Dear lovely people of the internet,
Yesterday I had an encounter with an incredibly tiresome man. Luckily, the encounter was online, so I could block him. It is rather more difficult to block someone in real life, unless you're Donald Trump and can build a wall, and thankfully I'm not.
Anyhow: yesterday I wrote what was a lighthearted blog post about being happy in the face of adversity, rather than waiting for your life to be perfect before you can be happy. It was, I thought, the very opposite of negative.
But no! Mr Mansplainer (for that is what I shall call him) decided to post on my Facebook wall to shatter that naive view. He began inauspiciously:
"I hope you don't take this the wrong way but you do seem to be very self absorbed."
Oh gosh, why would ANYONE take that the wrong way?! The fact that I write a personal blog seems to have eluded him. Does he email newspaper op-ed columnists with the same wise observation? (He probably does, sadly.)
"People only find happiness (whatever that is) through things that are meaningful in their lives."
Not really. Hot sex, delicious food, great interior design and sunshine all make me very happy. I'm not sure any of those things are particularly meaningful.
He went on, over a series of boorish posts: "Your blog tends to focus very much on the negative in your life and I suppose I'm curious as to why that is."
Well, Mr Mansplainer: a. It doesn't generally, and b. If it does slightly at the moment, it might just be because I'm getting divorced from my best friend of 21 years.
(The authors of one study found that "nearly 60% of people who divorced during the study and who had previously experienced depression reported another depressive episode after their split". I'm lucky to be in the 40%, so far at least.)
I sent Mr Mansplainer a link to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago called Reasons to be Happy, which listed several reasons why I'm cheerful. He replied:
"Is that it? One example? It’s clear in your writing style that your default position is one of negativity."
Ironically, at this point he was making me feel incredibly depressed, so I blocked him, dear reader.
He was - and almost certainly still is - an ignoramus, a bell-end and a tool.
But hey, at least I got another blog post out of it.