Every now and then, you’re asked to name your hobbies, your likes, just something unique that describes YOU. Most people often take that as an opportunity to plug in the most over-used cliche sayings known to man. Here’s a short list of what I’m sure you’ve all heard countless times before:
“I enjoy taking long walks on the beach.”
When was it exactly that you took a long walk on the beach last? Unless you have your own private beach, walking along a public one really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Try being at peace and clearing your mind while hairy men put their beer guts on display for all the world to see and little kids give you dirty looks for stepping on their sad excuse for a sandcastle (sorry I’m not sorry).
“I’m not a math person.”
What kind of person are you exactly? You don’t need to be a “math person” to add a few numbers in your head. Hiding behind a fear of basic math is just a cop out. You’re not fooling anyone, especially not the math people.
“I just put up a wall.”
It took you more than a week to spill all your deepest and darkest secrets to someone new you’re dating? Wall. You’re not comfortable enough to say how you really feel yet? Wall. You’re not okay with chewing your food into little bites and letting your significant other feed from your mouth baby-bird style? Wall. But it’s okay. I’m sure those things will come once you “let your guard down” and “let them in.”
I say you should avoid sayings altogether. Be original! Say you enjoy spending hours just sitting on your computer while eating obscene amounts of sunflower seeds. Say that you’re not a math person because you’re more of an English person (because you’re from England). And say you’re open in your relationships because who even has those nowadays anyway.
The idea of leaving a voicemail was probably revolutionary a few decades back. But by now, I think it’s safe to say that everyone gets the gist of it. We all know to leave a message after the tone. No one is expecting to leave a message after the car horn or after the meow or after the moan. Tone = leave your message. Got it. But instead, what should be a ten second process turns into some ridiculous ordeal that goes something like this:
Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system. eight one eight five six one five five five five is not available. At the tone, please record your message. Beep.
“Hey, it’s Lara. Just wanted to say–”
When you are finished recording, you may hang up or press 1 for more options. Beep.
“Hi, it’s me. I was calling because–”
To leave a callback number, press 5. Beep.
To send a numeric page, press 2 now. Beep.
It’s funny how seemingly innocent and light-hearted movies can quickly turn into awkward and emotionally scarring moments. One minute you’re just sharing a bowl of popcorn with your dad, and the next thing you know you’re watching Kate Hudson get it on in the shower (it’s always Kate Hudson). But it doesn’t matter if you’re watching some corny romantic comedy or Bambi–a sex scene is always lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce when you least expect it. Actually, I think they might have edited the one out of Bambi, which explains why Bambi’s dad is mysteriously out of the picture. And if you’re wondering where Bambi is now, he’s turning tricks on the corner of Highland and Sunset and smoking heroin to numb the pain of being born a bastard and losing a mother to diabetes (the damage was done long before that gunshot wound).
“Not to brag but…” You’re bragging.
“No offense but…” I’m offended.
“Not to be a nag but…” You’re being a nag.
Starting a statement by saying what you don’t want to be or do is a surefire way of being or doing just that. My rebuttal: “Not to not give a shit but…” I don’t give a shit.
As a receptionist, you’re forced to give a little intro each time you pick up the phone. But some places take a simple “Good morning” and insist on turning it into a speech more drawn out and painful than any of Kanye West’s acceptance speeches. So you’re forced to answer each and every phone call with a mandatory cheery spiel that kills you a little inside each time you say it.
“Good afternoon. This is the Porter Ranch Northridge Country Club located on Victory Boulevard, home to the new and improved 31-hole golf course complete with clubhouse and golf shop, and proud sponsor of Pleasanton’s National Women’s Varsity Water Polo Champions who are hosting a fundraising event today at the Country Club Cafe where members receive 25% off on their meals, so be sure to come by and show them your support. My name is Lara. How can I help–
This is a close second to falling when everyone is there to see you. And it seems almost counterintuitive at first. You would think that it’s better that no one is around to witness that moment when you slip, trip, or lose your grip (Dr. Seuss taught me well). But at least you have someone asking you “Are you okay?” and you can dust yourself off and put on a brave face for the crowd. But it’s when you’re alone that the embarrassment really sinks in. You just have to get yourself up, walk off that limp, pretend your pants aren’t soaking wet from slipping in that puddle, and then look around to see if anyone saw you fall flat on your ass. You assume no one did and just go about your day. You make the conscious decision to take this secret with you to the grave, along with that other secret about the time you fell into a fountain while texting. Oh, nevermind. Over 3 million people saw that one.
The rule with expiration dates is that if you’re looking for it, it means it’s expired. But this news always comes after the fact. At this point, you’ve already consumed three of those hot dogs you found hidden all the way in the back of your fridge, and you’ve eaten every last bit of that yogurt with what you thought was fruit on the bottom but was really a family of bacteria clustered together. Your keen eye for observation somehow missed the fact that cheddar cheese shouldn’t have holes in it like its Swiss cousin, and you managed to convince yourself that the green color on your bread must just be part of some St. Patrick’s Day theme. But at some point, the thought to check the expiration date pops into your head. Right at that second, you scramble to find the wrapper, dig up the yogurt container from the trash, and gag from the thought of that last hot dog. And then you find the prophetic date. Best if used before 3/29/2012. Cue the dry heaves, the dramatic water chug, and the WebMD search for Salmonella poisoning. Wait a minute… it’s 2011. Looks like you’ll live after all.
I hate it when… um…
It really grinds my gears when… er…
Isn’t it terrible how… hmm…
This may be a cop out to get out of writing a new post, but there’s no denying that writer’s block is pretty heathen. But no worries. There is never a shortage of heathen things to write about. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it is what it is.
For all I know, your cousin’s girlfriend’s sister’s friend’s mom’s coworker’s wife has elephantiasis. But you think I look like her? Cool. Thanks for sharing.