Because people are really annoying…
Are you finding, these days, that you repeat yourself? Not so much by recounting the same funny/outraged story – although that happens – but by muttering the same phrase over and over again. Mini mantras. Phrases to live by. Phrases to make people go away. Phrases to make a point without having to make the point. Fallback phrases “I’m just going to leave that with you” is a new favourite. This roughly translates as: This is where I get off the bus. This is where I end and you begin. This situation is your responsibility. If you push me to follow you into this space then I am going to get nasty and say some terrible things that you will never be able to unhear. Like…THE TRUTH. If you hear me say “I’m just going to leave this with you” I am neither being lazy nor am I empowering you. I am telling you that the matter at hand is now off my literal and emotional desk and is yours to do with what you will. Get it right though. Don’t fuck it up. I’m leaving it with you but I’m also watching. It’s a last chance saloon. Fix it. Or fuck off.
Of course all interaction is subjective and we are probably bringing a lot of our stuff to the table, but when you feel certain that someone is being empirically daft, possibly bigoted and definitely annoying but you can in no way be bothered to tackle the sheer stupidity being exposed before you…you need an appropriate reaction. You aren’t going to say, “You are an idiot” – although that might be quite freeing – so you say. “My goodness. you have given that a lot of thought” and then move gently away. No aggression. Just a kind of wonky admiration that will leave them wondering about – well, hopefully about….everything.
If things are really bad. If someone is vile and hateful you might convert “My goodness you have given that a lot of thought” to just…Wow. Wow – and glide away. Or…Wow – with a bit of a head tilt, some slow nodding and possibly a slightly blank stare. We use this a lot. It’s also useful when a reaction is demanded and the expectation is one of extreme admiration. A hideous wedding dress for example. A terrible piece of art. A revolting child. A truly appalling new boyfriend. Wow. Wow…What a baby! That’s useful too. Wow – what an unusual flavour!
Do you remember when you used to be embarrassed to ask for directions? Or to ask for a different size in a shop? Or to make your presence felt in any way at all? And if we did ask for anything it was always preceded by “Sorry”. Sorry – may I have a glass of water? Sorry – but this coil fitting is medievally painful, so why don’t you fucking offer any pain relief, you misogynist, patriarchal monsters? Sorry. Off-topic. Anyway, these days we’re all “Excuse me but can you help me find the – whatever it might be.” In fact, can you not merely direct me to the right place… can you please kindly escort me there? And, seeing as you’re clearly so helpful, can you please kindly accompany me for the rest of my time on this shop/museum/airport/planet? I seem to have recruited you, but I’m being marvellous and telling some really quite funny jokes to make you like me so, ain’t life grand?