Originally posted on May 25, 2014
I know. There’s supposed to be seven of them.
St. George, God bless his soul.
But I got it down to four.
And never mind “television”, where you couldn’t say his seven words.
These are the four completely inexcusable ones which one should never say under any circumstances, Not in public, not in private, not to anyone, not to yourself.
Only one of them happens to have four letters, none of them are words you wouldn’t use sitting in Buckingham Palace for High Tea with the Queen nor at a State Dinner sitting next to Michele Obama.
Common everyday words, which in and of themselves are useful, entirely appropriate, thoroughly acceptable and socially proper.
Four common everyday words which, when put together, are (in no particular order other than the way they come to me):
Snap. Out. Of. It.
As a phrase, in the form of a sentence, they can be roughly translated as:
“I don’t want to be bothered.”
In other words, “I couldn’t really care less how tortured or torn apart you are right now, or how fragile, how destroyed, how confused, or how hopeless you feel, or how scared you are, or upset, or depressed, or desperate you might be right now. I’ve got other (comparatively inane, monumentally insignificant and astoundingly innocuous) things to be more concerned about. Things that matter, maybe only to me, so don’t expect me to waste my time on something that – for some reason or another I can neither understand nor relate to nor give the slightest tinker’s damn about – might actually matter to you for reasons I either can not nor care not to consider.”
Then there’s –
“There are lots of other people in your position.”
“Well, I don’t see any of them around here right now who would be able to help me.
“Wouldn’t happen to have any of them on speed dial for when you need them, would you?”
Like it’s your fault they just don’t get it.
Like it’s your problem that they don’t realize they’re not the ones who have to get it.
That for once in their pompous, pious lives, they are not the ones who matter.
Well, thank you very much. I’ll try to remember that next time you bother me with your penny-ante crap
Unfortunately, I am not the type of inhumane Neanderthal who can be like that, but I promise to try harder.
If you’re that fucking stupid or insensitive that you don’t realize I need you right now, that’s cool.
I’ll talk to Gracie. She’s eight months old.
And a Boxer puppy.
She knows how I feel but doesn’t need to hear it in words that he can neither understand nor needs to approve of,
When our children were growing up, I always told them they never needed to feel embarrassed or scared of sharing their thoughts with me. If they were particularly bothersome or uncomfortable thoughts, so be it.
I told them that if they were walking around the house wearing aluminum foil top hats with a little Indiana Jones action figure hanging around their necks because they thought the next-door neighbors were mind readers who could shape-shift into grotesque trolls who were going to break into their rooms in the middle of the night and hypnotize them into following the troll to a child slave camp on an island in the Indian Ocean …
I might have a bit of a problem with the veracity of such a claim, but their reality was the one that mattered.
And there was nothing that we couldn’t work out if we tried hard enough.
And they, in turn, understand that sometimes there are days I’m too uncomfortable or anxious or scared to leave the house to walk half a block to pick up the mail.
And that I will snap out of it if and when I’m damned good and ready.