Hi, I have something to say (I know that won’t shock you). It’s something serious and it’s something I’ve been stewing over for a long time. But I’m finally going to write it down and get it out there in the open. Ready? Here it is:
EVERYONE CALM THE FUCK DOWN!
Whew. Glad I got that off my chest. Now, if we could all just agree to do that the world would be a way cooler place.
Our society is so incredibly, stupidly obsessed with being offended. It needs to stop.
Ok, I’m not saying let’s all go out and say the most insensitive thing we can think of to the first person we see. Because KNOWINGLY saying something rude to someone is one thing. But inadvertently saying something that could possibly in some small way EVER be taking offensively by even ONE person is another thing.
People are being overly conditioned to not offend one another. But maybe the real problem is people are too easily offended.
And bloggers need to cut the shit with the lists of “10 Things Not to Say to a….”
Fill in the blank: Single mother, mother of twins, parents of boys, grandmas who cross stitch, havers of mopeds, people with hernias…
Its’ getting so ridiculous. Everyone is going to start carrying lists around of what they can and cannot say to certain groups of people. And when they go to start conversations they’ll have to pull out their piece of paper and ask:
Are you married? Not married? Not ever going to get married? Do you have kids? One kid? More than one kid? Do you like cats? Do you own a guinea pig? What are your general feelings about ice cubes?
Ok, let me look at my list of things not to say to a married, childless, cat owning, guinea pig hating, ice cube fan…
The other thing that bothers me about these “5 Things Not to Say to a…” articles is that no two people who happen to live on a farm, drive a stick shift or have gotten a hair cut in the past week have had the same experience.
For example, I recently read an article called "5 Things Not To Say to a Person who's had a C-section". I had two C-sections and if anyone said any of the things on that list to me I would not care one bit. Because I had a different experience than the woman who wrote it. Because, and look at me when I say this so it really sinks in...EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!
I think we as people generally know what comments are offensive. Most of us, even me sometimes, can control ourselves enough to not be blatantly and intentionally rude. And if we’re ever greeted with a comment that rubs us the wrong way there are two options:
Option 1 – If it’s someone who we are close to and value we should say “Hey, I didn’t really love that comment, please don’t say it again”.
A friend of mine once said to me “I think it’s cute how stay at home moms call what they do ‘work’.”
That comment pissed me off. A lot. So I just told him that I thought his comment was offensive and could he please not be an idiot like that in the future. Only I said fuck a lot. And we are still friends. Dealt with and done.
Option 2 – If it’s someone who we just met on the street we should walk the hell away and be glad that person isn’t in our life.
When Grant was little he was literally bleach blond. And he has light blue eyes. Once at Target a lady behind me in line asked me if he was adopted. It was a brainless comment. But I don’t think the woman meant to be offensive. I just said no.
And guess what? I have literally not thought of this story again until right this second. The exchange didn’t affect my life at all because her comment didn’t really matter to me...because SHE didn't really matter to me. I did not run right home and compose a rant about things not to say to mothers with dark hair who have light haired offspring.
Not everything has to be taken the wrong way. Not everything needs to be made into a big deal. I don’t think people intend to be hurtful…I just think people are stupid a lot.
I don’t want to spend my time having to say things like “Sorry I made an insensitive comment about Panda Bears with neck tattoos. I didn’t know you really loved Panda Bears with neck tattoos.”
Chill the hell out people!
So absolutely defend yourself, your family and your beliefs if you feel incredibly threatened or violated. But otherwise, let it slide. Let things roll off your back. Mutter “moron” under your breath as you walk away. But don’t let it stay with you; don’t assume that every little comment is deliberately intended to hurt your feelings. Have a little bit of a thicker skin.
The new standard by which we should all live is “Try not to be an asshole”. If everyone could just agree to this then I think the world would be a much happier less asshole-ish place.