My ancestors are Polish, I grew up in Nitro, I'm the quintessential woman driver, and I was once married to an often controversial sportswriter, so trust me - I'm used to the jokes. Comfortably accustomed, as a matter of fact. Back when I was a scrawny junior high student, getting picked on and called names on a regular basis, I learned that by making the joke first, by developing a self-effacing sense of humor, I not only took the power of their cruel intentions away, but developed a thick enough skin that words didn't hurt.
When we cry foul over every transgression, real or imagined, we cause others to stop caring one way or another. The list of potential offenses has increased to a point of complete saturation, to a point where some of us are starting to say, "Fine. Be offended. See if I care."
I'm tired of walking on eggshells, of agonizing over every simple sentence I type trying to anticipate if this choice of phrasing or that attempt at humor might rub someone wrong. Even more, though, I'm finding that the Easily Offendeds are beginning to draw to the forefront the annoying little sister in me.
Aha! There's your sore spot! Now I'm going to poke it.
That doesn't mean I won't feel a bit of discomfort the next time I'm taken to task for needling someone over something I feel is fair game - like how Ohio requires its new drivers to complete 50 hours of training before being licensed (how bad does that mean their drivers must be before they start if they still drive that way after all those hours of training?) - but the way I see it, the Easily Offendeds are choosing to be a victim.
And I choose not to let myself be bothered by that.
Karin Fuller can be reached via e-mail at karinful...@cnpapers.com. Her columns can be accessed online through her blog at thegazz.com.