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OH MAN, YOU’RE BREAKING MY HEART

An incensed reader complains:

For an etiquette blog you’re (sic) advice is kind of rude.  I guess those who can’t do teach.

LISTEN:

First of all, you’ve misplaced your comma.  You’ve accidentally turned it upside down and used it an apostrophe.

Second, you have an extra e there.  Let’s see if I can find a use for it.

a) This is my house.  My house.

b) You are invited, of course, to sip the sweet nectar of my authority at your leisure, but you get what is served to everybody, and that’s non-negotiable.

c) The writing contained herein isn’t how I would speak to you in public.  I wouldn’t speak to you in public, because I don’t know you.

d) If you don’t like it, you may leave.  Anytime you want.

e) Ah!  Here we are – all of the above.

And so that’s sorted.  To continue:

My communication strategy, such as it is, is to convey information on behavior and manners with a mix of absolutism and vulgarity, leavened by a bit of pathos and humor, to make a point.

Indeed part of that point is to shame stupid people, like yourself, who confuse the messenger with the message.  These are the same people who stop listening to music when the musician says something they don’t like, or who throw the proverbial baby out with the also proverbial bathwater.

I’m not interested, necessarily, in your opinion, not least of all because it is an insipid truism. Do you think professors of physics can’t perform the complicated equations they are teaching their students?  Are the chefs at the cooking school just hopeless at boiling water and instead use tyranny and recipes to instruct their cheflings?

But I’m also uninterested because it is unsolicited.  Astute readers will recognize that the worst possible thing you can do in the world of etiquette is correct the behavior of someone else…unless they ask.  If I relay an anecdote that stings, it isn’t my fault you recognize the criticized trait in yourself.  If someone asks me a question, in this domain it’s generally best to cut through the bullshit and make it vaguely amusing for the passers-by.  At this point, they know what they’re getting themselves into.

So go on back to whatever like-minded echo chamber you prefer and, by all means, talk about how rude I am.  Talk about how rude I’m being to you right now.  You’ll find, I think, that the people who agree with you are also ugly, small-minded and self-righteous.  So you’ll fit right in.

Have a wonderful day.

 

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