The Hating Game

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A couple weeks back I stated my shock that some people didn’t know who the Most Interesting Man in the World was and I still can’t believe it.  One of those dear friends, however, redeemed herself when she suggested a far more interesting person would the Most Hated!  She wasn’t suggesting an ad campaign, she was just talking about who might be the most hated person we know.

Now that was a good one.  She said there are two types of hated people. Those who know they are hated and don’t care at all and those who are oblivious and thinks the opposite – everybody loves me.

There’s another category, I think, another level beyond the I-don’t-care type. It’s the person who seems like they try to be hated.  There’s the person who refuses to pick up after their dog and seems to revel in the hatred of neighbors.  There’s the person who talks down to everyone.  They’re trying.  And they actually do care: they want to be hated.

Well, I am definitely not oblivious – at least not in this case.  I am despised by some people, to be sure.  Of course, I don’t want to be hated and I think if somebody hates me they’re just wrong.  And blind.  They just can’t see the snugly me.

And in some of those cases, there’s some joy.  The fun part is, if somebody hates me and they think I don’t care about their hatred I know it only burns them more. 

Of course, they might hate me simply because they know I hate them and I hated them first.  Which drives them insane.  Which I love.

I figure some people might hate me because of a newspaper column.  I still have people yelling at me because I made fun of my mother’s cooking fifteen years ago.  That doesn’t really count.  I mean, I can picture somebody reading my column and cursing, and mumbling I friggin’ hate this guy, but that just goes with the territory.

I had to admit, I found the who-do-you-hate conversation was more interesting than the most interesting man.  

I’m a loyalist or empathetic hater. If someone I like hates someone I don’t really know I’m gonna hate that person, too.  If I know the person they hate I might find reason not to hate them.  But if I don’t know them I’m taking the word of the person I like.

Oh, and by hate, I don’t really mean hate.  Hate is wanting somebody dead.  Immediately.  Or slowly. 

Forget that kind of hate, that takes too much energy and commitment. I’m talking reeeeeeeally don’t like.  So go ahead, ask somebody, go around the table, see what names come up. And people from TV or politics don’t count.  I hate the sound of The Big Bang Theory and Housewives of Wherever but that’s not juicy. You have to know them. 

And it can be anybody. Preferably local.  There used to be a cashier I hated. 

That counts.

Which reminds me of what Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter Alice said once upon a time: If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, come sit next to me.

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