Have you ever wondered why it is you like some people and can’t stand others? And vice versa, I’m sure. I’m not talking about people you know pretty well and develop an aversion to at some point, for some reason. The answer to that is obvious. I’m talking about people you barely know, or even those you’ve never met– and still, they rub you the wrong way.
You know, dislike on first sight. Or even without sight. Just plain dislike.
Do they send off some sort of scent that’s off-putting? Or pheromones? Really bad vibes? Do they have an aura about them?
Logically it makes no sense. How can you not like someone you don’t know? And yet
it happens, at least to me.
Take Margaret Wente, for example. She’s an OpEd columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail. There was a time I really enjoyed her columns. Heard her speak once, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Then, about a year or two ago, it all went sour for me.
And before you look at me like I’m completely daft and tell me the issue is simply that I don’t like what she’s saying, let me assure you, you’re wrong. I don’t always agree with her, that’s very true. Even when I liked her I didn’t always agree. But that’s why she’s there. To provoke thought and debate.
It’s something else. There’s an air about her. An attitude. An arrogance. A superiority. A looking down her nose, a “let them eat cake.” A condescending tone. An edge. I can’t really explain it. I can’t really put my finger on it. All I know is, I’ve developed an allergic reaction to her. So much so I had to stop reading her columns, which is much easier since I cancelled my subscription to The Globe which, by the way, had nothing to do with her. I got sick and tired of the ever increasing number of times my paper failed to make it to my door.
Anyway, the other day I decided to kill some time while I had my breakfast and go online and catch up on some news. The Globe has some content you can get access to without subscribing. There she was, staring at me, so I thought, “What the hell, let’s see what she’s got to say, it’s been forever … .” Well she got my dander up before I’d even finished the first few sentences.
Like I said, I’ve got an allergic reaction to her.
Clicked off before I spat my coffee all over my computer.
It can happen to me with total strangers, too. A week or so ago when I got into the elevator in my apartment building there was another woman in there. We didn’t say a word to each other. Normally I would have said “good morning” but I knew the instant the doors opened my lips would remain firmly clamped together. Without saying a word, she felt ‘unpleasant’ to me. And it was obviously reciprocal because she never even glanced over at me.
There was just something about her and it was clear, right then and there, we wouldn’t become friends any time soon. Don’t ask me what it was. All I know is, we rode down to the lobby in total silence and exited the building, heading in different directions. Literally and figuratively.
Yet, I have never met a dog or a cat I haven’t really liked.