Monday, April 13, 2015

Phrases that I wish people would use less

Here are some things that I wish people would say less. I'm not saying they should "die" or anything like that, just that they should take a much-needed rest. Is it pretentious to make a list like this? Absolutely, and with that out of the way, here goes:

"Obvs" and all other forms of shortened words. Some people say these seriously, some people say them ironically. Both drive me nuts.

"Vice versas" such as: "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" or "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." I'm not sure what these are called exactly, and some are OK, but there are entirely too many flying around. Taking a sentence and then switching it it around doesn't necessarily make it deep.

Things that probably started out as therapy phrases but have mutated into silly cliches, ranked in ascending levels of annoyance:
  • "It is what it is." What does this even mean? This is effectively saying nothing. Instead people could say something like, "I'm trying not to freak out," or "I'm trying to keep things in perspective."
  • "Real/Being real," as in "Before this I was not real, but now I am real, kind of like
    Pinocchio." It's an annoying and unnecessary way to "honest." 
  • "Speaking my truth." Really? Is it that profound? Just say it's your opinion, man. Or your experiences. Take responsibility. 
  • "My journey"/any use of "journey." Don't dramatize your life. I supposed if you've changed religions or gotten cancer or found your birth parents or something like that, you can say you've been on a "journey." But if not, your thing probably does not rise to journey level.
"Speaking truth to power." This phrase may have had significance historically but any time I hear it used now it's in the dumbest places. I'm sure abusive corporations and corrupt politicians start shaking in their boots when you give them an earful in a podcast, blog, or tweet. This phrase implies that speaking truth to those in power does something, and in reality all of this "truth" isn't going to actually reach those in power, and even if it did, it wouldn't change anything. Do we think corporations or politicians answer to the people? Those in power don't have to listen to truth at all. Maybe if the phrase was something like, "Speaking truth to lots of people who subsequently demand change/revolt," then I could get behind it.

"That happened." So smug. Just say, "Wow. That was funny/weird/improbable."

That's my list. Please leave a comment if you think I missed some, or I should've left some alone.

Monday, January 19, 2015

So much for apologies OR Human nature

Around this time last year I blogged about insulting people who have wronged me in a Super Bowl commercial, but lately I've been thinking about all the people that I have wronged. I hate to admit it, but there have been a few people over the years, and in a few cases I feel like I really owe someone an apology.

I don't want to call people, or talk to anyone face to face. That would be too awkward for both of us. I think instead I will just print up cards that say:

Time heals all wounds and so do Doritos Locos tacos. Nothing repairs a relationship like a fluorescent orange monosodium glutamate shell stuffed with steaming horse meat. But that's about all I am willing to do. They know that I know that what I did was wrong and they get an apology of sorts, but I don't have to face them and there's no awkwardness.

Which is interesting: when someone has hurt me I want to humiliate them in front of as many people as possible, and when I have hurt someone I want to resolve it as quietly and anonymously as possible. But I guess that's human nature.

Immediately after thinking of this apology idea, I started thinking of more revenge fantasies. For example, I want to write a hugely popular bestselling book and put a bunch of passive aggressive dedications in it, such as:

"To Percival, 
Thanks for never helping me ever."

"To Herbert,
May you always suck it."

After plotting both simultaneously, I have to say it is much more fun to plot revenge than plan how to make amends. Ah, human nature.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I am (still) getting old

In the last few years I've looked for the defining moment when I officially got old and the good times officially ended. After much searching, I believe I've found that moment. It was the moment I had to buy this:
That's right: a nose hair and ear hair trimmer. Honestly, when I was younger I imagined that by the time I turned 32 I would have more money and less nose hair, but here we are.
Getting older used to freak me out, but now I've made peace with it and I kind of enjoy it. I feel myself getting more curmudgeonly with each day.

I balk at prices. I say things like, "This costs how much?" and "Let me see that receipt!" and "Didn't this use to come with more?" A close cousin of price-balking is cheapness. I just bought $11 shoes on clearance that I don't like at all. They're ugly, but they match my shirt which is covered in baby spit up and my pants which are covered in toddler grime.

I criticize what people who are younger than me are wearing, like, "Why is everyone in yoga pants all the time? Like, you just got out of yoga class, or you're perpetually on your way to yoga class? I don't buy it."

I've also said, "Everyone is always texting me. Why don't people ever call anymore?"

I have problems with some new music. Whenever we're listening to the radio in the car, I'm always raging: "They're not even trying with these lyrics! They're just rhyming things! I wonder how many copies 'downloaded.'"

When you get married you get someone to grow old with, literally. My wife and I were driving and there were several songs in a row about "live like we've only got tonight" and my wife snapped. She said, "Why are all the songs about this cliched nonsense? Why doesn't somebody write a song that's like, 'plan for your future, open up a checking account and start building credit' or something like that!"

I looked at her, and in that moment I realized that we are going to be an amazing old couple.