Monday, October 12, 2015

The Man Who Insulted Everyone

I’m used to bizarre conversations. Something about my face says to strangers: “Please say awkward, weird things to me.”

Occasionally those conversations revolve around my singleness. Most of the time they go something like this:

Stranger: “Why are you still single?”

Me: “Probably because I play the accordion.”

Stranger: “Well, are you putting yourself out there and looking?”

Me: “Yes, I’m holding auditions next week.”

Stranger: “Maybe your standards are too high.”

Me: “Are you saying I shouldn’t wait for Robert Downey, Jr.?!?!”

Stranger: “Well, it’ll probably happen one day.”

Me: “Did I mention I play the accordion?”

I don’t mind these questions. They’re a little cliché, but sometimes they pave the way for deeper conversations.

Every now and then, though, a conversation with a stranger leaves me speechless. These are the exchanges I blog about.

Recently I spoke at a conference and, while reviewing my notes in the lounge a few minutes before my talk, a man helping with the conference came up and sat down near me. He was probably mid-50s and I’d spoken to him briefly throughout the day. With one short conversation he managed to insult me, his wife, all women, all men, and the partridge in the pear tree.

“So, are you in a relationship?”

“Not right now.”

“Yeah—it’s gonna be hard for you.”

(Point for insulting me.)

 “What do you mean?”

“Guys want a girl who needs them.”

(I actually do need a guy, if for no other reason than to get into buildings. I’ve always had a hard time with doors due to undiagnosed push/pull dyslexia.)

“I don’t think all guys want needy girls.”

“That’s you as a girl speaking. Guys need girls to need them.”

(Point for insulting all guys.)

“Is that how it was when you married your wife?”

“Yes, actually. Still that way.”

(Point for insulting your wife.)


“Well, you’re a pretty enough girl. The happiest guys, though, are the ones whose wife stays at home.”

“I’m not necessarily opposed to that.”

“It’s one thing if you’re really bad at your job—then it’s fine to stay at home. The thing is you’re good at what you do. Problem is no guy’s going to want that.”

(10 points for insulting all women who choose to stay at home, minus a few points for kind-of-sort-of complimenting me, 10 more points for assuming all guys can’t handle women who do things successfully.)

“I know a lot of men with gifted wives, and they live as partners both at home and in their work.”

“Yeah—well, good luck with that. Just make sure you’re running with those circles.”

(You mean hang out with people who are the exact opposite of you? Yeah, I’m on it.)

“Well, thank you for that insight. I have to go onstage now and tell jokes.”

And thank you for the new material.

This conversation wins second place, with first place still belonging to this awkward singleness conversation. 

1 comment:

Crystal Loveless said...

Loved, loved this post!!