When I was in the shower I wondered whether or not I should drive with the top down tonight. Last I checked a thermometer, it read 50°. I decided that I would not, and if the subject came up in conversation I would respond "yeah, I've honestly driven with the top down in colder weather but I feel like I shouldn't do that. Even if people tolerate my weirdness*, driving with the top down in 285° weather probably goes too far for most people."
It then clicked that I could make the argument that I wouldn't insert Kelvin measurements into real-life conversation if I were genuinely pretentious in real life as I pretend to be online. My reasoning was that it's intended to be ironic in a self-deprecating way the nature of which precludes one's ability to hold the attitudes that define pretension. If it weren't actually ironic, I would argue, then by now such would have given me a clinical diagnosis with at least one of a handful of psychological disorders (eccentric behavior correlating disconnect to reality) or personality disorders (acts contrary to established norms in spite of having had normal social internalization).
I went on to think about bigger and better things, then something about that argument clicked in and I realized that it doesn't serve me well.
*Example of this that I found hilarious: last night, smoking my pipe outside a bar, two girls (by today's American standards both were extremely attractive) walked up and conversation some way or another started between them, the cousin I had with me, and myself. Within the span of the first 45 seconds or less, the more vocal one made note of my bowtie, the stitches/scarring on my finger, my pipe, and my hair. I could tell by her outfit, diction, makeup, behavior, and whatever else that she was definitely a cultural sycophant (she argued that men wearing pink shirts was okay for a while but it's not anymore), yet she didn't speak disparagingly of any of the quirks I have to start conversations like that since I suck at starting conversations. Well, she grabbed my pipe and inhaled from it (I told her NOT to inhale) and she complained about how it tasted, but that's it. HOWEVER, I was wearing a linen shirt with a natural unbleached cream color and we were standing directly under a light that gave everything a yellow hue. Then, suddenly, she started bitching aggressively about the fact that I was "wearing a yellow shirt". She vocalized a weird train of thought, her points being that either I was wearing a white shirt that turned yellow, making my shirt (and me, implicitly) "dirty" or that I was wearing an intentionally yellow shirt. The latter was just as bad as the former because it connotes the former, she argued. I explained at several stages that it was neither white nor yellow, and she'd just repeat the phrase "yellow is dirty" in louder and louder increments.
Ever have a one-line comeback pop in your head that you really
want to use, but can't because to do so would make you a bad person? You know, like the Truman Decision of verbal discourse, where you feel like using a weapon at hand will give you victory at the dear cost of your humanity?
That was my situation when I tried to change the subject without mentioning that she was Asian.