Ai, Nelson‘s favorite pronoun, is mad at me. Why? Because she’s offended by weather. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but this is how girls think. So, Ai, allow me to say here on my blog, from the bottom of my heart, that I’m sorry.
Here’s what went down. Last night, at an event organized by Ai, we surprised Nelson with a birthday dinner at Vung Tau in San Jose. It was my first time at a Vietnamese restaurant, and while I was terrified of what I might eat, the food actually very good, including some spongy vegetable I had never seen before in an unidentified soup. That part of the evening went pretty well, and I even brought a sufficient amount of cash for when it was time to pay the bill, although I did have to ask for change. (I still I can’t believe that in 2009, cash is something I find myself using, but I could write an entire series of blog posts about how I hate carrying around paper and why restaurants should be better equipped to handle multi-card payments.)
After dinner, we headed to the Peacock Lounge in Sunnyvale. It’s a bar, the type of venue I could write countless more parenthetical complaints about, but I was happy to attend and support Nelson on his birthday. Things were going pretty well, I was doing okay with talking to Nelson’s friends in between segments of faux interest in whatever sports they were showing on the TVs, but then Ai confronted me about something.
“So I was reading your blog,” she said.
“Uh oh,” I replied, secretly thrilled that anyone had read it, regardless of whether or not it was about to lead to me getting yelled at.
She then told me that she had serious issues with what I had said about California in one post. She claimed that I said that I wouldn’t miss my friends, and called my description of weather and seasons (for the benefit of Californians) “condescending.”
She schooled me a bit on her history with, “I spent some time living in Illinois. I know what weather is.”
My post was meant to exclude Californians who had spent some time living in Illinois, but I forgot to explicitly state that so again, Ai, I’m sorry.
At the time, I was fatigued and not thinking straight, so I attempted to get out of trouble using logic and not just apologizing. After I pointed out out several flaws in her accusations with quotes from my post, like “I like California,” and “I will miss some people,” she said that it’s not her fault if she misunderstood what I wrote. At this point, I may have, if one interprets my words a certain way, subtly implied that she has poor reading comprehension skills when I told her, “You have poor reading comprehension skills,” and noted that I write at an advanced level. Eventually, when the conversation got to the point of “Oh, boy, she might not be taking this argument as a joke like I am,” (this happens to me a lot) I came to my senses and added this to my Gmail Tasks list on my iPhone: “Apologize to ai because girls are scary and I always agree with them as a life rule.”
So why did I decide to apologize? It’s a defense mechanism I’ve developed over time, and it’s part of a (previously) strategy that I think I’ve only shared with Ted until now. Two main rules of this strategy are:
- In an argument where you are forced to take sides, always agree with the girl.
- When in doubt, apologize.
Let’s go over #2, since it is the relevant rule here: When in doubt, apologize. Even if I think it’s a situation where there is no argument and nobody should feel guilty, I just play it safe and fill any awkward silences or otherwise confusing moments with an apology. Let’s see if it saves me this time around.