i am upset.
No, i am offended.
i’ve been thinking about all the folks who get their noses tweaked when someone calls them by a name, either individually or as a group, which they find offensive. Some even get violent about it. So i got to thinking about all the names i’ve been called either as an individual or totally in error as a member of a group. i decided i should do something about it as you might not know what offends me as i often find out i don’t know when i call a group or a person something i thought was respectful and with admiration and they get all pissed off.
So here’s my list of what offends me if you call me out with that name (in no particular order):
Shorty, dumbbell, whitey, shithead, paleface, midget, honky, redneck, goober, townboy, southerner, yankee, Texan, Californian, mister, pussy, Alice, Mary, wimp, junior jock, gob, tar, curmudgeon, asshole, sailor boy, fathead, goofy, donkey, Commodore, Blue Raider, WASP, Christian, atheist, agnostic, butthead, caucasian, white (as in filling out forms), pinko, conservative, contrarian, rube, whiner, sissy, hick, macho, man, gentleman, racist, and several more i can’t think of right now (including some dumb cartoon bear who wears a porkpie hat when i don my golf rain hat), but i’m going to let you know if you call me by those i can’t remember now.
So please refrain from calling me the above names and i will attempt to not call you by things you find offensive or belittling even though i call you whatever that is thinking it is showing respect.
Oh, wait. There is only one of those that really bothers me: racist.
Many of the others i’ve deserved at times. Many of them are accurate descriptions at times.
And some of them: junior jock, goober, townboy, asshole, curmudgeon (after all, my golfing buddies take bride in those last two) i boast about.
And finally, 118 years ago, Owen Wister, in his novel, The Virginian, considered by many as the first truly western novel, had his hero say, “Smile when you say that, partner.”
So when you call me any of those names, smile when you say that, partner, and i’ll be okay with it.