It's pretty well known that I have more than a few pet peeves in life, some more than others. Right at the top of the list is the use of false time promises. FTP is characterized by statements like "I'm running to the store and I'll be back in 5 minutes." Really? Will you? 5 minutes? I'll time you and bet it takes you longer, pal. "This will only take a minute." What in life actually takes one minute? Not even Minute Rice!!! And the promise is IN THE NAME! Ahhhh, but I digress....
This particular rant is brought to you by "Starting statements with a big fat lie". I can think of three off the top of my head...feel free to add more. Let's break it down, shall we?
1. "I love her to death..." When I hear these words uttered, I cringe inwardly and admittedly sometimes outwardly. The whole statement is first of all, a lie...What does that actually mean? Does it mean that you love that person sooooo much that they could literally die from being crushed by your out pouring of love? You loved them to death? Or does it mean that you love them soooo much that you would die for them? Either way, I pull the hyperbole card! Secondly, when starting a sentence with that phrase inevitably means that your going to say something not so nice. "I love her to death, but she needs to work on her writing skills!" "I love him to death, but...." If you really loved someone enough to kill them with affection or throw yourself in front of a train for them, should the natural follow up be an insult? Hmmmm....
2. "I'm not trying to be mean..." If you have to preempt your next statement with an apology, you should probably think twice about what you're going to say. I would love it if people were honest enough to say something like "I would like to say something nice right now, but I can't because of this glaring fault of yours that I need to point out. Oh, don't mind the plank in my eye, just focus up here on my forehead. Hopefully, we're in front of a large group of people who will back up my negative statement with phrases like 'Well, it is kinda true.' and 'It needed to be said.' to help me validate my need to come across as nice and not, in fact, mean. Why are you crying?"
3. "I'm not trying to be racist or anything..." Ugh! This is the worst offender to me. Really? You're trying not to be racist? Well, then let me stop you there and help you not reveal how racist you are. Stop talking and say nothing negative about another race or culture. Do not incorporate some out dated stereotype in a comedic way to try to prove that "you're not the only one". Do not mention any minority group that you might be a member of in order to garner the right to insult a different minority group. Here is an actual conversation Jay had the pleasure of encountering the other day....
Two 8th grade girls that Jay knows were chatting as he walked by and heard: Sue's pretty thick for a Chinese girl.
Jay: Wait, what did you just say?
Girl: Oh, I'm not trying to be racist or anything. But you know how all Chinese girls are skinny 'cause all they eat is rice.
Jay: Do you even know if Sue is Chinese?
Girl: Yeah. She told me her grandparents are from Vietnam.
Jay: That's not Chinese.
Girl: Well, whatever...all those "ese's" are the same anyway.
Jay: Look, you're pretty smart right?
Girl: Well, yeah!
Jay: Annnnnd humble?
Girl: What's that mean?
Jay had to walk away lest his brain explode all over the girls or he laugh directly in the girls face. You don't get gifts handed to you like that every day, people!
I get it, I get it...with all of these statements, we're merely trying to soften the blow of what is coming next. But, I think that might be my whole point. Should we be saying things either directly to the person or behind their back that need to be softened? So, maybe it's not the statements themselves, but the concept of speaking badly about someone...
If you and I are ever having a conversation and you use one the above "Starting statements with a big fat lie", I promise, I won't get mad or freak out. It's more of an internal pet peeve thing, if you will. Unless I know you well enough, then I'm just going to bury you into the ground. And, if you ever hear me use one of the "SSWABFL", feel free to point it out blatantly. Publicly even.
Can you think of any other "SSWABFL"?
It should also be noted that other pet peeves I have include: open cabinet doors, mouth breathing, and opening the bathroom door when I'm in the shower....