Someone who’s visiting the city recently pinged me on the “Networking website”. I responded, and introduced myself. He asked me whether my last name was A, B or C. (Yes, there are apparently 3 people with my first name in this city.) When I confirmed which it was, he responded saying he was glad he’d asked me that, because he’d been warned about my “mental and personal hygiene”, and signed off.
This is the third instance that I’ve gotten the idea that I’m being gossiped about. What I cannot imagine for my life is why. My flatmate (the gay one) has warned me time and again to not be as talkative and naive when interacting with the “community” in this city, and that it’s the bitchiest of all, in the country. I didn’t believe it, since I always thought I surrounded myself with people of reasonable character and intellect. Clearly I was wrong.
Some weeks ago, an acquaintance, who is a friend of my flatmate’s (which I can’t imagine why, since my flatmate keeps lamenting how much he badmouths just about anyone he knows), was telling him that he heard from everyone that I had bad breath! He was telling my flatmate! What was he thinking? That my flatmate wouldn’t tell me that he’d said that? And the flatmate was given yet another opportunity to turn around and say, “I told you so”.
A week after the flatmate told me, I’m at a party and I come across Queen Bitch. I give him a polite nod, and he stops to make conversation. I make an excuse and move on, since I have no desire to engage in idle chatter with him. Some minutes later, someone stops me to introduce me to him, at which point I have to interrupt “Oh, we’ve met” and move away. Some more minutes later, I’m standing and talking to a few folks, I turn right and Queen Bitch presents himself there as well. How two faced can the guy get???
It’s of little surprise that another friend from long ago (that Queen Bitch and I have in common), who used to call on the phone often, and make an effort to stay in touch, is now barely cordial when we meet (and put me on a very, VERY limited list on Facebook. I outright removed him).
This is the third incident I hear of being spoken about. The first occurred sometime last year, when a friend suggested I keep a low profile, since he’d observed smirking at the mention of my name. I think I wrote this piece about it, but it could’ve been something family-related instead.
I really can’t imagine how I’ve landed myself in these circumstances. I don’t even know what people out there are saying about me, and who all particularly are doing so. Or if I even know all of them. Or how many of them will avoid me on the basis of what they’ve heard about me.
I need to stop being such an innocent, vulnerable lamb. But to begin with, I think I’ll have to change cities and pretty much start over. Which is difficult since I dislike Delhi, and I’ve ruined Bangalore for myself.