Today I went to a local cafe to work on my thesis. My books and notes to my right, and earbuds firmly in place, I began to type. I had been at this for nearly two hours when an older gentleman, who had been talking to an acquaintance of mine, wandered over to my table. I kept my eyes glued to my computer screen, hoping he was just looking at the bookshelf behind me, but then he asked me what I was writing. I told him I was writing my thesis (although at the moment he leaned over my computer I was taking a Facebook break, go figure). He asked me what it was about, and despite my best efforts to explain, never really seemed to grasp it. This in and of itself didn't bother me much, as anthropology (especially cultural anthropology) can be a difficult subject to explain. But this guy was an ASS. Our conversation was prefaced by his comment "do you know that only five people outside of you and your committee will actually read your thesis?" This is a harsh yet somehow oddly relieving fact that I already know, so I let it go. Yet after a brief discussion of my topic, he follows up with this zinger: telling me that my topic sounds "condescending." This caught me completely off-guard, and I stumbled for words to defend myself. Mercifully, the conversation did not last much longer before he wandered away.
It's times like these that I really wish I could give people the what-for they deserve. Although I was not overly friendly, I did not abruptly end the conversation as I had wished. I hope that my emotions were transparent enough (they usually are) to show him how I felt. Seriously, who gets off on trolling coffee shops and sparking obnoxious conversations with people? It's not like I was just sitting there talking with those around me or simply reading a novel, I was WORKING! I had earphones in and was typing away with a pile of shit around my computer. Apparently I need a literal 'Do Not Disturb' sign hanging over my head. I don't know what it is about me that causes men to think that I want to talk to them when I'm clearly busy with something else. Just because I'm young, pretty, and in a public place doesn't necessarily mean I'm looking for conversation. I'm also bummed that the earbud strategy apparently doesn't always work.
*Deep breath* well that's all for now. I'm not really as upset as this post probably makes me sound, it's just that the re occurrence of these types of situations really irritates me. I don't know if it's the idea that people don't take me seriously, have no consideration for my feelings, or some other reason I can't recognize. I know that I'm probably reading into this way too much, so I'll end it here. Chances are he's just a lonely soul who put his foot in his mouth. And I need to stop being so sensitive. My adviser has made his share of enemies as well as friends. Not everyone is going to understand or support my work. Not everyone is going to understand my need for privacy. I guess that's the risk you run when you choose to work in a public place.
Okay, I'll end now, for real. Over and out.