Here are the ones that make me laugh (so I don't cry):
- "How did you get married?"
- "Oh, you're the new Sunday School teacher? Why?"
- "I see you're wearing a sweater and a pea coat today. You're looking very ... English Department."
- "I like riding your bike because it makes me appreciate mine."
- "You're boring. And it's not just because you don't drink."
And the back-handed compliment bonus round:
- "If I didn't think you had potential, I'd have fired you by now."
- "If I didn't think you had potential, I'd have dumped you by now."
- "If I was just married and starting out, didn't need a lot of space or anything, I'd like to live in a place like yours." (Spoken by a girl much younger than I am.)
- "You've lost so much weight, you look like you've lost a person!"
- "If you got your nose fixed you'd be, like, a ten!"
- "I think you'd be a fantastic career assistant." (After a discussion on how I'd like to move on from being an assistant.)
Now, you might be saying to yourselves, this is depressing as hell! And you're half right. When I heard these things the first time, I was pretty devastated. Well, not all of them. Some made me laugh immediately. Right in the face of the dummies who said them and then probably immediately regretted saying them.
In each of these instances, I realized—sometimes immediately, sometimes much later—that these comments were much more of a reflection on the speakers than on me. For example, the girl who asked me how I managed to get married? She doesn't know she's crazy. And she really wants to know because she's a little...you know...desperate. The guy who can't figure out why they asked me to teach? He's got a smidgen of the misogyny, that's all. And the guy who thinks I'm boring? He's an alcoholic misogynist. (One of the more common breeds of both, I've found).
Basically, I'm not really worried about it. I'm so not worried about it, that I'm immortalizing these people on my blog and maybe someday on my "This American Life" type NPR show after I'm randomly discovered by someone who thinks I have a great face for radio. Because it's funny. And it reminds to be careful of what I say to other people. I'd hate to be driving to the grocery store, listening to a brilliant humorist on public radio, only to recognize myself as the jackass in one of her stories. That would be so embarrassing.