Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Things That Bug - Part 1 in a Series

This post addresses two comments that I have received lately, paraphrased as follows:

1) "You need to put more slice-of-life humor on your blog. We love your slice-of-life humor!"

2) "Wow, you're an upbeat lady!"

Okay, that last one was Bill Murray's character addressing Andie MacDowell's character in Groundhog Day. But, seriously, I am occasionally accused of being too happy and/or well-adjusted. Admittedly, my typical response to ridiculous behavior is to laugh at it, and - occasionally - hold it up on a skewer and encourage others to ha-ha with me. Is that such a bad thing? But, to answer the million-dollar question, yes, I do let things bug me. I may process and react to them differently, but, trust me, I do get bugged. Rankled, even. Generally by little things. But then I end up being amused by them.

So . . . with no further ado, the first installment of "Things That Bug."

Item 1: People who tell me that they love my blog but don't actually "follow" it. You know who you are. It's not rocket surgery, people! Put your money where your mouth is and click the button. Tutorials available on request. Also - comment! Officially, for the record! Don't wait until we're at happy hour and sidle up, all drunk and borderline-disorderly, and slur, "You so crazy! I love the way you write! You should write for a living." Again, you know who you are.

Technically, I do write for a living. I write contracts, but it's writing. Musing via blog is what I do to clear my head. And I promise to do more of it if you will show me the "follow" and "comment" love.

Item 2: People who drop useless details about their travel itineraries as an indirect form of bragging. Hey, if you're going someplace cool, tell me straight out, and if you're going someplace really cool, feel free to kick it old-school, five year-old style: "I'm going to BAAAAAAAAAAAAA-LI and YOUUUUUUU are NOOOOOOOT - NYAH, NYAH, NYAH, NYAH, NYAH!" Hey, if I get the opportunity to go to Bali, I may drop a nyah-bomb or two of my own. So, totally willing to be happy for you, if you agree to be happy for me (theoretically - no trips to Bali on the horizon). Just don't be coy. Here's the Cosmo "do":

"I won't be at the meeting, because Fred got an all-expenses paid trip to St. Barths through work, and I'll be passed out on a beach with an umbrella drink clutched in my fingers come Tuesday afternoon!"

The Cosmo "don't":

"I won't be at the meeting, because I will be out of the country."

Relevant piece of information is that you won't be at the meeting, as you physically will be in another location. Details are fine if you want to share them, and if they are actual details. "Out of the country" doesn't tell me any more than "out of town," but what it does tell me is that you want to brag about your plans but are too socially inept or passive aggressive to brag straight-out. Spare me. Please.

Item #3: People who include too much detail in Evite responses. Same issue as above, sort of. Relevant piece of information is that you cannot attend. You do not need to prove to the people of Evite (most of whom don't know you from Adam) that you actually, factually are unavailable. No lie detector tests will be conducted. It's a freakin' Evite. And - as noted above - most of us don't know you. If Thelma invites you to a potluck, and it occurs to you that Thelma doesn't know about your upcoming bunion surgery, shoot her an e-mail - but incorporating that nugget into your Evite response is like sending a blast e-mail to a bunch of strangers about your gnarly toes. Trust me - we don't care about your gnarly toes. Unless your Evite response is unintentionally, off-the-hook hilarious, and then we will care about your gnarly toes, but by "we will care" I mean "we will forward your response to a myriad of people, rip it down to the studs and make fun of it mercilessly."

Unintentionally, off-the-hook Evite overdisclosures take several different forms:

1) The "Oh, I didn't realize that this wasn't a personal e-mail/verbal diarrhea" Evite response: "Dear Elsie, we can't make the chili cook-off, because there's a peewee football game that night. Our kids aren't playing in the game - actually, we don't have any kids - but you know how we like peewee football. GO, MUDHENS! Which reminds me that I still owe you money for that thing. How is your dad? Does he still have the gout? Tell him hello from Stan, who just got out of prison."

Tap . . . tap. Is this thing on?

You laugh, but this is an only slightly altered version of an actual Evite response that I saw a couple of years back.

2) The "unintentional slam" Evite response: "Dear Elsie, we can't make the chili cook-off, because there's a peewee football game that night. We don't particularly like peewee football, and you'll recall that Elmer's dog was killed in a riot at a peewee football game, causing Elmer to develop a serious case of PTSD, but we're going to the game anyway." Okay, that one is not an actual example, but you are familiar with the concept. Subtext is, we're REAAAALLY stretching for something to do OTHER than attend your event.

3) The "intentional slam" Evite response: "Dear Elsie, I won't be attending the chili cook-off. I hate chili." Um, thanks. "I won't be attending" would do.

4) The "I really can't attend your function" Evite response: "Dear Elsie, I can't make the chili cook-off, because I have friends coming into town Friday evening. If for some reason they don't show, I also received an invitation to a bridal shower Friday evening, which invitation I turned down because of the aforementioned 'friend visit,' but that invitation arrived before yours, and, also, it was on paper instead of via Evite, so if my friends don't show, I feel like I need to prioritize the bridal shower. Also, the bride donated a kidney to my grandmother, so I really do owe her. But only if my friends don't come into town."

This one usually devolves into an "unintentional slam."

I forgot to mention one other form of unintentionally hilarious Evite response, which goes something like this:

"Sorry we can't make it!"

Not funny, you say? Well, it is funny if . . . wait for it . . . it's entered under the "Yes" column.

That is all.


Alicia said...

We really should have kept a journal of some of the CA evite responses over the years!

Robynttu said...

So my problem is that I feel like some of my comments are either 1. not appropriate for public viewing b. aren't as funny written as it is verbally and lastly, because I'm normally reading it at school in between classes and I don't have time to comment. However, I will start to make a better effort because you know I'm one of your loyal followers!!

Now I'm questioning my self on if I'm commenting on the right post!!