Thursday, March 27, 2008

There is no cure for Dufus

You know, you run into someone you kinda know (but can never remember the name of) at the supermarket and they’re all, “Oh, hey! How are you?!”

It’s fine if things are fine, right? But as I think I’ve confessed in the past, I am possibly the World’s Worst Liar©.

I am also a Dufus.

I mean, seriously. You’d think that answering, “Fine thanks, how are you?” would be something that, you know, well. It hardly counts as lying, right? It’s just a social nicety. Hello, how are you, fine thanks and you, couldn’t be better, we kiss we dance we schmooze we go home happy, deal?

But oooooooooh no. Not me. I can’t manage to just say “fine” and onward we go. No.

“Oh, hey! How are you, how are the kids?!” she says. I open my mouth to spit out fine thanks and how have YOU been, and what happens?!

My brain goes, Actually, I’m kind of craptastic and the kids are definitely Satan Spawn, thanks for asking.

And then it splits into two and begins arguing with itself.

Light Me: Oh, come now. It’s not that bad! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the kids are happy and healthy, come on, now! It’s all good!! Tell the lady ‘fine’ and let’s hear about how her children are out there learning to make solar panels out of Pepsi bottles, maybe we could pick up some neat tips! Oooooh! You could tell her how well the children behaved when you took them for haircuts yesterday!!

Dark Me: I hate her and her children with all the perky little crafts. My back feels like someone parked an RV on it last night. My head is pounding. The children are going feral on me and if I have to pry Captain Adventure off something even one more time, I think my spine is going to peel itself out of my body and take off for Florida. It is not all good, it is craptastic. Why can’t I just say ‘craptastic’? She’ll probably just laugh. She’s a mom. She’s been craptastic, I’d bet cash money she has!

Light Me: Now, I think we just need to turn that frown upside down, missy-miss! {Dark Me sticks her fingers into her mouth and feigns retching right about now.} There are forty-two bazillion people in the world who have it SIX MILLION times worse! Why, didn’t we just read the other day about that poor, poor woman who had that surgery? And then had to lift her shirt in the airport to show her scars to God and everybody when the metal tubes in her chest beeped during her security screening? SEE HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT?

Dark Me: I hate you. I really, really hate you. Have you seen our house? Have you? What did I do, for eight straight hours yesterday? Clean. And what does the house look like? Complete. Ass. Those children go right behind me and rip apart anything I do, and then Captain Adventure got hold of the one (1) marker in the WHOLE HOUSE that wasn’t washable and decorated the entire hallway AND his sister’s room, the one we just painted!!! with it, and I’m suppose to figure out how to get it off and you know what? I’d like to take a Vicodin now. Get me a martini, so I can take a Vicodin right now, at 10:00 in the morning…because this whole week, IN FACT, I’m thinking this whole DECADE, is crappity-crap-crap-CRAPTASTIC! {Begins singing ‘crap, crap, crappity-crap, crap, crap, crappity-crap’ to self, giggling somewhat insanely.}

Light Me then goes into a euphoric song about hills being alive and mountains being climbed, and then just as the violins are really swelling in the background Dark Me produces a handgun and shoots her dead, the end.

Meanwhile back in the Real World…the other mom is looking at me. The silence has officially passed the ‘I just had to swallow some spit, be right with you’ pause and into the “awk-WARD” phase.

Coolly, I issue forth the Socially Correct Response in my usual calm, deadpan way, the way I always do when I am lying through my many teeth : “OH! Fine, yes, fine, yessir, just abso-frickin’-lootly peachy-keen, Ima Dean! Heh heh, yeah, GREAT. Spring break, hooooooowhee, yeah! It’s just GREAT. Great. Heh heh. WE GOT HAIRCUTS!”

New awkward pause. Now she’s staring at me with eyes like saucers. I can feel my face blossoming red. Red like beets, red like sunset, red like the blood pounding through my head. The heat of my embarrassment is causing my scalp to itch. Oh, Jay-sus, Mary and Joseph, I am SUCH A DUFUS! Quick! Maybe you can still save this whole encounter…

“SO! How have you been?!” Smooth.

She’s been fine, thanks for asking. Over these last four days of spring break, her children have solved global warming through cunning use of recycled truck tires, and are currently working on a cure for cancer using aspirin, bicycle hoses and bottle caps.

I refrain from asking if they couldn’t work on a cure for Dufus, instead. It would sound too much like begging, and I am above that.


Kris said...

Tama, as always, you have a gift for saying it like it is. Heck, tell the woman it is craptastic and she won't bother you again. Problem solved.

Lydee said...

Oh yeah, I have sooo been there, done that! Marker and all!

I try to run away from people in the store. I have some sort of weird Store Social Phobia...

Or, I head them off at first pass with a cool, "hi how are you, great, see you later."

Anonymous said...

Good grief, I almost snorted coffee all over the computer. You absolutely crack me up. I have been known to duck and run to avoid someone I don't want to deal with in the store, so you're a better woman than I'll ever be. it!

Olga said...

HA HA HAHAH- you kill me! Man- that was a peek into my brain when the perfect polly's of this world stop me in the store, geeze- how I'd like to let'em have it with both barrels.AWESOME post BTW

Anonymous said...

I aboslutely detest the generic *How are you doing?* question. I have been know to give an accurate answer and I don't know why, but the receipient doesn't really want to know the answer.

Can we come up with a better phrase - one that socially says, *Hello, I see you, I don't really want to know how you are, and you sure as H*ll don't want to know how I am, but we are attempting to be civilized here*. Something like, *Hello, my life is totally crappy at the moment and I'm sure your's is too. Let acknowledge each other's presence and go on our separate ways.*

Let see, *Hello, you look good in that red color today. I would stop and chat but I have to take the kids to a doctor's appt. in 15 minutes.* There - that should stop any and all questions - and Dofus comments. If you practice and have a snappy reply on hand, maybe it would help. Of course, you need your own reply.

Now, If I can just remember to practice my own non-Dofus reply - think it would help? Probably not. Best - Hester

Marty52 said...

Me, I always tell people "everything is just peachy." It's how you say it that tell's the other person just what you're really feeling. Add some sarcasm and they immediatly know you're having a grump-a-licious day... say "Peachy!" with a big smile, and it tells them that, so far, it's been a great day.

I have been known to use both terms in the same day though, nay, even the same conversation!

Anonymous said...

This made me Laugh Out Loud! Oh my gosh, your post just made me feel like Not Such a Dufus, because Someone Else actually goes through the same thing! I’m almost normal! HA! Thank you!

Yarnhog said...

This is the funniest d*mned blog post I have ever read! Ever. And I read a lot of posts. I'm still laughing, and there are actual tears on my face. And since I just got a phone call from the principal telling me that my youngest son put a stick in the mouth of a little girl whose mother is Satan's own sister (she made an actual death threat to the sweet-as-apple-pie kindergarten teacher two years ago--why couldn't he have picked some other kid to lose his mind with?), that is really saying something. Got to go get him out of detention now. Let's say it together: "Oh, fine, thanks. And how are you?"

Caitlan said...

Mr. Clean magic erasers- but, they'll take off some paint if you scrub.

Amy Lane said...

No, Dufus would be pouring out your life's story onto the poor woman. I know. That's what I would have done.