13) “I have this look on my face and yet you keep talking.” I don’t want to talk about politics. No, I am not a fan of modern art. Yes, I’ve heard of that author. Actually, extreme activism generally gets on my nerves. So why are your political, artsy, activist gums still flapping?!
12) “No, you are not a ‘marvelous cook’, as you like to put it.” Perhaps I am a grouch. Perhaps I am a snob. Perhaps I am the reincarnation of a European gastronome from a bygone era, but if your “marvelous cooking” involves a milligram of margarine or the excessive use of a can opener, I must raise an eyebrow.
11) “If you knew how you looked in that dress, you’d burn it.” I know, I know. Clothing is a very personal, subjective purchase but I still have to see you in it. When the hem of your dress is at your knees in the front and teasing your ankles in the back, I find it difficult to believe you put that on and thought, “Oh yeah! I look good! Uh huh, you know you want ‘dis!”
10) “Umm, ever hear of this new craze called ‘daily bathing’? It’s all the rage!” In a country like America with millions and billions of bars of soap, bottles of body wash, and sticks of antiperspirant produced every year, why do so many people seem to feel the need to abstain from hygiene practices? This is disgusting and I come across it everywhere I go. I’ll be standing in line at the grocery store and before I know it, I am blindsided by the pervasive stench of someone’s unwashed body. It’s like a skunk and an outhouse created a signature scent and decided to surprise me with it. I’m surprised alright; surprised I haven’t said anything before now. My watering eyes and nauseated tummy have suffered in silence for a very long time.
9) “If you truly find it necessary to smack your food like an uncultured baboon, could you just go eat in your car?” Is my mother the only one in history who said, “Chew with your mouth closed. No one wants to hear or see your dinner”? If you get a spot of sauce on your fingertip and discretely, silently touch said fingertip to your lips, I will not say a word. But if I can hear you sucking the life out of rib bones from across the restaurant or you are in the booth right behind me and your chewing reminds me of something I saw on Uncle Froggy’s hog farm, I start to get irritated. I’ve never actually asked anyone to take their food to the car, but it has crossed my mind many, many times.
8) “Yes, I’m a big chick, but I fit in this booth just fine. Yes, I ordered dessert, but I also ate my steamed vegetables. Raise your skinny eyebrows at me again and your tip will magically disappear.” It amazes me that starving college students masquerading as servers suddenly become the resident dieticians. I don’t order dessert every time but once in a while, I think a nice fruit sorbet or chocolate dessert sounds tasty so I indulge. I don’t feel guilty about it and, honestly, as long as I pay the bill it’s my business what I order. Unless you think I’m buying cocktails for a 16 year old, leave me the heck alone.
7) “I think it’s great that you watch your calories and spend 14 hours a week at the gym; I just don't want to hear you talk about it.” If you did a thousand quad reps, if you ran 20 miles, if you figured out how to eat exactly 941 and three-fifths calories in one day, if you think I would benefit from this wonderful new program … please share it with someone else. “I went to the gym” will suffice.
6) “Why, yes, I do mind if you cut in front of me.” The store is crowded. We’re all tired from working all day. We all want to get home to our families, our kids, and our laundry. The fact that you deem your hurry more important than mine is not an excuse to throw your frozen dinners on the belt and then half-heartedly shrug, “Hope you don’t mind if I cut in front of you.” The next time that happens, I’m adding my purchases to your order. If you pay for my groceries, you can cut in front of me as often as you like.
5) “Stop laughing. It’s not that funny. Really, stop laughing.” I’m all for a hearty laugh but when I’m in a restaurant or a store and I hear someone loudly forcing a “laugh” that is obviously as fake as Pamela Anderson’s boobs, I cringe. If you are trying to flirt, stop it. If you’re nervous, learn to twiddle your thumbs. If you have nothing to say, then don’t say anything; the silence alone will alert the boring individual how very un-interesting they really are. And for the love of Pete, stop ending every texted or e-mailed sentence with LOL. “I’m eating lunch LOL!!!!” Really? Is your lunch that amusing? Just stop it.
4) “I know you don’t care how I am doing today. You’re just trying to sell me something.” I hate it when I’m walking through the mall or answering my phone and I hear this unfamiliar, overly-enthusiastic voice shrieking, “Hi!!!!!! How are you today!!!!!!!!!” I’m not stupid. We are not friends. I have never met you before. You are trying to sell me something that I don’t want, can’t afford, and have no interest in learning about. Save it.
3) “If you cannot properly pronounce a word, pick a different one or stop talking.” Pronunciation is very important to me. Maybe it’s all the years I spent desperately trying to tone down my southern drawl or maybe it has something to do with the fact that mispronounced words sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to my bleeding ears. Whatever the reason, I must get this off my chest: the word is “deal”. It rhymes with “meal”, “steel”, “feel”, and “teal”. It is not pronounced “dill”. “Dill” is an herb. “Dill” is a pickle. “Deal” is a bargain or a contractual agreement between two parties. The two are not interchangeable in any way. The same goes for “feel” and “fill”. And if you got a fabulous price on your dinner for 2, please oh please, do not tell me about your “mill dill”.
2) “You asked me a question, I’m trying to answer you, and now you’re interrupting me. Next time, just write me a letter, you pompous nincompoop.” It’s not just the total lack of manners that annoys me. It’s the fact that you have the nerve to act as if I’m wasting your time.
1) “No ma’am. Your child does not have a precocious sense of adventure. Your child is an unruly titmouse.” If little Matthew has ripped the tags off of 12 dresses, thrown a ball into the candy display, bit his baby sister, spit in your face, screamed at the top of his lungs, and punched an old lady in the stomach, that is no longer a mischievous little tyke. He has become a despicable little monster and the problem is yours to correct. But I will warn you: if he comes near me with his grubby little fist poised for a punch and he accidently trips over my foot, I have no idea how it got there. Honest.
© Bertha Grizzly 2011. All Rights Reserved. No duplication or distribution.