Arsenic Among the Spices


To understand this story, I suggest you read this post first.  I’m kind of having a hard time socially in college right now with an intellectual bully, so I decided to let off a little bit of steam by creating this story.  Yes, I am aware we all have flaws.  Again, this is just my attempt at letting off steam in a more creative and healthy way besides pure venting.

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As a Christian, God calls me to love (caritas) everybody because we are all made in His image.  This doesn’t mean you have to be friends with everybody.  However, it does mean you treat all people with the respect they deserve as a member of the human race.  As far as getting alone with my fellow humans goes, it’s not too hard for me.  There is one person, however, that’s making it extremely difficult to be charitable to.  When I first met her, I wanted to be her friend immediately because she was intelligent, bookish, and just interesting.  Unfortunately, I have yet to truly meet this girl as a person.  You see, she has an alter-ego, and all I’ve known of her is through her “other I”  The alter-ego clearly doesn’t want to be friends with me.  Sure, I see her positive personality traits all the time, but those tend to be cast in a negative light when the alter-ego appears.  Her name is Hubris.

One would think that Hubris would dress in an over-the-top fashion, with her nose perpetually in the air.  Not really.  She dresses nicely, but not ostentatiously.  And by her physical stance, she looks like a typical student that goes to the Honors College at Houston Baptist University (HBU).  Ah, but here is the key to Hubris, she’s not as overt as you think she is.  Some people, she treats with rough-around-the-edges kindness, often through rigorous teasing.  However, maintaining the delusional “top spot” is a constant, if not Sisyphean task.  That’s when she homes in on people she deems would make a decent stepping stone.  I, unfortunately, have become a target.  Hubris loves to genuinely berate my choice of major, Biology, calling me “soulless”  You know, I never thought of her choice as “useless”, as some of my crueller counterparts have called her major, English, and those similar to it.  If there was more available to me as an English major, I would have been one, but it just wasn’t worth it to me personally.

Aside from this, she treats me as she would a young child, constantly  correcting for me for my  human flaws. (I can be a bit too loud sometimes, but I’ve developed a keener awareness and am consequently more careful.)  Here is a recent exchange from today.

Me: (in a happy and eager tone of voice) “I’d love to watch [that funny video]!”

Hubris: (addressing me even though I did not address her): “Well, you can only watch it if you’re quiet.” (As if she could ban me from all the computers available to me, not to mention that I had brought my own today.)

Me: (miffed because this isn’t the first time): I don’t take answers from you.

Hubris: (not missing a beat) “Well, then you’re not going to watch it then.”

I’m going to be honest with you, gentle reader, it took all my strength not to flip the bird at Hubris, or cuss her out.  But, there was a little voice inside of me telling me not to stoop to her level.  Thankfully, I followed His guidance.  This is where Hubris shows her true nature, in the way she speaks.  It is when she speaks that she sticks her nose in the air.  It is when she speaks that you realize what is underneath a seemingly appealing, spicy personality.  Beware, reader, hidden within the spices are traces of arsenic, a deadly poison.  Thankfully, arsenic is easy to spot.  It is a starkly white powdery substance that sticks out like a sore thumb among the spicy reds, greens, yellows, and oranges.  Thus, you don’t have to ingest it.  The best course of action is to hand it back to the server in a firm, but not hostile way.  Let them know you’re aware of the arsenic’s presence and tell him or her not to serve it to you again.  If he or she insists, just keep being firm, though it may come to a point where you have to forcefully shove the dish back into his or her hands.  Hopefully, the server will understand that his or her attempts will not work on you.  This course of action is precisely how I plan to deal with Hubris, by firmly letting her know I won’t be taken advantage of.  I’ll keep it us as long as I have to.

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P.S.: I have read way too many stories of bullying for my liking, especially from my generation.  The truth is this: bullies are everywhere.  I’ve been blessed to where I haven’t dealt with too many bullies in my life.  In fact, the last time I was genuinely bullied was in middle school.  Now, I have to deal with one in college.  If any of my readers pray, I’m kindly asking them to pray for me concerning this issue.

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