But I keep doing it anyway.
Sent Frank and email in which I said my that English was good for a native speaker, blah dee blah.
He responded that he didn't say the thing I thought he said and that my English is not as good as his, but if I wanted to think that I could because it's a free country.
He also said I should get thicker skin.
I tried to avoid rising the bait, but in the end I said that it bothered me that he felt the need to point out my English is not as good as his (and I didn't actually say the thing he thought I said), and do we always have to tear each other down?
Which left me feeling rather ambivalent. I want to stop the competing and needling and scoring, but what I said was all about scoring. I am at a loss as to how I deal with the way I get triggered by his condescension. (Do I have to modify it as perceived? I think it's pretty clear that he is being condescending.)
And then the internal conflict: why am I still friends with him? I can't seem to come to a final conclusion. But also this other thing: yeah, sure he is being dickish, but I contribute. What do I want out of this? Do I just want to put him in his place? How is that different from what he is doing? And how do I put a stop to it without it being at the expense of me?
Maybe I enjoy the sparring too? It's engaging, challenging, though provoking. All these feelings, the good the bad, the feeling on top, feeling inferior, it's a lot like being alive in a kind of accelerated, crazy way.