Do you remember a while ago (a LONG while ago, good grief, how the time has flown, I was almost a whole other person then!) we were talking about adages and idioms and platitudes and proverbs and we learned that they are mostly really, really stupid?
Well, today, I was thinking, huh, this has been a day of stupid. We decided at work it was because of the full moon. That brings out the crazy. I know, I know, you’re all, “that’s just a fallacy!” NOPE. You try answering phones on the day of a full moon. Or working retail. Or working in an emergency room. And you tell me it’s not the truth. I’ll laugh right in your scoffy-scoff face, I will.
And as I was leaving, I told one of my coworkers “good luck,” and she said, “Can’t get any worse, right?” and I said, “Well, no, it totally can, and probably will, let’s be honest,” and she looked at me like I killed her puppy. SHIT. I am totally not supposed to say the things I think of, am I. I’m supposed to play the game and be all, “Right! It’s always darkest before the dawn of the days of our lives!” or something. I would be the shittiest cheerleader. And I’d look RIDICULOUS in those skirts.
So let’s talk, again, about some more of these ridiculous things. And, as an added fun bonus, if you make it ALL THE WAY TO THE END, my little cherry pies, I found some that were INSANE. I know! Are you so excited? You should be.
It’s not you, it’s me
What this is supposed to mean: “You’re not to blame; I’m the asshole.”
What this really means: “I want out of this relationship, like, yesterday, but I don’t want you to be sad. So I’m going to say the STUPIDEST THING TO EVER COME OUT OF ANOTHER HUMAN’S MOUTHHOLE to attempt to save your precious special snowflake feelings.”
Listen, we’ve all been in a shitty relationship we wanted out of. And we’ve probably all said this, at one point or another. I know I have. I can think of two situations when I did. Once when the guy was planning our wedding before we’d even gone on a date and once when the guy was just not at all physically attractive to me and I didn’t know how else to get out of the situation because the thought of kissing him made me alternately sad and worried.
But it’s never really true, is it? I mean, sure. Maybe it’s MOSTLY you. But also, let’s be honest, it’s also them. You’re not the only one in the relationship. There are two of you. And the other person is, to some extent, to blame for the end of the relationship. Even if they don’t know it. Sorry, other person. But sometimes people don’t click. So, yeah. It IS you. It’s totally at least a little bit you. Sorry.
A better substitute: “It’s you. And it’s me. And it’s us, no longer together. Sorry. Please let go of my arm. And blow your nose, that’s so gross, sniffly.”
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too
What this is supposed to mean: “You can’t have it both ways.”
What this really means: “Why are you messing with CAKE? Obviously someone didn’t tell you that cake is SACROSANCT.”
OK, I have never, ever, EVER understood this nonsense. You can’t have your cake and also eat your cake. WHAT? Yes you can. That is foolish. You can have your cake. There’s your cake! Your delicious cake! And then you put that cake in your mouth. And it is delicious and tastes of the most delicious cake. SO EFFING DELICIOUS. What kind of horrible tempter gives you cake, then doesn’t allow you to eat that damn cake? Like, the devil would do something along those lines. That is a devil-like thing to do to someone. Just wrong and evil and wrong. DO NOT MESS WITH MY CAKE DEVIL.
A better substitute: “You can not only have your cake, you can nom on that cake. You can nom on that cake ALL DAMN DAY LONG.”
Good things come to those who wait
What this is supposed to mean: “Be patient, and you will be rewarded.”
What this really means: “Shut up, sit in your corner, and you’ll get EXACTLY what you deserve.”
We’ve all heard this one, right? Often when you’re being told to be patient while everyone around you is getting and grabbing and holding onto the brass rings in life and you’re all, where’s mine? WHERE IS MY BRASS RIIINNGGGG? But those brass-ringy people are all, just sit down, wait your turn, it’ll come to you.
Let me tell you a story. I good-things-waited for my whole life. And the good things? They didn’t come. But once I got proactive? THE GOOD THINGS CAME. Because I put myself out there and I REACHED for the good things. And did I, and do I, get ALL the good things? No. But most? Yes. Yes, I do. Because I work hard for them and I TRY for them.
Stop sitting around and get off your ass and start grabbing for your good things. You’ll be glad you did.
A better substitute: “The only thing that comes to those who wait are bedsores. And also bitterness. And anger. GET OFF YOUR ASS.”
A friend in need is a friend indeed
What this is supposed to mean: “…” (I don’t know. IT’S TOO DAMN CONFUSING.)
What this really means: “Your real friends are only your friends when either you or they are needy? Maybe? SO CONFUSED.”
This has always confused the shit out of me. Who’s the friend? You or them? Who’s in need? You or them? Is it supposed to be this vague? Why is it worded so poorly? If it’s YOU that’s in need, shouldn’t it say, “A friend who helps when you’re in need is a friend indeed?” Or if it’s the friend that’s in need, shouldn’t it say, “A friend in need is a pain in the ass?” I’M KIDDING CALM DOWN. I love helping my friends. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It’s one of my favorite things to do, actually. Shh, don’t tell a soul, I’ll lose my rep as a badass.
And is the friend only your friend WHEN they’re in need? That’s shitty. A friend should be a friend all the time, in good OR bad times. I hate this one. It makes me stabby. Mostly because I love my friends. And I don’t like to ever think of them in need of anything. Now I want to bake them all some cookies in case that’s what they’re in need of.
A better substitute: A friend in need is someone you should help without question. They should return the favor. If it isn’t working like that, maybe re-evaluate what’s going on there. And possibly punch that friend in the head twice.
It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
What these are supposed to mean: “It’s like comparing two things that could not be MORE UNLIKE ONE ANOTHER!!!”
What this really means: “I don’t understand how comparisons work.”
When people say this I want to punch them in the face with one of those giant Q-Tips from American Gladiators.
THEY ARE BOTH FRUIT. Also, they’re both vaguely round; they’re both edible; they both grow on trees; they’re both portable; they’re both something you can easily throw at someone; and they both smell good.
They have more similarities than differences. Why the hell is this such a ubiquitous phrase? Shouldn’t it compare two things that are COMPLETELY different? Circus tents and gravel? Rotting fish and pigeon feathers? I mean, I just came up with those on the fly, I’m sure others could do better.
A better substitute: “It’s like comparing tigers and hotels.”
OK, now for the insane ones. I found these on this weird website with lots of odd phrases from foreign locales and climes.
Ready? I’ve been waiting forever to share these, I’m so excited.
“You may poke a man’s fire after you’ve known him for seven years.”
Hee! I love this one because it’s totally a euphemism, if you want it to be. And I usually do. I’m looking forward to knowing some people for seven years so I can POKE their FIRES. If you KNOW what I MEAN. Heh heh.
But let’s pretend it’s NOT a euphemism. Is it really telling you that you’re not allowed to poke a man’s fire until you’ve been friends for seven years? Why seven years? What an arbitrary number. And why is this man so proprietary about his fire? Is a fire so sacred?
This has had me giggling all night long, seriously.
“Better to wear out shoes than sheets.”
If you wear out shoes, you’re…what, walking? Running? Hiking?
If you wear out sheets, you’re…um…well, I guess you could be sleeping. But probably, let’s be frank, you’re engaging in the other activity that takes place in a bed, right? NO NOT CROCHETING. Having all the sex.
So, it’s BETTER to walk or run or hike than screw like a happy bunny?
I’m honestly befuddled here. I don’t know what to even think about this one. The internet says it means “get out of bed and get to work.” I think that’s stupid. What do you all think?
And and and AND. My FAVORITE. From Germany! So you know it’s good.
“In American, half an hour equals forty minutes.”
What? Is Germany accusing us of being slow? What does this mean? KEN KEN KEN KEN why is Germany accusing us of being so slow? I thought maybe it was the opposite and that other countries think we’re all crazy fast and spastic. Now I’m desperate to know about this slow reputation we seem to have.
Ooh, maybe we’re like Slow Donnie and we’re slow in a GOOD way. Oh, that’s the take I’m going with on this one. We’re totally slow in a good way.
(The whole clip is the best thing ever, but skip to 2:18 to see how we’re slow in a good way, if you’re in a time-crunch. Or just a jerk, I guess. WHY DO YOU HATE DAVID CROSS.)
I guess these last few phrases are good; they show America doesn’t corner the market on foolishness. But the exotic foreign foolishness seems fancier somehow. SIGH. When am I going to foreign locales in order to listen to awesome adages and such?
Happy Sunday, people of the world. Stop being silly. Say what you mean. Thanks so much. I don’t want to have to come back here six months from now and take you all to task again. Who KNOWS where my mind would be six months from now. I might be a CIRCUS PERFORMER then. Or a HORSE TRAINER. You never really know, life’s a funny thing with the twists and turns.