Thursday, March 22, 2007

Things that are NOT ok to say...

1. "Smile, it's not that bad."


I hate, HATE being told this one.

Listen buddy, I don't care if you think that I look a little down while waiting to cross the street, or perhaps I looked pissed off as I wait in line or maybe my face is just completely blank as I wait for a cab.

What gives you the right to tell me to smile? Ever think that possibly, just possibly, that when I am thinking or waiting or whatever, my face might take on a different look. Perhaps I look perplexed or maybe my face just looks all frowny when I am trying to sort something out.

Should I walk around all day with a smile on my face? Because frankly I think that would only make me look insane. I actually saw a young lady strolling down the street the other day, grinning to the high heavens and all I could think was how freaking plastered she must be.

So, next time you see a girl filling up her gas tank with a scowly look on her face, don't think it's OK to say to her: "Cheer up, it can't all be that bad."

I just paid an arm and leg for gas. Of course it's that bad!

2. "You look tired."

Fuck. Me.

I can't stand it when people say this to me.

Is this an acceptable, polite way to say "you look like crap"?

Because that's what I hear when you say it. I mean, let's face it, my eyes are puffy, I have indigo circles etched under my eyes, my skin has a pasty palor.

You don't think I know I look tired? Of course I know, why do you think I just spent 10 extra minutes on my makeup this morning trying to mask it up!

I look tired? Well, you always look like shite, at least I can cure mine with a good night's sleep.

3. "Wow, you have really small feet"

My feet are size 6. Sometimes I can wear 7, sometimes I can fit into a 5 1/2. They are small. I know there are small.

You don't need to tell me they are small. I walk on them each day. I buy shoes...many, many shoes.

So what if they are small? What is wrong with having small feet? They are more or less proportioned to my height. I can buy shoes from the kid's section sometimes.

After all, I'm not commenting on your giant elephant feet.

4. "Your hair is so fine/dry/damaged/unruly/wild/fill in blank."

Thanks. I'm glad you pointed that out to me. Otherwise I would have never known.

5. "It's whom, not who."

I can't stand it when people correct my grammar. Plain and simple.

I went to journalism school. Heck, I even remember grammar class in elementary school. I know what a verb is and what a noun is. I know what adjectives are. I do have an appreciation for all these rules but at the same time....fuck the rules!

I rebel against grammar!

I know it's vital and important for work and professionally related writing. But other than that, such as in this blog or in my diary or taking down notes or sending casual emails, I don't care.

I know when to use whom not who (and to quote Monica from Friends: "Sometimes it's 'who!'"). I know I spell certain words wrong and I get my whole "I before E except after C" thing mixed up." I know, according to Canadian Press Style Books, what words are capitalized, where the periods go and that I should balk against Oxford commas. But on the whole I am just not too picky or anal about it and it ticks me off that the anal and picky people (and I have a few of them in my life) have to use me as a some kind of punching bag.

People need not to point out my grammatical tragedies to me, I am fully aware of them. I'm not idiot. I just don't care.

6. "You don't need to lose weight."

OK, sometimes people really are being honest and kind when they say this.

And I can completely understand it if I was sitting around moaning, "I'm faaaaaaat" and just waiting for someone to compliment me.

I don't want compliments. I vent because I'm frustrated. It's not like I complain about how hard it is to lose weight, just so someone can say "you don't need to lose weight." Do they think I am just going say, "I don't? Oh, OK well, jogging was too hard anyway."

I know I don't neeeeeeeed to lose weight. I am not doing because I have to for my job or my health. I am doing it because I want to, for purely cosmetic reasons. I feel I need to lose weight and that is that. No amount of convincing that I look fine is going to change my mind until I am happy with myself.

And I'm especially of wary of people (ie, other women) telling me not to because they don't want me to get thin because then I would be too threatening or something.

That said, I do appreciate when people say nice things because they honestly believe so. But when I am talking about so hard it is to lose weight and how hard I am trying, I don't need discouragement, I need encouragement!

7. "Eat a burger, you are soooo skinny."

Obviously, I have never had this said to me. But I know that people do say this, commenting on how sickly thin someone is, like the person is supposed to take it in a good way. Most of the time, the person doesn't have an eating disorder (unlike the obvious - hello, Nicole Richie) and the person is just thinly built with a very high metabolism. I've probably said this myself to someone on the gangly side, but I know why I did...I was most likely envious. Therefore, I believe that most of the time when people make disparaging comments about someone's thin frame, they are jealous. And sometimes just genuinely concerned for the person's health.

But that said, it's not like saying "You have an awesome body, you are so thin." Instead it's said in a negative way. And there just is no need for negative comments, whether you are fat or skinny.

8. "That's really flattering on you."

My colleuge* brought this up to me and I have to agree. When I'm wearing a dress and someone says, "that really flatters your figure," I kind of cringe.

Does my body need flattery? Does it look unflattering most of the time? Isn't this just a nice way of saying, "You don't look as fat as usual"?

9. "You're soooo burnt."

I am? Oh, would you look at that! I am bright red, my skin is flaking and radiating heat like an inferno. I was wondering what was wrong with me.

Talk about pointing out the obvious. People, the burned person in question knows that they are burnt. They know they overdid it in the sun. They know they should have put on more sunscreen. They know they stand out like a lobster walking in the snow.

Your remark with the cringing expression on your face does not help.

10. "You were so drunk last night."

Am I the only one who gets embarrassed when they hear this? Even maybe a little ashamed?

That phrase is usually followed by:

"No really man, you were sooooo wasted. You were fucked up."

Again, if I was that drunk last night, you don't think I know that? Hello, I'm probably suffering through a mother of a hangover today.

So what if I was drunk? What's the big deal? Why is that a bad thing? Unless I drove drunk or puked in a cab or made out with your brother or lost my passport or started table dancing and stripped down to my undies or gave a mortifying speech at someone's wedding....who cares?

All right. Well, those are my two cents. Or ten cents as it is.

What do people say that drives you nuts?

*I realize that I spelt colleague wrong (Thanks. Dan.) but to fix it would mean that I am going back on #5


Sean said...

yikes. i'm pretty much completely scared to ever leave a comment again now...

clw said...

I also hate the "smile it's not that bad line". Maybe IT IS that bad...maybe my mother died or I have cancer or my boyfriend just dumped me. Maybe I have reason to not fucking smile! lol

Wanderlusting said...

Sean - HA! I'm NOT talking about on my blog, silly.

And I am not really even talking about what friends say either.

More like people that I don't know that think it's OK to say this.

For the record, no one has ever said anything on MY blog that fits into the above, not off the top of my head anyway ;)

So feel free to bring it on as per usual.

Del said...

Yep the last one is the worst. Esp when the person who says it was drunk with you - but they must've forgotten how many shots they had and only remembered all the stupid stuff I did!!!

Wanderlusting said...

Clw - Exactly! What is it really is that bad. The nerve! And why is it usually old men who say it too?

Wanderlusting said...

Del - ARGGGG! I knoooow. It's NEVER someone who was sober but someone else who was drunk too! Maybe they were just jealous cuz you had more fun than them ;)

Rachel said...

The one that I get all the time is "You have such a pretty face". I know they mean well but I always hear the unspoken "too bad you are fat" that would be verbalized if they actually said what they truly think.
This isn't a specific sentence but it would be when you are relating a story or an experience and a person who isn't involved in the conversation butts in and relays THEIR story which was 10x's better, worse, bigger,smaller, expensive, cheaper or whatever the fuck they want to boast about at the time.
"I live on a fixed income." I hear that every day because I work with retired people on a regular basis.
I want to say "Really? Me too" since I work for salary.

WiscoBlonde said...

Hooray for small feet! Too bad you don't live close, we could swap shoes! Also, I bartend, and after a long night of annoying drunks if someone tells me to smile....I water down their drink.

Dan said...

"colleuge"? OMG.

And maybe that girl smiling while walking down the street just had some amazing sex. Right?

I'm always told that I should smile more. I have a nice smile. Whatever.

If you ever need an editor....

Wanderlusting said...

Rachel _ THAT pisses me off too! People complaining about how hard they have to work for something or how they are poor and then when you complain they say you don't have a right to...

Don't tell me what I can and can't complain about!

Wisco - Huzzah! I would totally water down their drinks...with the fakest smile ever.

Wanderlusting said...

Dan - OMG You are soooo doing this on purpose, aren't you?

Colleuge....Colleague... hey, my spell check didn't correct me. As long as you get the point.

surfercam said...

I totally agree with No.9. I always feel like snapping and saying "oh yeah I wondered why I felt like I was on fire. Thanks for letting me know."
And No.10 happens most weekends, so I am used to that

Mark Brown said...

Oh dear. You said, "2. "You look tired. Fuck. Me."

Yes, I think all your male readers would like to consider that, however, I don't think it is too good an idea for me, since I enjoy being married.

However, I will say, if I DID want to stray from my marriage, and (you wanted to leave Ross,) we could make lovely music.
But until then, I'll leave you thinking about my (new)love-ly picture next to my profile!

Markb in NJ
(actually being written on a Computer (also) named opus...)

The Stormin Mormon said...

I am now terrified, I say many of those things to people all of the time. Most of them friends or co-workers, but I use them.

I do try to not say that a dress is complimenting someone's figure. My phrase of choice is "That dress looks great on you..." Which (I would hope) conveys, "and without you, it must look like shit"

simon said...

To whos it may concern,

I never thought you had:- small feet, were sunburnt, wasted, or had a slooow metabolisim.

But i did think you look like your mum....

ahahahahahahahahhaa... ( now I will run and hide)

Ps I hate it when pepople tell me i look like a member of the family....

Adjil said...

Hee hee - I think both your feet can fit into a single of my shoes!

Here's my biggest peeve:
"Oh you haven't met that special someone yet? Well..
a) ...they say the sure way to find him is to stop looking
b) must be too picky
c) don't need a man anyway. You go girl!


Julie said...

My sister smiles non stop. And she's always telling me too. But it's so fake to do that! I totally agree with you.

Dan said...

Of course I'm doing this on purpose. I was the kid in school that would pull your pony tail because I was too scared to actually talk to you. So this is the internet equivalent.

M said...

some of those are so bloody patronising it's not even funny.

I fucking HATE grammar whores!

Steph said...

THiS is why i heart you so.
My thoughts exactly on EVERY single point you made.

People are retarded and speak just to hear their own voice 98% of the time.

Of course i just made those stats up but that's what i believe ;)

mareGa said...

So you practically can't stand any kind of casual comment. Because those are the usual, common ones.

Unknown said...

so so so so so so true. all of them. the first one? people tell me this all the time. i must have a pissed off/sad face just naturally.

'you look tired' gets said to me all the time. once again, must be my natural demeanour. it's crazy that people think that's ok to say!

the one about 'that's so flattering'..?? i just take that as a criticism that everything else i wear is hideous and that i've finally found something that makes my otherwise disgusting body look passable.

Hm. I can't think of any other ones at the moment.

Unknown said...

just thought of one - when you were drunk the night before and someone says to you 'do you remember what you did?' yeah i remember. and i know that i'm stupid and when i've had too many shots i start dancing in inappropriate places and groping inappropriate places....... no need to remind me!

Eileen Dover said...

Canadian Press Style Books...

I feel your pain.

I try to spell with Australian spelling on my blog, but I also have an infusion of AP Style in my writing, headers, states, dates, times, etc.

As for Oxford Commas? In Australia they are used. In the US? Not used.

It hurts just thinking about it, so I pretty much do what feels right.

If anything, I blame it on, "Oh, I write Australian", or "Oh, I write American."

And I get, "You are tall. Your parents must be tall."

"No, my parents were actually little people for the circus, YOU DUMB ARSE!!"

KK said...

I get the tall thing too!

"You're so tall! Do you play basketball?"

Not with these nails, honey.

Mummy said...

I was so with you on these, and then realised that damn me, i say number 2 all the time to folk!

I especially like your last point, thank you!!!

ChickyBabe said...

I can't stand people who state the obvious. You drag yourself to work, coughing and sneezing to be met with "you look sick"!

VB Mom said...

Amen, honey.

Although, I can't say I've heard some of the ones you have (at least not in the last 20 some years).

One that I can't stand, "It was meant to be". Enough to make me slap the person who let that fly from their mouth.

j;ljk said...

I LOVED your list...most of those things are SO true. I especially agree with the "smile it's not that bad", and the one where people tell you not to lose weight. It's want to do it for yourself...not them, so who cares?

Cupcake Blonde said...

"You take things waaaaayyyyy too seriously." I'm sorry I have pride in what I do rather than half-ass my way through life like you do. Forgive me for having morals and pride in my work.

cathy said...

I must be difficult to offend it could be a side effect of living in Greece where people shout insults from their balconies as a form of greeting on a daily basis.
"get your hair done your roots are showing" gee thanks.
Then there's the kids, "mommy your bottom is really huge" I'm size 14.

Nikki said...

I can't stand the "smile it's not that bad" line as well.

I know what people are trying to say...I just wish they would phrase it differently =)

Cazzie!!! said...

Rhetorical statements ..don;t they shit ya to tears? Just call them an "Ass Nibbler"...defined as a person who tries to win friends by clumsy flattery....that would make them stop in their tracks!!

Todd said...

Whenever people say stupid things to me, I growl. Then I look them in the eye and act cheery. The bi-polar act normally keeps the useless chatter to a minimum.

Unknown said...

not kidding - just came into work this morning and someone said 'oh rachel.. are you ok? you're looking pretty rough'.

thanks a whole bunch!!

DCchick said...

I like when people say things like,

"it will all work out for you"

"don't worry, it just takes time"

"seriously, I don't know how you are single." - best said by cute single guy.

Memphis said...

You crack me up. But I will never again make any comment on how you look or whether you appear to be in great shape or not. Having said that, you have a great shape. Can I say that? OK, sue me, but I meant it in a nice way, not in a creepy or obnoxious way.

Things that people say which annoy me? Um, there are far too many to list here. Many of them require extra explanation. And I'm really tired right now. I may have to think about this and then blog my response. I'll blog it and then credit you and say "go to her blog and tell her she's hot and not fat and has small feet and great hair and needs to eat a hamburger and was really drunk the other night."

Shawn said...

I hate it when people always say, "Uh, do you know you're not wearing any pants?"

I KNOW I'm not wearing any pants. Yeesh! Next they're going to comment on not wearing any underwear.

R. Duckie said...

Wow, I really hate some of those , too. Like "Smile." Damn it, only because I am a girl are they asking me to smile. And I hate "you look tired" . It's like, Thank you, you look like a$# yourself.

Scorpy said...

What about "I feel your pain" or "I know what your'e going thru" No they don't because if they did they'd know that is the last thing I want to her :)

Wanderlusting said...

Surfercam - I know they mean well, but yeah, who doesn't know they are burnt. Way to rub your sunscreen mistakes in your face.

Markbnj - Thanks for the offer...I have no doubt you could make beautiful music, but sadly I do not have a musical ear.

Stormin - See, that is much better. "That dress looks great on you" really is a good compliment.

Simon - HA. Yeah. I get that ALLLL the time. It's OK, I guess, when my mom was young she was a hottie. But yes. I do look like my mom.

Adjil - No doubt. Like they feel sorry for you. Why does being single = pity party?

Julie - I don't trust people who smile all the time.

Dan - Awww, I am flattered. So much better than the guy in Grade 8 who used to snap rubber bands against my face.

M - Can't STAND anything remotely patronizing. Arg.

Steph - I believe those stats.

Marega - of course it all comes down to the tone and sincerity of the person.

But yeah. Pretty much.

Rachel - more reasons that we are alike!

Eileen - I was taught the Canadian way but all that I read is American so I'm just really confused.

KK - That must get very annoying...but good answer though!

Joie _ It's OK, I've said probably everything on my list to people...but you never know how annoying it is until they say it to you. On that note, it's said to me a lot so I try and watch my mouth.

Chicky - ha, that's a good one! How annoying.

VB - I'll admit that I say "it was meant to be" ALL the time but ONLY because I believe it myself. I can understand how annoying it must be to someone who doesn't neccesarily think the same way!

Socal - It's usually people bigger than you that say you don't need to lose weight because what does that mean about them then? But again, you are doing it for you, you don't care about how anyone else feels about it.

Vegas - OMG. I hear that one too, ESPECIALLY over issues that are dear to me, so of course I am going to take them seriously!

Cathy - nothing like Greek honesty. That oughta toughen your skin!

Nikki - Yeah, they just want you to cheer up. But yer not gonna be happy all the time!

Cazzie - hehe, Ass Nibblers.

Todd - That penguin you have beside you must confused them too.

Rachel - Oh no! Isn't that annoying!!!

Dc Chick - That last one is brutal. I hate it. It's like "gee thanks, I don't know myself." Then they look at you like there is something wrong with you because THEY don't understand that perhaps you just have standards. Sheesh.

Memphis - You can say whatever you want, sweetie. So as long as I crack you up.

Shawn - Yup and same goes when you aren't wearing a bra. Especially noticeable when you don't have a shirt either.

Duckie - Yeah, that's why it is usually said by older men...they just want you to smile and then they pretend it's for them...UGH.

Scorpy - Exactly!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Do you hate it when people ask you to come comment on their blog?
Come please...comment on my blog. I have virgin ears so keep it sweet and me. My post today March 27? I think it is the 27th. If I had internet I'd check. Or a calendar...

Todd said...

Oh, they can't see him. Only I can, because he's my penguin.