If we've never spoken (voice to voice), there's something you should know about me. I was raised by Northerners. I was raised the Northern way. I speak my mind and give my opinion when asked (I try to wait until I'm asked. I don't pussy foot around. You'd love me if I had good news and loathe me if it was bad. I can appreciate the delicate dance others do in conversation; I simply find it hard to follow the steps. The romantic hypochondriac in me wonders if it's possible to have mild Aspergers. Mild sociopathy maybe?
I don't like looking strangers in the eye (apparently makes me rude). I don't always look my friends in the eye! I like to touch things all the time- I'm a very tactile person (unless I don't know you- stranger danger!). If we're talking and I'm playing with my sleeve or folding a napkin or scrolling the mouse on my computer or reaching over to tap an object, I'm not trying to be rude. I have to! I squint when I'm thinking, when I'm listening, when I can't believe what you're saying, when I can't see you. I wear contacts, people! Sometimes I loose focus. I'm not really squinting at you.
It isn't that I don't care... Okay, it is sometimes; it's that I don't know any better. I'm unaware of what I'm doing or how I'm speaking. I'm a proud (first generation) Texan, but the South doesn't always know what to do with me. I'm a Yankee at heart. I am not trying to hurt your feelings. I always say, "You'll know when I'm being mean to you", but maybe you wouldn't. Maybe you see me as rude. Maybe you don't like me. Maybe you wish I would "lighten up", "chill out", or "calm down". I assure you now; I am all those things already. This is just how I talk.
If I want to hurt you or be rude I don't do it with tone, I do it with words. I say, "Gosh, you're rude" or "Quit being an asshole, Asshole"! I've been called a bitch before, but it's usually because I said I didn't like you or maybe I told you a hard truth. My friends enjoy and have come to depend on my reliability to speak my mind and call out bullshit. They try to egg me on just to see what I'll do. For the record, that rarely works.
I don't know how to fix this about myself. Truth be told I'm not sure I would want to. It's an important part of me. However, recently it has been causing problems. My name tag at work used to include a conversation starter- your hometown. Being as I'm from Dallas and work in Dallas I thought that would be boring. So instead, I put "Milford, PA" (where I go every summer). I never had a problem with my speech pattern when those I was talking to thought I was from the Northeast. It certainly helps that I don't sound particularly Southern (unless I'm talking to those that do). I'm a linguistic chameleon. I say "soda" and "Oo ja?" (oh yea?) and "advert-is-mint". I don't pose statements as questions.
So, just give me a break. You'll know when I'm being mean to you.