I Swear, You Cannot Make This Stuff Up

I am constantly surprised at the things some people say within hearing distance of other people. I wish I thought that they either had Tourette’s syndrome or were slightly off the scale Asberger-y, but no–these comments appear to come from “regular people.”

I heard this at a popular restaurant just the other day. Our server, who was both a chef and part-time waiter, was wonderful and attentive, and was also very large. We joked back and forth with him, and, as I said, he was just great–a genuinely nice person, an efficient server and very knowledgeable. He was also serving another table, and my mom heard someone in the party say to him, “How much do you weigh?”

I don’t believe he answered him (I wouldn’t have, either), just gave him his check and thanked him for coming to the restaurant. Seriously, how rude can you be? If I were him, I’d have asked the man how much he weighed!

Once I was in a shop in Texas and brought my purchases up to the counter. The young girl who was ringing me up exclaimed, “Oh, you poor thing! You look like your feet hurt!”

Um—what exactly am I supposed to answer to that? Not only did my feet did NOT hurt, but it felt like everyone in the place was staring at me like some poor old thing.

Then there are the people who feel that every thought that pops into their brain must be said out loud. For example, when I lived in Texas, I had a friend who had a pretty serious eye infection that eventually led to surgery. While she was recovering, she had to wear a bandage over the eye, plus she had a lot of bruising, making her look like Rocky Balboa had just worked her over. Understandably, she was self-conscious about how she looked. We were walking toward a restaurant for lunch, some 20-something girl walked right up to us, stared at my friend and said, “OH. MY. GOD! What happened to your FACE?!”

I badly wanted to reply, “the same thing that is going to happen to YOUR face if you don’t stop being so #$@!!*&*^%!! rude!” but my friend said quietly, “If it is any of your business, I just had surgery on my eye. If it is any of your business, my eye needs to stay bandaged so that it can heal. And if this too is any of your business, it hurts like hell, and thanks so very much for making me feel more self-conscious than I already do.”

The 20-something goggled at her, and walked away saying something like, “…..gah, just like answer the question, b*tch.” We looked at each other, laughed, and said loudly, “Aren’t young people enchanting?” Then we went into the restaurant, had a lovely lunch, and NOT ONE PERSON SAID A THING ABOUT HER EYE. Sheesh.

Another Texas incident was this: my ex-husband and I were having dinner at a local steakhouse when an older couple walked were seated a few tables away. The man was wearing this outfit:

  • a large white Stetson with a bunch of feathers in the hat band (and which he left on for the duration of the meal)
  • a purple tank top, showing way too much armpit and back hair
  • very short blue running shorts, over which his massive (and also hairy) belly protruded
  • nearly knee-high cowboy boots with a lot of silver embellishments

Now I really don’t know what kind of statement he was going for in that getup, and I wondered how his wife had let him out of the house dressed like that. I managed to hold it together until their waiter came to their table and asked what they would like. My ex-husband muttered to me, “how about a pair of pants?” Then I lost it and had to giggle and snort my way into the ladies room before I wet myself. But really–who dresses like that AND goes out in public?!

Once years ago when my mom and I were shopping, I was looking for a shirt for my dad’s upcoming birthday. We were in the men’s clothing section, and a few items of apparel were hanging from the ceiling. I spotted a great-looking shirt that looked exactly like Dad’s style; light green and white striped, button-down collar, long-sleeved; perfect.

I asked a salesman if he had that particular shirt in my dad’s size, pointing up at the shirt hanging above us. He looked around vaguely and said, ‘well, we have plenty of shirts, all right.’

I said that yes, I noticed that, but did he have THAT shirt in my dad’s size? His eyes slowly wandered up to the shirt and he gestured to a rack nearby and said, ‘we have these shirts.’

By this time, my patience (at that time in my life, patience was NOT my strong suit) was wearing thin. Mom knew it didn’t take much to set me off, and I could see her standing behind the salesman, laughing silently. I tried once more: ‘Yes, I see that rack. But the shirt that is handing right over your head is actually the one I want. Could you please get me one in <Dad’s size>?

By this time, my inner cool had turned into my inner volcano, and I was ready to pick this guy up by the short hairs and fling him into the nearest wall. Mom was beet-red from trying to hold in her laughter, and was already crossing her legs so that she didn’t pee. The salesman wandered off, probably still wondering what in the hell my problem was as there were obviously a million shirts all around me. We never did get him to find that same shirt in Dad’s size.

The following happened in South Carolina, where I was living at the time. I was visiting a friend in the hospital, and I was wearing a nice dress and heels. As I was looking for my friend’s room number, a female orderly rushed  up to me, grabbed my arm and pointed to my legs, laughing her head off. She said, and I quote: “WOW! Honey, you is bowlegged! Ah mean you SHO is bowlegged!” And she laughed as if she had made the funniest joke ever.

Well–all I could do was stare at her. I don’t think she meant to be mean or rude, but seriously–was that some kind of Southern compliment? To this day I don’t understand how 1) that was appropriate or 2) why that was so funny to her.

I think some people are just clueless. Essentially harmless, but definitely clueless! I’m telling you, you just cannot make this stuff up….






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