at university, and in work and social situations. They are very particular.
There is a subset of people who assume that they are right about everything and that anyone they admire or like for whatever reason must, perforce, agree with everything they say. They also tend to have an insecurity switch, and, as a consequence, they will repeat back almost anything that is said to them, reinterpreting it to cover or include their own experiences or opinions.
Some of these people, for whatever reasons, want to be in my gang, or rather, they want to be associated with the husband and they see me as their path to success in that endeavour, which, frankly, I’m not, nor shall I ever be. They want to be validated as human beings, apparently by someone close to the husband.
If you are one of these people it is worth bearing the following in mind:
I don’t have a gang. I have no greater value than anyone else, and me offering you any sort of validation is more-or-less meaningless in a World where I have zero power to affect your social or professional standing.
The best you will ever get from me in this situation is my tolerance, and that’s benign enough, but it isn’t what you want. Do battle with me and persuade me of your argument, and if you can’t change my mind, at least persuade me that your argument is a valid one, and you will have my respect and acceptance. I don’t have to agree with everything you say to like you. You don’t have to agree with everything I say, or give the appearance that you agree with everything I say for me to like you. Don’t think I don’t know my own mind, and don’t think I don’t know when you’re misrepresenting me, especially if you’re doing it back to me.
In some instances, you might simply be the person who wants to believe that I think the way you think... that every right-minded individual must think the way that you think and that any other viewpoint is impossible. Well... OK then.
If, on the other hand, you’re the person that pulled the switch on me, willfully misunderstood me and then demonstrated your lack of understanding then I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t think we’re ever going to see eye to eye. Pity really, because in other circumstances, who knows, we might have been buddies.