I live in a very overdramatic household. It’s mostly because we’re all borderline insane (and not in the ha-ha-my-family-is-so-cah-razy way and more in a psychotherapy-twice-a-week way) and all that’s on the TV is late night crime dramas where we watch women almost get turned into candles by insane (in a sociopathic way, which my family has seemed to avoid so far) cab drivers. But anyway this can lead to some pretty overdramatic reactions. Just recently my mother spent nearly $300 on train tickets when I had already gotten bus tickets for under $20 because she was terrified of my body getting made into candles.
And the best is when we all freak out about the same thing, and we adopt the insane (this time it’s in a bad, cliche way) dialogue of soap opera regulars. Usually it just makes me even angrier than before. There are three that are the most popular, and they are forever stamped on my amygdala (there’s a very nuanced theme in these paragraphs, if you haven’t noticed) (the theme is parentheses).
The first one that comes to mind is The Interrupting I-Saw-This-In-A-Movie-Once-Aren’t-I-So-Clever Move.
This is most infamously seen in the classic: “I just didn’t think-” “NO, YOU DIDN’T THINK.” I feel like many dramatic moments are created in these words. How many actors have won academy awards for their amazing deliveries of these lines? I wonder if the first person who wrote this is really proud of them. I wonder if their mom is proud of them. Or maybe this just came up organically in his or her life and then later they improved it into a scene and now it’s a common staple in all of my household arguments.
Either way, I hate this so much. First of all, interrupting someone is rude, even if that person is me trying to defend how out of my way I went to go deceive my parents and skip school and then subsequently get bad grades which led me to lie about my report card in high school. I demand respect.
But mostly it’s because the person who does the interrupting becomes a cocky asshole and no matter how the conversation was going before, they now have the upper hand because this line is just so goddamn smart that anything the other person says sounds like immature drivel. I fall into this trap so much that now I try to avoid the word “think” in all conversations. Examples: I just didn’t foresee my actions as creating negative reactions. Or there’s also a new phrase that I’m trying to adopt, which is “go fuck yourself.” That one is pretty empowering.
Now the next one doesn’t come up in arguments so much, and it exists solely to make other people feel bad and that is “Are you okay?” “NO I’M NOT OKAY.”
Alright so I know that all of you have said this at one point in your life and you’re currently reliving this moment now and you feel personally victimized by me right now, and that’s okay, because I’m victimizing myself. I said this once when I was eleven to a girl younger than me when I stubbed my toe on a rock and I periodically randomly recall that moment and the shame and horror that I feel can ruin my entire day.
The thing is, “Are you okay?” is kind of the go-to phrase when someone gets hurt and if you don’t say it you look like a heartless douchebag who just floats through life without any regard to people’s feelings. And while I actually go through life like that, I do need some human interaction on a semi-weekly basis so I’m forced to keep up appearances. So you have to say it, or else you look like you don’t care, but then if someone follows it up with “No, I’m not okay” it just ruins it all.
I’m an avoider. I avoid all problems and pain and confrontation and I will find any total and completely crazy way to make sure that I can keep the frail look of panic off my face. And by doing that, I have found that, a lot of the time, if you ignore something, it goes away. Now this is sometimes a harsh reality and also it can backfire on you and make things a million times worse, but when it comes to things like this, I could be in the worst pain ever imagined and if someone asked me, “Are you okay?” I would respond with “Yeah, totally, not a big deal.” I’ll probably end up giving birth while getting my hair cut because I’m so terrified of causing any kind of attention to myself.
But people who go nuts and take their moment in the sun with “NO I’M NOT OKAY” are not avoiders. And you know what I do to people who are not avoiders? I avoid them. Like I do with most people.
I’ll just never understand it. If I didn’t really care if you were okay when I asked the first time, you can be completely sure that I do not absolutely give a shit if you respond with, “No, I’m not okay.” Like, what do you want me to do? What will make you okay? Should I pull out my scalpel and perform surgery on whatever the fuck you accidentally banged on a pole or something? I apologize for expressing concern over your well being, I’ll let you deal with it on your own now, your highness.
But I would rather deal with a million of these if I never had to experience this last one ever again. And that is the “I’m sorry.” “Don’t be sorry.”
There is not a single phrase in the English language that makes me angrier. I’m a lesbian who’s 1/3rd Polish and you could say every offensive term in the book, real or made up, and I wouldn’t be half as angry as I am when you say this to me.
I can’t even joke about it. And the thing is, if you’re apologizing to someone, you can’t be like “Well, fuck you then, I take my apology back” because obviously you already feel like an idiot for doing whatever you did and then when you try to apologize to maybe ease your own conscience you get a “Don’t be sorry.”
Is it supposed to be comforting? I just feel like people heard this in Silver Linings Playbook or something and then adopted it as this thing that people say when a moment in real life feels dramatic. Does it make you feel better? I’ll never understand this.
This one is rare, though, and thank god. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it usually takes a lot to get me to apologize to someone, but when it happens the person who says it is immediately drops to the bottom of my list. Again I just feel like a lot of the time you have to say that you’re sorry and I will just never understand people who just ruin it for you. You’re just trying to be a normal, decent human being and they had to turn it into their Academy Award winning performance and make you feel like shit in return.
So what’s the point of this? Mostly it’s just to vent about previous experiences that I’ve had while interacting with the human race because life is a bitch. But also please dear god do not ever say these things. I’m wondering if I should just carry around a stack of cards that has the URL to this blog post so when someone says them I can let them know what a jerk they are.
BE NICE TO PEOPLE. Am I crazy, or is pretty much 70% of what we say really just because we don’t want people to know we’re the worst people on Earth inside our heads? We’re all just trying not to be that guy that everyone hates so don’t be that guy that everyone hates.
Though it is clearly possible that I am just actually crazy.