Tuesday, August 29, 2006

As I've mentioned, I make glass beads on torch and I make jewelry, and being a creative, arty sort of person, I seem to be a weirdo/loser/kook magnet. Indeed, I find the loopy energy of the out-there lost-in-space artist type quite fascinating. To a point. One of the most out-there people I know came over to my house today with another artist.

He's classic short-attention-span-theater, and although he's mid-50s, he is childlike in some of the most perturbing ways. Anything you mention or that he asks you about, after you give an explanation, he goes on to say that he's done it better/smarter/faster. No one has such a superlative existence as him. *much eye-rolling here*

And he will ask a question only to interrupt you with a subject change 5 words into your response. Maddening.

Here's the big stink bomb he laid on me today. He told me someday when I make a lot more money I need to hire him to landscape my pool. Seriously. How DARE he!

Now, I know there's one section of the garden that is drab, and the perennials aren't very large or established yet (it was the section I pictured here a few weeks ago), but it is evident in every direction of my yard that there is method to my madness.

I can understand speaking frankly, and I think I'm not terribly thin-skinned about things, generally, but that was so beyond the pale. If I had asked for his advice or what he thought, that would be one thing, but unsolicited advice lined with a cruel critique is downright shitty.

I might have responded that with the money from landscaping my yard he might do something about his distended abdomen or buy cleaning supplies so that his art pieces don't always reek of the bitter tang of cat piss.

But I would NEVER say something spiteful or hurtful just out of the blue. Just because I don't say mean things to people doesn't mean I'm not able to criticize-- I just don't like hurting someone's feelings - not my idea of a good time.

Call me fragile or pitiful, but I want the same respect paid me. I don't think I'll be inviting him over again any time soon.


LJ said...

Sounds very much narcissistic personality disorder...that better-than, bigger-than kind of thing. I have a relative who is a classic case - and you can't (well, you can if you want to frustrate yourself)take it personally.
He likely just can't perceive anything except in terms of himself.

It's really obnoxious, isn't it?

phlegmfatale said...

Uh oh, lj - I think _I_ have narcissistic personality disorder. Didn't he know it's all about me? Oh, wait, I can't be-- I actually noticed his man-tits and the cat-pee smell of his house. Whew! I scared myself for a minute!

Anonymous said...

Your feelings are totally understandable - all I can say in reassurance is consider the source. People like that never change, especially as they get older..

Your response would have been hilarious. I wonder if he would have enjoyed being spoken to that way, maybe he would have started dropping by every day for some verbal sparring!

Meg said...

Come on, you would have had a good line or two that may not sound like a criticism to a self-absorbed bloke, but at least you could have decompressed/reinflated your soul. Or was it THAT bad? Do you want me to send pics of my garden - he sould have a heyday with THAT!

Dick said...

You said have told him if you planned on hiring someone to relandscape, you would have to go with somebody who had talent.

FHB said...

Somebody sees a few do-it-yourself garden shows on cable tv and they become experts. Typical. You should have said something like "great, then when you're out there watering the plants you could splash some water on yourself and try to get rid of that fuckin' stench."

LJ said...

Naw, honey! You're just a Libra! Venus's gal, dontcha know! She who must be adored. Grinning.

Maven said...

I don't dig how some artistic types rely heavily upon the kindness of others, as they wield their quirks our way. I have a friend (or I should say HAD a friend, as I believe I've been DX'd), whose husband was rather "ecclectic." He used to be a drummer with Blondie before they hit it big, he once was a high priest in some ancient egyptian cult, has a penchant for 1930s styled straw hats (yes the ones that barber shop quartets traditionally wear--and yes, he'd we wear his hat all the time)... but I drew the line at his public pooting. Little did I know, yet found out on an afternoon stroll behind him, that once he is outside, he feels free to fart at will, regardless of WHO is downwind.

PS: I'm a mouth breather.

PS+: My gf thought nothing of it, and was rather matter of fact about it.

phlegmfatale said...

jacquie - I actually have almost asked him if he realizes how often he interrupts other people speaking, and if he doesn't want to hear the answer, why does he ask the question. You're right, though, there'll be no changing him

meg - I don't know if he would even notice if I said something shitty - he's that into his own trip. I should show him photos of your garden and say "this is my friend's garden and is the look I'm sorta going for here. How did I do?"

big dick - I LOVE this suggestion. Then again I could have said "Dude, I can afford to pay for landscaping now. THAT is not the issue."

fathairybastard - *L* Yeah, stench - Love it. Yeah, he thinks he knows everything about everything. His garden is completely tree-shaded whereas mine is almost completely exposed to the harsh Texas weather, so our garden styles would HAVE to be different. I'm not going to be a slave to mine, so I have to have scrubbier, more heat-hardy plants. It's that simple.

lj - EXACTLY - adore me! What, do I have to send a memo to the guy every day? I take a dim view of being taken a dim view of.

nuggetmaven - Well-put - "as they wield their quirks our way." Oh, I'd definitely have to say IXNAY to the guy who "frees his spirits" upwind of all and sundry - someone that inconsiderate is just an asshole, and not qualified to call themselves a sensitive artist. Oh, and ancient egyptian cults - why revive that shit?-- it fell into oblivion for a reason - because it's brimming with bullshit - what does that say about someone who tries to keep it alive???