The Beauty of Being Underestimated

Possessing the face of the girl next door, a high pitched voice and a nice smile, I fall within the parameters of being underestimated. Or perhaps my self-denigrating sense of humor culled to perfection. Or my ability to let 99% of the shit around me roll off my back and not pass judgment. Until I break. Whatever it is, it never ceases to amaze me that people continually underestimate me, my intelligence and ability to do things.

I don't understand that. I truly don't. I honestly don't understand why people think they can say or do things to me with impunity and without repercussion. What truly amazes me is that, despite the events in my life that I blog and talk about, especially the very same people who have witnessed FIRSTHAND what I'm capable of doing and saying, they still feel they can steam plow me.

Even when I worked on Wall Street, what I had to say was underestimated for the most part. I don't get that. It's only after whatever I said or warned or cautioned or put in block letters in memos came into being that suddenly the same people who retained my services for big bucks, mind you, finally listened to what I said. On second thought, perhaps it's because I'm a woman, a pretty woman with big tits and great legs?

Whatever it is that causes the underestimation truly mystifies me. It mystifies my two friends as well. Every time a new situation crops up, my two friends scream in incredulity, "Don't they know who they're fucking with?!"

Dryly, I respond, "Evidently not."

The funny thing is that I don't have to do anything to retaliate. I leave it in the capable hands of the same people who perpetrate mischief against me. I learned a long time ago that people who want to wreak havoc in my life end up shooting themselves in the foot. Take, for instance, my blog posting about the fellow who called me a whore and kept stepping it up. All because I wouldn't give him the right time of day. I wasn't even aware of what he did until a year later when the case was kicked up to the DA's office as a hate crime. In fact, my name wasn't even in the legal papers although I was the victim!

Just recently, I was the victim of an attack online from, of all people, one of his relatives! It initially took the form of a tweet from someone who created an account specifically targeting me. She used code words and I knew who it was. I have to thank my twitter followers for reporting her because in a flash, her account was suspended. And, this morning, I found out that this very same person tried 9 times to first alter my Wikipedia page with slurs and, unsuccessful at that, to remove it entirely. Once again, I have to thank the good people at Wikipedia who are on top of things and saw the vandalism. They got her IP addy and her account banished and removed and restored my Wikipage to its original content.

Let's not mention all those ex-boyfriends who believed I accepted their crap! It makes me wonder who they thought they were dating! It also goes to show they never listened to a word I said.

Still, you may ask yourself, why do these people do this? If I knew, I'd tell you upfront! I think it has something to do with the fact that I don't want to deal with their nonsense. Yes, I am dismissive. It's not elitism or snobbism. It's just that my life has always been one giant serving of overwhelming.

My jobs were heavy-hitting with too much research to conduct within severe time constraints. They didn't pay me big bucks to fuck around. I didn't have the freedom to join in on office gossip or fuck around with manipulation for that brass ring. It didn't mean that I was a total bitch. Yet, my office interactions were limited to work. Besides, I had a social life outside of the office that I had to contend with. Today, I got too much on my plate as is, dealing with my neurological deafness that makes a simple foray to the local bakery/cafe an ordeal, having a 15 minute telephone conversation knock me out for 3 hours and inability to keep my thoughts focused while two different frequencies of tinnitus clamor.  Hell, just doing this blog requires HOURS. But you, dear reader, don't see that. Thankfully. All you get is the end result.

Lately, though, the underestimation has taken a new form from strangers. Living in a quaint village, a resort destination, I notice that tourists and seasonal dwellers treat us locals with condescension. Even though I don't get out much, I do attend community events, esp. outside where sound's diffused. I'm constantly on the prowl to market myself and exchange my promotional business cards at a drop of a hat, always after they offer theirs.

The typical exchange is: "Oh, you're an author!" with a sly grin creasing their faces.

"Yes," I respond. "Also an award-winning, critically acclaimed one," I add because the grins invariably turn dubious, like, "Yeah, sure, yeah, sure."

"And you live up here all year round?" they ask again, taken aback that anyone with a modicum of intellect would ever want to live in a gorgeous pastoral rural community with clean air and water and fresh from the vine/ground/tree produce from farms a simple walk away. So what if it's isolated? I get better internet service than them - brand new cables set up 5 years ago. Hell, I even have flushing toilets and - get this - my very own well! Not only that, these dolts have no idea that quite a few of the intelligentsia - famous actors, filmmakers, writers, musicians and artists - reside here all year round!

Still, they act dismissive. Although some buy my books right from me for the autograph. I can only imagine them saying to their friends, "Oh, we met a pretty tattooed woman who wrote a book. How adorable! She doesn't look like a typical country bumpkin."

No doubt they didn't listen to my Queens accent.

This morning in front of the bakery/cafe, I bumped into one of the local constables who we nicknamed, "Ricky Radar." He's nabbed tons of speeders who defy the 40mph on a stretch of road which passes by the lake. I love Ricky - he's spry, intelligent and at 71, full of vim and vigor. He makes so much money for the town with these tickets they don't want him to retire.

"What're you doing here?" I asked.

He replied, "Oh, it's lunchtime and the tourists will want to pass through our quaint town and perhaps stop in at one of our restaurants."

We both laughed.

"The tourists love looking at us, how rustic," he added. "What we truly need here as a bigger draw is another celebrity like Sam Levenson."

Sam Levenson was my cousin, an intellectual humorist who had 10 best-selling novels in the 1960's and 1970's although people know him today as the one who wrote the poem that Audrey Hepburn loved. Sam spent summers residing in my house, playing the resorts throughout the borscht belt. I grew up with Sam at the kitchen table cracking jokes with my mother, his favorite cousin and my father.  My father was not only his best friend, but comedy writer for his sit-com in the early 1950's. When my first novel came out, a fan emailed me a page from Sam's first book, "Everything but Money." I was floored - Sam and I have similar writing styles! I like to joke that if Sam were alive today, he'd add "fuck" to everything the way I did!

"Wait one moment," I yelled, "I'm the local celebrity - not only Sam's cousin, but what about my books?"

Distracted by a speeding car, the conversation ended.

I want to end this rambling diatribe with a story, the epitome of being underestimated or not. {Pull out a cup of java.}

The very first purchaser of "Five-Star FLEECING" was a neighbor in the building where I used to reside, Francesco Gallo. Francesco was the last CEO of Air Italia in the Western Hemisphere. Two months after he purchased the book, we bumped into each other in the lobby of the building.

He gushed, "I loved your book! It was so funny and so deep!"

"Deep?" I said in astonishment.

"Yes," he said and continued to wax enthusiastically how brilliant he found my novel. He also informed me how he purchased copies for universities in Italy and to friends in the media.

Then, he gave me a strange look. Intuitively, I said, "Now you're trying to reconcile the woman you know with the woman who wrote the book."

"Precisely," he said, peering at me once more.

"Okay, I know that I act like an asshole sometimes, Francesco. But I do possess a mind!"

Francesco was a lovely man, staunchly supporting my book. He realized that all those non sequiturs I said over the years were jokes. He even met some of the men I dated and no doubt wondered about that! We kept in touch after I moved permanently to Green Acres and I saw him once over a luncheon October 2011 with two other dear friends. It was only after he passed away February 2012 from being treated for a misdiagnosed illness that was actually cancer when I read his obit. No wonder he loved the book! "Five-Star FLEECING" addresses racism, in fact, all forms of discrimination. And Francesco lost his job when he took Air Italia to court suing for discriminatory practices in the US, something unheard of from any executive! Talk about integrity.

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This blog and all its posts are a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Anonymous said...

GREAT publish and impressive in turn …will bear a try all the tips..Thanks……

SensoryArch said...

Thank you! excellent post... I know the feeling very well. Although I am early in my career I already face similar issues, including my Queens accent. Just came across your blog and it put a smirk on my face.

Anonymous said...

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