Ne me jugez pas

by Devina Gunawan

I wonder if it would be much easier if we all had labels on our foreheads. People are horribly judgmental that sometimes I have no words to describe humanity.

When we first meet someone, we immediately assume many things about him or her. The ugly part of that assumption, is that we hold onto that assumption and start judging.

But do we really know this person?

I was sitting at a dinner table with three guys. One was a close friend of mine, and together, our aura was already stamped by a decade of friendship. Then there was this guy that I met few months back and had been talking to. At last, he brought a friend, a guy who was just unfortunately dragged into our little gathering.

So I was there, enjoying my dinner while trying my best to make everyone feel slightly more comfortable. Truly, apart from me and my best friend David, the other two guys seemed very much unhappy with the arrangement.

Thus, the obvious was this: the group was a two partied dinner. One party was of me and David, and the other party was of my acquaintance and his friend.

David paid for the dinner, because he owed my acquaintance a dinner due to some business project they were engaged in. I let him, just because we had reached that stage in friendship when we took turns in getting the bills.

Afterwards, my acquaintance handed me a big bag of books that I had requested him few days back. The bag was heavy, and David carried it.

You see, in the decade of friendship that we had shared, I had had enough of David’s gentleman’s code. We would argue over his gentleman’s code and my feminist ways. And in the end, we had settled into what one could and could not do. But of course, this was our arrangement, and we did not have to broadcast it to the world.

Awhile later, the two parties parted ways. David and I ended up getting drinks and talking about current life issues to end the night.

Then the judgment fell on me horribly around two days after.

My acquaintance texted me two days later to tell me that it seemed to him that I was using David. He reminded me that David was simply too kind and I should have chosen “the asshole type” to use.

I had never felt so wrongly accused.

He was sitting with us for two hours, and he had decided to come up with that conclusion: that I was using David and that I should stop doing so.

The funny thing was that his assumption rose from the fact that David paid the dinner and carried the big bag of books for me. He believed that I should have paid for my meal and carried the bag.

He had no idea of the gentleman’s code and our turns in paying bills. He had no idea that after he and his friend left, it was my turn to pay for the drinks and desserts.

And perhaps, I was never that good of a friend to anybody, but that was a cold slap. Especially coming from someone who knew nothing about me and the person included in his terrible judgment.

How dared he, after meeting me and David for two hours, text me to tell me to not hurt my best friend just because he assumed that I was a predator and David the prey?

We barely talked during the two hours, and it was horrible just to know that it was what the acquaintance had gotten from our dinner.

How was it that we enjoy judging others so much? Do we like being judged? Of course not. But what is it in judging others that is so pleasing?

Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Superior? Holier-than-most?

Because judging like what the acquaintance did to me obviously did not make him look like a better person at all. If anything, it made me like him less. And don’t even start on respect.

I am not sure if he felt like the superhuman when he texted me and told me to take a hint, a hint that I was a horrid friend who used her best friend. But he certainly did not look like one to me.

It just made him a judgmental bastard, if I could put it nicely.

But who am I kidding? The world is full of them.

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