By the woman who didn’t understand how a queue worked, by pushy McPush-a-lot at the station, by a cashier who didn’t thank me for my custom… I’ve dedicated my life to it.
I’ve been totting up the number of hours I’ve spent being offended and the total is currently approximately half of every day. And I spend the other half either asleep or having imaginary conversations with my offenders using comebacks so powerful it makes their tongues fall out in awe. Oh yeah, that good.
There’s just so much to be offended by: words, looks, sounds, the fact that sometimes people walk past you and touch your bag with theirs without a thought for the effect on the leather. And this is before we’ve got so far as finding out people’s views on serious things like politics or TV programmes. Merely existing in the same world is hard enough.
I have a record of all the things that have offended me over the years. It’s not written down – I’m not ILL – but it’s stored in my memory, ready to be recalled at any moment.
And for the purposes of sharing the best from the catalogue, it’s easiest to jump straight to W for Words rather than, say, P for Perves or T for Ticket Inspectors. It’d be difficult to describe any of those offenders without the use of hand gestures.
The worst thing about being offended verbally is that you’re often caught off guard and it’s only when you’re still seething about it in the bath later that day, or chopping a carrot like it’s the person’s jugular, that you think of the earth shattering response you should have said instead of “HAHAHA! You’re right; I am unusually tall for a girl!”
And so, I thought I would share some highlights from the W section, along with the reposts I wish I’d said if only I’d had more time, a live audience and an agreement that the person and I would never see each other again.
WHAT SHE SAID: Well yeah, it looks nice on YOU – but I could never wear something so tacky.
WHAT I WISH I’D SAID: Oh dear, you appear to have accidentally said tacky instead of awesome. You’re right – you could never do anything awesome.
WHAT HE SAID: You’ve had your hair cut haven’t you? Yeah, I thought it looked better.
WHAT I WISH I’D SAID: Better than YOUR hair don’t you mean? EH-OH!
WHAT SHE SAID: You write a blog that’s meant to be funny, don’t you? Yeah it’s, err…good…
WHAT I WISH I’D SAID: May I recommend that you never read it again. I feel a column coming on that is all about you and – believe me – it will be hilarious.
WHAT SOME BLOKE WE PAID £60 TO COME ROUND AND TAKE OUR SMASHED UP WARDROBE AWAY SAID: Well, this is a weird little flat isn’t it?!
WHAT I WISH I’D SAID: Seriously thanks SO much for coming round. Here’s your tip for all your hard work: if you haven’t got anything that isn’t dick-ish to say, shut your stupid face.
POW! You can put your ornaments back on the shelves now guys, the storm has passed!
And whilst being offended has its benefits – excellent anecdotes, column material to last me a lifetime, a legitimate reason to scream into a pillow once a day, it can also really eat away at you.
A short time ago it dawned on me that, most of the time, the way people behave towards you has a lot more to do with them than it does you. A push on the platform tends to come from someone running late, an unfortunate comment about the new fringe you’ve had cut in is probably said by somebody too cowardly to make such a bold move, and that nasty sounding giggle from a stranger may just be wind.
It’s not all about you, you know. Get over yourself!