Friday, October 30, 2009

Back when I was in high school, there was this guy named Dermaine who made a habit out of talking down to me. He was taller than I was, he was more polished, and he definitely had more ladies than I did (I had none). He made it his business to basically tell me that, "one day you'll be good as I am, but not now son." At the time, I really didn't have much of a rebuttal, because I was a scrawny kid with no game and no confidence. Throughout the years, I'd see Dermaine around DC, and we'd shake hands, half hug and catch up with one another. I wasn't quite as powerless as I had been in high school, but he still saw fit to take subtle shots at me, and I let it slide. At that point, I thought it was just silly that he still saw fit to do this, and it wasn't worth me getting irate.

A few years back, when MySpace was all the rage, Dermaine found and befriended me, looked at my page, and typed me a message that said, "I see you have women on your page, i'm glad you're finally talking to girls." I ignored it though, because I was willing to chalk it up to gentle ribbing. I even ignored it when he tried (without my permission) to talk to a female friend of mine on my page, without clearing it with me first to make sure I wasn't involved with her (I wasn't but still, there are rules). At this point, there were a laundry list of offenses by this dude that warranted me getting in that ass, but I continued to play the "he-knows-not-what-he-does" card.

A year later, he mentioned he was looking for writers for his entertainment website, and I volunteered because it was an area where I had little to no experience, and I wanted to expand my repertoire. Plus I looked at the site, sized up the writing as mediocre at best, and I figured I could make a minor dent. He looked at my writing and had the gall to say no thank you, which burned me the hell up, but I had to respect his [wrong]decision. But there was no way my writing was worse than what was already on there. Bear with me, I'm building up to something....

So now Dermaine and I are facebook friends (why you may ask? I like to keep people who I don't like, but don't know that I don't like them, close to me. its sad, petty and not very good for kwan, but I do it anyway), and he recently organized a mini-reunion of all the black people who graduated from my high school between 1989 and 1993 (there were like 20 of us), and I really wanted to go and catch up, but the fact that he was organizing it just annoyed me, so I skipped it...which brings us to yesterday.

Yesterday, Dermaine posted this article. (I know my readers usually ignore my hyperlinks, but click on that so you have some damn context) on comedian Tony Woods. I clicked on the article to see how his writing had grown, and what I saw was a joke. There were no paragraphs, numerous typos, simple sentences, and frankly I couldn't believe that an editor had ever laid eyes on this prose, let alone publish it for public consumption. After I stopped laughing, my first inclination was to say something mean and condescending to him...not because I like seeing people fail, but because I liked seeing HIM fail. Then, after talking to my lady and a friend of mine, they advised me to take the elusive, yet seemingly crowded high road. My compromise? To do something in the middle (that's what he said).

I left a message on his Facebook page that said, "Good stuff. There are some typos in there though, let me know if you want me to edit for you." Now the article was not good stuff, but a good backhanded insult does not work as well without a false confidence builder. And I really will edit for him if he wants. It would make me happy to get my proverbial red pen and mark up the page. Judging by his writing, I'll never run of reasons to use it Plus, lord knows I rely on my editors (hey Nichole and Ryan!!!) to help me look sharp..in fact all writers do. But even on my bad, writer's block, non productive days, I never put out a product like Dermaine did yesterday. I wouldn't even want my name attached to such a thing like that, out of fear that someone I know, love or hate, would reprimand me or write a blog entry about me.

Is this mean? Yes. Do I want him to read this and respond? Hell yes. Am I normally this vindictive? Not at all. Am I the best writer in the world? Not even close. And can I keep answering my own questions? I think I can.

7 comments:

£ said...

Lawwdy you're gonna make me break my facebook sabbatical just to see who you are talking about. lol

um as far as everything else I think we all have experienced a Dermaine or Dermaines in our life (Dermaine. that's Jermaine, with a D... right?) I had one in HS and I have one now. ugh. The high road, while not as emotionally satisfactory as other routes, is better in the long run. at least this is what I keep telling myself. lol.

keep it classy Rashad.

rashad said...

Lex,
I will not let you make me feel guilty. this is my triumph dammit

amy said...

I'll be waiting to hear how he responds to that! It's funny, I was thinking when I read his article that there were a lot typos and repetition. (Yes, I clicked the link!) Oh and another thing, I bet he's single now, no? Troubled relationship?

rashad said...

amy,
no response as of yet...and i'm sure if he's single, but i don't DARE ask..

amy said...

I just figured since that was his "thing" with you, that it might come back around like that. Evil, I know...

soft and subtle said...

What are we going to do with you Rashad..... Again, LMAO at your entry. I pray this guy reads your blog; I'm so curious to what his response would be.... really funny.

Miss. Lady said...

I am sorry I got through the first few sentences then he lost me after the fifth time of him saying that this comedian was "funny". I am not a writer so I assume that was to fluff his article opposed to placing a strong emphasis on how funny dude is.

Anyway, I could really see you going to town with that red pen. I bet the look on his face would be priceless when he sees a paper full of red marks...lol, that would be classic.