Thu 17 May 2012
If you’re like me, there are certain words or phrases that set your teeth on edge, for example,
“If you’re like me…”
Why do people say that?
What sense does it make?
The underlying assumption slaps the I’m right assertion with a heavy hand.
Its backhand hits on the recoil, <subtext> and if you’re not like me you’re stupid.
This phrase is kin to another irksome spin, “You’re like me that way.”
Unless you are fully vested within my inner circle, whether I am or am not like you in any way, remains a comparison for me alone to name. That aside, there’s something intrusive, counterintuitive and hyper-intimate for someone to assert, “You’re like me in that way.”
It offence blisters my sense of whimsy and chafes my authenticity meter.
Furthermore, there’s no appropriate rejoinder to dissent such an assertion without giving offense.
How am I supposed to respond?
“No, I’m not like you in that way and never wish to be?”
“No, I’m a first edition.”
“No, I’m like me that way?”
It’s all so very, order-your-own-dessert-if-you-want-cheesecake-dammit-I-don’t-want-to share-of-me, but really, how can anyone be like you in that way?
Speaking of, “Do ya wanna share < a/n appetizer/entree/dessert> with me?”
That drives me bat cakes too!
Again, I don’t want to sound contrary nor offend, but no, I don’t want to share the Meatloaf Plate with you. Actually, I want to choose my own meal, get it on my own big-girl plate, eat how I want of it precisely to my fill, and hog all of the gooey condiments for myself, thank-you very much.
Another line that consistently toggles my gag reflex like a throat culture is, “I need to tell you something, but don’t get mad.”
I’m already mad.
If you knew me well enough to tell me something so potentially volatile, you would know how to tell me without making me mad.
I smell judgement all over the statement too. It asserts that I assassinate messengers and lack self-control.
I need to tell YOU something, but don’t get mad. You’re an idiot.
“I need to tell you something, but don’t get mad,” is kissing cousins to, “I hate to tell you, but I heard…”
One, you don’t hate to tell me at all, in fact you’re breathless from having rushed over right after you heard it to dish it to my face, capture my every micro-expression on your smart phone, and report back to your base ship.
Nothing good this way comes after the segue, “I hate to tell you, but I heard…”
I did not win the lottery,
You do not want to help me fold laundry,
Your neighbor Susan does not think my kids are well-behaved angels,
Only pain fills the pail of that conversational bucket.
If any of you find me cheeky, or worry my intensity may begin to spin hard enough to drop a house on your sister, please for the love of all that is linguistically good and reasonable don’t order me to
“Take it easy,”
“You’re gonna burn out,”
“Don’t burst a blood vessel…”
You don’t find it just a tad bit above your pay grade to assess the legitimacy of my emotional range?
Talk about condescending!
Why don’t you
Jig it out,
Burn baby, burn!
Hemorrhage an emotional taboo…
The only thing worse than you telling me to take it easy is if one my kids suggests that I, “Chill.”
Of course, then I could tell him, if you’re like me, there are other phrases that make you mad because you’re like me that way. We should share some buffalo wings and discuss it so you can calm down.
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah