Saying “No offense”, can still be Offensive!
My sister is not like all other children, she has what I like to call “different abilities”. In addition, I have a good friend that I have been a friend with for the last 3 years. We spend the night at each other’s houses and we go to parties together. And on top of it all, our families are friends. But, this night was different. It all started when I went over to my friend’s house. It was the night of orientation for the new school that my sister was about to attend. Steven, (name changed to protect privacy) who is my friend’s little brother, was there and the previous year he had Kailee in his 3rd grade class. When he had returned from orientation that night, he was all excited that he had gotten a nice teacher. I asked him what her name was and found out that it was the teacher down the hall from Kailee. I told him that maybe if he was up for it, he wouldn’t mind every now and then saying “hello” to Kailee. He answered “yea, maybe if I see her, but she’s kind of weird and annoying, no offense”. Yes, that’s what he tells me! Excuse me, but, just because you say “no offense” doesn’t mean that that person still doesn’t take offense to it. I couldn’t believe what I had heard! My friend should have said something to “Steven”, right? Wrong, she just sat there as if she hadn’t heard anything. Oh my gosh! I wanted to slap them both. I mean, how dare he call my sweet, friendly sister “weird and annoying”. All that would have happened would be for Kailee to get excited that someone would take the time to acknowledge her. Is that so difficult to ask? No, it’s not. It’s just a simple “hello” or even shorter, “hi”. But, as I sulked to the bathroom to wipe away the tears that were on their way, my friend caught a glimpse of me crying and said “why are you crying? You don’t have to take everything so personally”. Aaaaagggghh, oh my gosh! Did I just hear what I thought I heard? I wanted to slap the little “witch”. What an ridiculous thing to say. I was speechless. I didn’t even defend myself or my sister.
This incident really put a strain on our friendship (well, from my perspective anyway). It brings tears to my eyes now as I am writing this, because, over the time that my friend and I have been friends, it didn’t change the fact that when Kailee would see “Steven” in the hall, he would never acknowledge that she was there. Night after night we would hear from Kailee that “Steven” and others friends of ours that went to Kailee’s school, wouldn’t say hello to Kailee after she said “hello” to them in the halls. Looking back on it, I should have stuck up for Kailee. I mean, if I don’t then who will? I guess what it comes down to is that if people don’t accept Kailee for who she is, then they can’t accept me. Kailee is my sister and it’s not her fault God made her just a little bit different than the regular average “Joe”. But, seriously, how boring would this world be if we were all the same?