Someone said to me today. Pick your battles. But the interesting thing is: I was.
I was very deliberately picking this battle, for many reasons.
A celebrity post on Instagram. It was a pretty cool video of a guy doing some form of dance-o-batics on the F train.
There was a woman sitting on her own, minding her own business, trying to read her book. So intently trying to read her book that I suspect she was actively trying to avoid interacting with the dude and his cool dancing. Which even he seemed to get - there's a point were he knocks her book and she's forced to rearrange herself and looks up, and the dude apologies [I think, it's tricky to tell exactly what was going on].
But Jonny Lee Miller felt the need to tag this post [and another of the same guy straight afterward] suggesting that she needs to look up. 1st post Instagram Link #1 #jeezladywiththebooklookupforasecondthiskidsprettygood Yeah, the young man is pretty good, but does that actually create an obligation to watch? No, no it doesn't. You don't know what her reasons are for not wanting to watch, so maybe assume she has some and leave it alone. 2nd post Instagram Link #2 #mustbethebestbookeverwritten
Jonny, I love you dearly & yes Jonny I get that you were just messing about. But Jonny do you get that you have no idea what her situation might have been? Do you get that she has NO obligation to watch, appreciate, give any kind of a fuck, if she doesn't want to?
This comes under the same heading of the several zillion guys every day who feel the need to tell women to smile [obligatory *not all men* to shut that irrelevant argument down before it starts]. [less obligatory but because I know the truth *yes, some women too*].
I said I picked this battle on purpose, I did. Because another poster also jumped in to defend the lady with the book. And Jonny for reasons I cannot fathom threw the sexism card at her.... Um what? All I can say is, she didn't seem like he was being sexist, but now you kinda do pal. I think he misconstrued what she said, I hope that was it - and that maybe this can be a learning experience. Maybe don't jump in with both boots 'til you're sure of what you're doing
Total strangers may be super entertaining, time may let me find out that they're the nicest guys in the world. But time has already told me that it's actually pretty tricky to tell the good ones from the bad, and that the bad ones can turn really really bad very quickly. It can turn from hey girl lift your head out of that book, to DO AS YOU'RE FUCKING TOLD, BITCH, in the blink of an eye.
And guys who are standing up to say, hey he was only trying to be friendly are not helping. Maybe help with, hey dude - it's no big deal, maybe she's not in the mood for your act today.
If I just want to be left alone, then insisting that I drop what I'm doing to salvage your ego seems a bit self centred and sad.
I hate to blow a good joke, but maybe think about what the rest of the situation might be and realise that if the joke isn't funny for the person you're ragging on, then maybe it SHOULDN'T be funny for everyone else. Maybe just leave it out.