Okay, so I might be over-reacting, but I’m more than a little irked at this moment.
Today, I’m eating lunch with…well…let’s just call her “Suzanne”. We are just, you know, chit-chatting away, mostly about nothing, when I happened to mention that I had read that my neighborhood has one of the lowest incidents of crime in all of Dallas and Fort Worth.
Now, to be perfectly honest, I had been waiting to bring up such a statistic. Suzanne is one of those people that moved way, way north of the city in an effort to “escape” crime-ridden Dallas. I’m not saying that Dallas is the safest city in the United States, but I believe that crime – whether we like it or not – happens everywhere. There are things you can do to make yourself less of a target, but let’s face it – if someone wants to get to you or your things – there is very little you can do to stop them.
Plus, I feel that you are putting yourself at a much, much bigger risk driving from Addison or Frisco to downtown Dallas on I-75 everyday, but that might just be me.
I live in an historic neighborhood in East Dallas. Yes, it is an up-and-coming neighborhood and yes, it is bordered by some…less up-and-coming…parts of town. It is, however, a good neighborhood. The neighborhood association hires off-duty police officers to patrol the streets, and it is one of those rare places where neighbors look after their neighbors. I love it, and – most importantly – I feel safe living there.
Suzanne, on the other hand, is always making snide comments about my neighborhood. She says things to me like, “Don’t you get scared walking your dogs around there?” and “If I lived where you live, I wouldn’t go out once the sun went down – it just wouldn’t be safe”. Most of the time, I try to ignore her commentary. It just isn’t worth arguing with her. Plus, I’m the only one who has to feel comfortable living there, not her. She has her feelings and I have mine.
However, today I feel that she crossed the line.
I have been racking my brain for the last two and a half hours in a vein effort to figure out a way – any way – that what she said was NOT intended to insult me. Suzanne is a nice person, but she often says things without thinking first. For instance, she is trying to lose weight. She’s not fat, mind you, but she is the first person to admit that she’s put on a few pounds here and there since she got married. Several weeks ago, she turned to me and asked, “So, do you want all the pants that I’ve had to buy in bigger sizes? Once I lose the weight I’ve gained, they will all be way too big for me, but they will probably fit you fine.” Again, my first instinct was to get mad, because I felt that I had just been insulted. Then, I thought about it and realized that she didn’t mean to offend me in any way – she really believed that she was doing me a favor by offering me her “fat pants”. Granted, she could have phrased it a little better (and maybe could have made the offer in private as opposed to in front of others), but I thought that her heart was in the right place, never-the-less. So I moved on.
But today I have not been so lucky. I can think of no other way that I can interpret what she said (and, believe me, I’ve tried). When I mentioned that crime statistics for my neighborhood were some of the lowest in the Metroplex, Suzanne quickly responded with:
“I bet it is only because there isn’t anything over in your neighborhood worth stealing in the first place.”
I put the emphasis on the word “worth” because that is the word she emphasized at the time.
Luckily, I was too shocked by her comment to say anything back, and our conversation continued on like normal. Problem is that I’m hurt, and I’m worried that my overall patience for and with Suzanne is quickly waning.
Can anyone think of a way I can interpret what she said that isn’t insulting? I know that she probably didn't mean to imply that my neighborhood, my house and my possessions aren't worth anything. Problem is that I can't think of how she meant anything different, either.