Woman #1: “Well, I don’t have a six pack of abs yet, but I’m definitely seeing progress.”
Woman #2: “So what do you have? A can?”
The Best Thing I Heard This Weekend…
…came from my new best TV friend, Mike Rowe, of “Dirty Jobs”.
In this particular episode he was visiting a cave that was home to 40 million bats. Apparently the bats do everything while flying in the air, including giving birth.
And so, as he said, “Anytime a placenta hits you on the head, you’re in a dirty place.”
So true, Mike, so true.
The Best Thing I Heard This Weekend…
A Little Too Much Information
This weekend we had some friends over for a cook out, and we all decided to play some board games.
There is a good side and a bad side to playing board games with people who know you really well. The advantages come in when you are playing a game that requires tremendous mental rapport with your teammates, such as “Pictionary”, so that what to others might appear to be a drawing of some kind of mutant monster spawned from a tragic chemical spill, to you is clearly the visual representation of the verb phrase, “to harvest crops”.
The disadvantage is that occasionally your friends’ intimate knowledge of you can sometimes be used against you, as happened to me this weekend when we were playing “Taboo”.
One person was trying to get their teammates to say the word “Secrets”.
The clue: “This is something that Jenny is not good with.”
Everyone’s immediate response: “Hm, that could be so many things.”
Or, you could end up learning something about someone else that you just really did not need to know, as also happened during this game.
The beginning of the clue: “What you want to do to people…”
My friend’s immediate response: “STAB THEM!”
That’s just a little too much information for me.
The Best Thing I’ve Heard This Weekend Olympics
The bronze medal goes to the following review of the movie, “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”
“Thinking robots, OK. Light sabers, sure. Space battles, yes. But a talking Jamaican lizard? That‘s where the believability stops.”
The silver medal goes to this exchange I witnessed at the graduation party for one of my tutoring students:
My student: (having just one-upped one of his guy friends in some competitive, male way): “Top that, bitch!”
My student: “Oh, hi, mom!” (to his mother, who was clutching at her chest and undergoing multiple heart attacks as she had unfortunately come downstairs at that exact moment to tell us that the food was ready.)
And the gold medal goes to this meeting that my friend had with her boss.
My friend: “He pulled me and this other guy into the conference room. Then he took out a bottle of water. He said, ‘I just blessed this, so now it’s holy water. I’m gonna throw this at you to see which one of you burns.”
My friend: “What?!”
Her boss: “I want to know which one of you is the most evil.”
And I Thought Getting Into College Was Tough
Things That Make You Say, “What?!”: Party Edition
Last weekend I was invited to go to a Southern Living party. I guess I had an image in my mind of it being all sophisticated and elegant, things which I don’t consider myself to be, so I was pretty much planning on staying in the background. So you can imagine my surprise, and my relief, when I overheard the following comments.
“Grannie, do you want a beer?”
“Isn’t it funny how easily your fake nails catch on fire when you’re using a lighter?”
After that I knew I would fit in just fine.
Today’s Way Cool Thing…
Emily Post, Where Are You?
While I wouldn’t say that I am highly skilled in all forms of social etiquette, I feel like I at least cover the basics pretty well.
I hand write all of my thank-you notes, making sure to mention by name the item I received, as well as specifically discuss how I am using it in my life. When I am invited to dinner, I ask the hosts what I can bring. When we have company I make sure there are clean sheets and towels, as well as lots of toilet paper in the guest bathroom.
So I usually navigate the waters of social interaction with fairly minimal turbulence. But this weekend I found myself in a situation that pushed my abilities in the social graces to the edge.
My husband and I were invited to be the first dinner guests at the new home of some friends. After presenting them with a housewarming mum and taking a tour of their new place, we sat down to dinner. Once again, I thought I was doing pretty well. Napkin in the lap? Check. Elbows off the table? Check. Not talking with my mouth full? Check.
Apparently I need to pay a lot less attention to these pesky minor details, and a lot more attention to what is going on around me. Because when I finally returned from my little self-congratulatory tour and tuned back in, I realized that the entire table was caught up in a heated discussion involving chimpanzee sex, and its’ biological and ethical implications for all of humankind. And I had no idea what to do.
I felt exactly the same way I did when I was conducting one of my first coaching sessions, and the client mentioned a situation with which I was completely unfamiliar. I was mentally rifling through all of my various manuals in a frantic search for help thinking, “That’s not in here!”
Just to double check I went to the bookstore today and consulted with some of the authorities on etiquette to see what they might have to say about this situation. While I did not find anything that specifically addressed the topic of chimpanzee sex, I did find these helpful conversational-related tidbits.
From Letitia Baldridge: Bad Conversational Moves
Discussing how our society is going to hell. (Good to know).
“So, is it true that your child has________ (fill in the blank with a disease or condition that is life-threatening, and/or has a giant stigma attached to it)?” (Um, are we really at the point where we need a book to tell us that this comment is inappropriate?)
From Miss Manners: Conversation Starters
Dear Miss Manners: What do you consider a good conversational opener?
Gentle Reader: Almost anything except, “I’ve been on a wonderful journey of self-discovery lately, and I’d like to share it with you.”
So now, of course, I totally want to use that in my next conversation. Who’s up for a chat? Anyone…Anyone…?