Sadly it’s not enough to have made it out of the door in your fully-functioning human women suit, having survived myriad indignities use get us over the threshold. Out in the world there are still more micro-difficulties to navigate and sometimes we wish that we could just shut shit down. We wish that we could make the tiny, boring annoying stuff stop. By being honest. By having the balls to…
Say ‘I Don’t Care’
In the middle of a conversation. Or at any time, really. “What do you think about so and so’s comment on the other Whatsapp group?” I don’t care. “Do you think X is a narcissist?” Stop diagnosing people and I don’t care. “Will you read SPARE and will Meghan run for office?” Stop talking about them – I don’t care. “This Christmas we were thinking of just…” I don’t care. And then walk away. Would anyone praise you for your honesty?
Say No When…
Someone says ‘Tell me about yourself’. NO. You have been talking about yourself and your business acumen and your wife’s good taste and your children’s frankly unremarkable achievements for the last hour and now I am drunk and a bit angry and I’ve totally lost my hard-on for this conversation and I can’t just produce my life story from a standing start. What does, ‘tell me about yourself’ even mean? What are we…American?
Tell The Truth…
…When someone asks you how your summer/weekend/Christmas was. The truth is, invariably, ‘I’ve had better. I’ve had worse’. Either there is a drama we don’t want to share or the answer is punishingly boring and we’d rather get back to those comforting lockdown conversations about things like ‘What’s your favourite pasta shape?’ or ‘Sex injuries…discuss.’
Ask A Waiter To Please Go Away
Maybe we are vile terrible harridans, but picture the scene. You are out at a restaurant and in the middle of an unusually difficult-slash-deep-slash-honest-slash-funny-slash-romantic moment and the waiter comes over to ask something nice and friendly like ‘Is everything okay?’ or ‘Do you have everything you need?’ They don’t take the cue from the fact you are trying to politely not notice them in order to continue with your unusually difficult/deep/honest/funny/romantic conversation. Oh no. Instead, they wait. They hover. It’s like a tiny act of aggression. They loom. They loiter. Until you raise your eyeballs and they can ask their question and you can say ‘Yes, thank you, everything is lovely. Thank you so much. Thank you. Sorry. Thank you. So great.’ Imagine if you could just say. ‘Go away’. And then add ‘Please don’t do this to anyone else this evening. It’s bad. It’s a vibe killer. Obviously. Never do it again’.
Cry At The Hairdresser
‘Happy?’ Says the hairdresser fluffing your new cut around your face. ‘Loving it?’ Instead of producing a rictus grin and a huge tip, what if we said, ‘I hate it.’ And then cried. ‘I feel ugly and stupid and I am filled with regret. I’m never coming here again except obviously I will because a new hairdresser is a terrifying prospect.’ IMAGINE.
Leave When You Are Not Having A Good Time
So you’re at a party. Or lunch or dinner or the pub or on a walk or anywhere really and you say, as we do, ‘I’m going to go now.’ And when someone says ‘Oh no! Why?’ Rather than saying ‘Early start’ or ‘bad back’ or ‘headache’ or ‘babysitter’, you find yourself able to reply, ‘Because I’m not having a very nice time.’ And they understand that it’s just not happening for you. No blame. A no-fault leaving. Not feeling it? Fair enough. Bye.