Archive for April, 2012


Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Given a choice, other than “Pardon me,” “Skim latte, double shot of espresso,” or “That’s my foot you’re stepping on,” I try to not engage in conversation with most people.  But occasionally, it’s unavoidable.  So, I try to stay awake and pretend that you have something interesting to say.  I make shopping lists in my head, wonder why you’re wearing what you’re wearing in public, picture myself walking through Paris’s Pere La Chaise cemetery, looking at dead bodies instead of being bored to death listening to you.    There are ways you can make the experience less painful for me, though I’m sure my comfort is not quite a priority for you.  But just in case, here are some of the words and phrases you can use to make it more pleasant for everyone.  Or me.  Just me.

open book ImageWe’re on the same page – Sorry.  No we’re not.  You’re on your IPad, crashing into me on 8th Street, I’m walking, eyes straight ahead, looking out for the likes of self-absorbed you.  I would never have the balls to crash into someone because I was so busy texting my boyfriend, “I’m on 8 St – Luv u2!,” and then shoot eye-daggers  because I didn’t see where I was going and walked into you.  But if I did,  my immediate  inclination would be to apologize.  But then again my inclination would not be to read “Twilight: Breaking Dawn,” as I strolled down Broadway.  Thank god for sidewalk skateboarders, bike riders and Razor scooterers – here they come at 30mph, right at you. But you won’t move and now you know what page you’re on? Page 1 of the New York Post as the headline, “Stupid  girl smashed into Halel Falafel truck as she searches for “Cheapest Knee Socks in NY” app!”



“Friend” as a verb –Pretty much, because, it’s a noun — either a common noun, as in, “You are my friend,” or, as a proper noun, plural, as in the name of a very annoying 90s sit-com.  Don’t tell me that you’ll “friend” me because it’s as grammatically correct as telling me that you’ll “refrigerator” me.


“I really love the place, but I need an outdoor space.”  You do? Really?  May I suggest some outdoor spaces for you?  The corner of 33rd Street and 3rd Avenue.  Central Park.  Union Square.  Brighton Beach.  The Long Island Expressway.  Stop referring to your apartment as “my space,” and your need for a place to park the car you shouldn’t have if you live in the borough of Manhattan unless you can also afford the $800 a month to indoor-garage it, as an “outdoor space.”  First, it’s called a parking spot, not an “outdoor space.”  Next, don’t use the words “need” and “outdoor space” in the same sentence unless you are a heart surgeon who has six minutes to make it from the street to the O.R. to save someone’s life.  It’s like “needing” a pastrami sandwich on rye, no caraway seeds with that dark German mustard and a Dr. Brown’s Cherry soda.  You’ll live.


Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian —   I lived a good many years without ever hearing either of these terms used by anyone other than sci-fi geeks when referencing works by George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.   Now you’re saying them.  A lot. Why?   Does it make you feel relevant?  Hip?  Hipster?  Do you even know what either of these terms mean?  Would you get the correct answer on the SATs without a Kaplan course?  You seem to say post-apocalyptic and/or Dystopian a lot. Why? We don’t think you’re smart when you use them.  We think you’re boring.  We think you also can name, by number and edition every issue of every Judge Dredd comic book. We think you orgasm to the words “Soylent Green,” and we think that you can’t think of any other adjective to describe a film or a book or a fashion. “Post-apocalyptic/Dystopian” is so much easier to say than, “a movie where lots of shit gets blown up or was blown up and it’s really kind of grey and dirty and everyone’s hungry or clones or some shit.”



Gleek – Absolutely no explanation necessary.  Synonym for “schmuck.”  Except “schmuck” is less of an insult.



Conflict free/ fair trade – Until the film, “Blood Diamond,” I never heard either of these expressions.   Then, suddenly,  guilt-ridden white women and their newly-affianced went out of their way, while showing off their Tiffany or Cartier or Harry Winston mega-karat rings mined in towns in South Africa where the percentage of people living below the poverty line is as high as 77%, earning less in a year than this couple pays for a month’s worth of Chai teas, “it’s a conflict-free” diamond.   “This diamond didn’t come from a batch that were used to wage war on some country I never heard of and can’t spell or locate on a map.” Here’s my theory — many years ago, several Yuppies sitting around the Sundance Catalogue Think Tank tried to figure out a way to continue to conspicuously consume and yet at the same time alleviate the tiny amount of guilt they might have and came up with this doozy:  “we’ll reject some – just some –of those luxury goods we could certainly live without and yet keep those goodies that set us apart from the common folk by mere virtue of the fact that we can afford it.  And we’ll make sure to use the term ’fair trade’, because – well –  fair is just such a nice word and people will think we’re good because we’re fair!”  And then they spread it like the Ebola virus, with fair trade cotton and fair trade chocolate and fair trade coffee and here’s the thing of it – I have the funniest feeling that if some guy gave you a diamond engagement ring the size of your fist – this one, for example –



and, if you found out that, in order for you to have this diamond, civil war was waged between two small African countries you never heard of, can’t pronounce or locate on a map, or that  a  family of South African orphans who hadn’t eaten for six months, whose hands and feet had blisters bigger than these diamonds, whose parents were buried alive in the mines looking for the perfect diamond for you, the first words out of your mouth would probably be, “Can you see all the colors of the rainbow reflected in each facet?”



It could be worse –  Really?  That’s so soothing and nothing I’ve ever considered before.  Wait.  Yes I have.  Well —  I’m not the Trump baby or Prince William or  a Pitt/Jolie adoptee so– I know “it could be worse.”  Why would I need you to tell me this? Better yet, what motivates you to tell me this?  Do you think it makes me feel better?  You mean I could break my leg, lose my job, be broke, pay $3,000 for an apartment the size of a pantry AND then have a malignant tumor?  Gee – thanks.  I feel so much better now.



My bad –I know what you’re thinking — no one uses “my bad” anymore.  You bad – yes they do.  In fact, many people use it the way it was supposed to be used and when you give them that, “This isn’t 2003 anymore” eye-roll, they say they’re using it ironically, as opposed to grammatically correctly, which even they know is a ridiculous claim.  “My bad” is the non-thinking man’s way to say, “It’s my fault,” which has only one more syllable and is the equivalent of saying,  “I really wasn’t thinking about you or being considerate of anyone else and you caught me – ooops.”



Fan fiction —  Why?  And the point is….?  Do you think that, just because Jane Austen is dead and her work is in the public domain,  you should be fucking with Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy?  Maybe, just maybe she ended the novel at the END?????  Just because there’s a “Land Before Time 87,” and everything you’ve seen and read in the past 20 years is a prequel or a sequel or part of a series doesn’t give you the right to turn perfectly good, sometimes brilliant fiction into crap, to prove to lots of other bored people online that you’re a “writer.”  Because, no you’re not.  You write“fan fiction,” which has less street cred than a garage band that never leaves the garage.



Ridonkulous – Three-way tie, with “adorkable,” and “chillax” as the most irritating faux-word that could come out of your mouth.  Stop trying to make yourself sound uber-cool or uber-witty or uber-young by sewing together the equivalent of word-remnants.  Say what you mean and mean what you say and stop using words like they came off of some a la carte menu.  Comprestand me?