Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Arrogance

It was an interesting conversation over the sushi, this question of arrogance. See the thing is I’ve been accused of this before, though one of the people who called me out was just yanking my chain in the great mating game. But I guess as I pointed out to the boys I (and we) are a bit arrogant, especially when it comes to associating with the expats in SoCal.

See I have this thing, I remember where I’m from. Just because it’s been almost nine (yes nine) years since I’ve left home I haven’t left any of that behind. I still dress the same, jeans, t-shirt, flip flops; you won’t see me in football jerseys and pants sagging around my ankles. I speak the same, no nasal American accent or posh tosh Brit accent. I detest the people who have been here for a month and speak like they have Paris Hilton stuck up their arses. I have been successful enough without having to compromise who I am.

So yes I guess I’m arrogant, but the funny thing is I’m not at the same time. I get along famously with similar souls who I’ve meet for the first time. I think I need the same irreverence that I have towards everything reflected in my friends, the absolute opposition to fakeness and insincerity and the ability to laugh at oneself.

This probably explains why I have so few (read none) American friends, while I had so many (and still have) British friends. The Americans take themselves too bloody seriously and combine that with my irreverence makes for a lot of bruised egos. Back to the subject, I guess my arrogance comes because when I see the qualities I so dislike in a bunch of people, I clam up, which can so often be interpreted as arrogance…when it’s actually disregard.

Those of you who know me, feel free to comment. I will bear no harsh feelings.

11 comments:

Darwin said...

Never met you personally so can't comment about the accent, but I'm surprised...my mental picture of you always involved a nasal American accent! (*ducks*).

That aside, I have the same 'defence mechanism' you do when dealing with irritating fuckwits (i.e. clamming up). However I don't get called 'arrogant', I just get labelled as 'quiet'. Interesting eh? :)

PseudoRandom said...

So basically you pick your friends, and don't waste time making an effort with people whose first impressions put you off...and people call that 'arrogant'? I call it sensible, but that's just me.

I suppose I'm similar - I have quite a few good friends from my old school, tons of friends from university, but only a handful from the international school I went to (you know which one). I'm not sure what it is about affluence, but more often than not, it reeks of insincerity, and I want no part of it. But where people see you as arrogant and Darwin as quiet, they see me as 'geeky, boring and (most importantly to them) incredibly uncool'. Funny ol' world, no?

Oh and so the 'taking themselves seriously' is an American thing? I thought it was just the Americans in Cambridge...they think they're sooooo a-ma-zing...I'm like "whatever" :D

pissu perera said...

you mean you wore those horrendous, too-tight t-shirts even in sri lanka? :p

ZenDenizen said...

Since I've never met you, this was all a bit abstract but still made for a good read. I like to observe people a little before I open up (anyone who reads my blog knows I'm ridiculously opinionated) but this is often mistaken for snobbery.

I do happen to have a nasally American accent but it was acquired naturally due to my upbringing not because I thought it was cool to adopt one for professional/social climbing. I really hate when someone who got here yesterday flips off their native accent too and did you ever notice they never sound comfortable in their own skin?

Granted, I don't find a South Asian accent sexy and I get a lot of flack for it whenever I say it but I find the adoption of a fake American accent even less so.

What does this mean? It means I'm doomed to end up with a Jersey guy who doesn't find find it annoying when I saw awwwwl, mawwwwl, cawwwwwl and cawfee. ;)

ZenDenizen said...

Damn! That comment was longer than some of my posts *blush*

tinylittlefascist said...

Nicely said. Couldn't agree with you more.

I have a rubbish accent. It's somewhat of a mix-mash, but I'm pretty sure it's been rubbish wherever I've gone, rather than 'change'.

I generally don't get along with Americans. No idea why.

N said...

D - haha....very funny...yeah I just get the arrogant comment, never the quiet one.

Pseudorandom - The americans that can laugh at themselves are very few and far between...funny commment about the school btw:)

pissu - eh? what tight t-shirts?! Funny fantasies u have:)

Zen - no worries bout the comment length. Thankfully I don't have the 'typical' South Asian accent either...something I don't really find attractive. The newbies who waver between their FOB accents (which I guess is what I have) and the fake American accents makes me grit my teeth.

When it comes to accents though (real or imagined) I have to say the US one comes far down my list...

TLF - their allright...just not as funny as the Brits (vast generalization there).

ZenDenizen said...

The newbies who waver between their FOB accents (which I guess is what I have) and the fake American accents makes me grit my teeth.

Yes, that's exactly what I was talking about. I met a guy fresh off the boat from India at some happy hour who proudly proclaimed, "The Knicks are my hometown team man!" Uh, you just got here yesterday, (Bom?)Mumbai's your hometown...

When it comes to accents though (real or imagined) I have to say the US one comes far down my list...

Any particular US accent that particularly grates on your nerves? There are so many regional variations... And which accent does it for you? Clearly I love the topic of accents...

Scrumpulicious said...

TLF - their allright...just not as funny as the Brits (vast generalization there).

Us Brits are funny!

Sapphira said...

Sometimes confidence is misinterpreted as arrogance as well...
I don't know, I quite like arrogance (in decent doses). It's even in an attractive trait in some...

gutterflower said...

I don't know you, so I'm not in a position to air my opinion. :)

I get the snob comment. A lot.
Usually its because:

1. I'm not comfortable making small talk just for the sake of it.

2. I get sporadic bouts of shyness.

3. I just can't be arsed with the whole fake, insincere show of friendliness. Its not my thing.