Gossip and Spitefulness
Gossip and spitefulness are such social inhibitors, don’t you find?
There is what is called gossip, but that doesn’t have to be spiteful, I am talking more about purposefully malicious, spiteful gossip. The kind that makes many or even most people worry about being perceived to be friendly, or over-friendly, or even over-familiar, the gossips might say.
Most people worry about being gossiped about to the point that it inhibits their true, natural instincts to be friendly with one another, despite which sex the other person is. The fear of invoking jealousy also plays a role here.
I can’t see that men or women suffer from this gossip any more than the other, but if a woman just wants to display friendliness or even friendship, it is more likely to be misunderstood by men, although both sexes will gossip about it.
I am speaking as a man who was single until the age of fifty, ten years ago. I know that many ‘complications’ have been caused by my friendliness and I am far from a touchy-feely person.
Anyway, a silly person upset me tonight along these lines.
I was drinking a beer in the shop of a friend, who doesn’t get home until six. He told me to drink there wherever I liked when we met two years ago. We got drunk and I confirmed it with him a few days later. It turned out that he is a cousin of my wife. Fine.
Tonight, a beautiful, young woman came in, sat opposite me and kept staring at me in not-a-nice way. I mention that she was beautiful, because men and women tent to give beautiful people more leeway.
“Where’s his wife?” I heard her ask in Thai.
My friend’s wife, whom I consider my friend as well, already knew, but asked me in more deliberate Thai.
“At home,” I replied, “looking after the baby”.
“And where’s your husband?” she asked the shopkeeper.
“At work,” she replied.
“Oh…” came the predictable reply.
When she had left, the shopkeeper told me that the woman was her friend.
“She thinks I’m sniffing around,” I said.
“Yes, but what can I do?” my friend asked.
I wanted to say that in Britain, I would have told her to sod off and mind her own business, but I didn’t know how to.
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Podcast: Gossip and Spitefulness