We're all snobs, I guess. And I know we're all hypocrites. So I don't know why I get so steamed by other people's snobbery. I do, though. I hold it against them, even if it doesn't affect me much. My own snobbery I call "discernment." But in other people it seems so ugly and blind. I need to be better about eradicating my own ridiculous rules and categories about other people before I begrudge other people theirs. But I'm not that advanced yet, so I'm going to gripe.
A woman friend of Neighbor's, who was at the shower yesterday, loves her dearly. It's a sweet, fierce love, and Neighbor revels in it. But a side effect of this woman's love is a strong interest in Neighbor's friends and relations -- a protective scrutiny, a self-appointed task of evaluating whether these other hangers-on are worthy of Neighbor's special attention. It's pretty transparent and maddening to both 517 and I. Maybe it's more maddening because she doesn't seem to think very highly of either of us, and if she talks to us at all it's to run us through a conversational obstacle course designed to test our merits in the areas she cares about. She does not feign interest in any topics outside of this scope.
517 and I egg one another on in a half-joking hostility toward The Snob. This vexes Neighbor, who loves her, and who wants us to love her, too. We talk about her at dinner from time to time. My official stance is that I can tell The Snob loves Neighbor very much, and I know they have a rich friendship, and I'm glad that she takes such an interest in Neighbor. She's smart, interesting, talented. But part of me is still steamed. It's offensive to be screened so overtly. Do I jump through her hoops to gain her approval so that we can move past the screening stage? I probably should, but the adolescent in me doesn't want to play her game, and keeps the parts I think she'd most approve of deliberately out of view. And it offends me on behalf of Neighbor. What kind of friend would have so little deference to a friend's judgment? How can she really respect Neighbor if she seems to think her friends and relations are of dubious merit unless they make it through her filters?
I make nice and stay out of the way, and then grumble with 517 privately. This doesn't seem like the ideal solution.