Michelle's Front Page

Just stop it

August 19th, 2009

dsc003591The photo has nothing to do with anything – I bought them and they made me smile.

My sense of humor comes from my dad. It has always gotten me into trouble. I’ve learned to bite my tongue. A lot. I make many slightly inappropriate comments but keep most to myself unless I am with my BFF or my husband. I crack myself. Some people appreciate my sense of humor – some do not. I’m not mean unless you are stupid and mean then the gloves are off because you deserve it – much of my humor is self deprecating. I tend to crack jokes about situations and make dry observations – I don’t usually say mean things about people. I’m a nice person. Really I am don’t listen to my husband’s friends who think I hate babies and kick puppies. There are people who I banter with and don’t bite my tongue so much – but those are the people who have similar senses of humor and dish it out as well as they take it.

That said, people choose to take offense. I don’t mean when really hateful things are said – I mean when people are either making jokes that obviously aren’t meant to be offensive or if they say something without thinking. It seems like people look for things to be offended by. Two scenarios today are on my mind.

Scenario the first: I attended a Mom’s Club brunch today. A woman who I would call a casual friend made a comment today about the “Mexican” workers building a house next door. There were several ways I could choose to hear this comment – I chose to give her the benefit of the doubt (truly believing she didn’t mean a thing by it) and assume she didn’t mean it in any offensive way.

Scenario the second: Someone on facebook asked “Why does God make stupid people?” There were about a dozen responses. I chimed in “Because someone has to flip the burgers.” You could choose to chuckle and think ‘Oh that scamp Michelle, there she goes again with that witty repartee of hers!” Or you could do what one woman did and take offense saying “That burger flipping comment was inappropriate! I flipped burgers to get through college.” Perhaps I simply meant we can’t all be social workers rocket scientists and someone needs to do the more menial jobs in the world. And I did mean that sort of. But it was also a flip comment to be funny. I spent 2 years scooping ice cream and a summer working on a road crew – my resume isn’t all minimum wage social work jobs, you know. I removed my comment and apologized for offending her but it kind of pissed me off. I felt bullied. I didn’t mean anything offensive and I didn’t feel it was an offensive comment. I think it was clear that it wasn’t intended to be offensive. But it wasn’t someone I knew and it wasn’t my facebook page so I did what I felt was right in the situation.

The point of my little rant is simply this: can’t we all just error on the side of assuming that people didn’t mean it that way? That maybe most of us are nice people who are really damn funny occasionally put a foot in our mouths? I’m all for educating others when they need it. You’ve heard my soap boxes – you know I’m not shy with my opinions. I’m all for being sensitive to others who have different gifts. But let’s stop looking for offense. Don’t we all have enough to worry about in life without finding new things to be angry about? Even Freud admitted that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 at 7:50 pm and is filed under Misc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

26 Responses to “Just stop it”

  1. Hadyn Says:

    If that person was offended by your burger-flipping answer, I wonder whether or not she was offended by the original question: “Why does God make stupid people?” which implicitly disparages God AND explicitly disparages a great number of the general population 😉

  2. Mindy Farrell Says:

    I saw that comment and thought it was funny. Why can’t people just take a little joke every now & then? Why are they always so uptight? Tell them to take that damn corncob out of their a** and relax!!!

  3. elle Says:

    I posed this to my husband, who has a sense of humor much like yours, and his response was, “it’s true.” The why does God make stupid people and the flipping burgers.

    It’s kinda like that chick on the View (not Whoopie) who went on and on about Cookie Monster was contributing to childhood obesity. He’s a goddamn puppet!

    Jokes are jokes. Why can’t some people take one?

  4. Katie Says:

    I find that most people that describe themselves as being funny usually aren’t quite as funny as they think they are…

  5. Bobbi Says:

    That’s not the first time I have heard that saying, and I chuckled when I read it. I am often a “joker” and offend people as well. My in-laws never find me amusing, and I have really made some people mad. I say get over it!! Learn to laugh.

  6. Michelle Says:

    Very true Katie – I’m the first to admit that I’m no where near as funny to others as I am to myself! I also own my reaction to her comment – I chose to feel that way rather than just brushing it off.
    I guess my point was simply that life is more pleasant if we don’t look for things to make us unhappy. Thanks for the comment and the reminder!
    (I tried to email this but the email address wasn’t valid – which is fine…but I wanted to respond.)

  7. DD Says:

    As someone who has frequently had her emails misunderstood, the written word can be dangerous. Sarcasm doesn’t relay without vocal intonation or body gestures or a smile or lack thereof. It sucks, but it’s true. And the thing is: that commenter would have been offended by SOMETHING because they WANTED to be.

  8. Holly G Says:

    Michelle, you shouldn’t even have to explain yourself to anyone. If I met some of the people that are my “friends” on Facebook, I would probably knock them out for some of the things that have said. Instead of continually getting irritated, I hid most of them. God forbid I create any drama by unfriending them.

    There definitely ARE stupid people out there and unfortunately many of them are the CEO’s and higher-ups at AIG, BOA and many other large companies and banks who have been “rescued”. Or are other people the stupid ones for letting them be rescued. Who knows…I’m too busy watching Ratatouille 550 times a day to get the real scoop. Huh…maybe I’m the stupid one:)

  9. Holly G Says:

    Please disregard all of my spelling mistakes in the last comment. This insomniacs Ambien has hit and it tends to make me a little stupid…hehehe.

  10. crystal Says:

    I love you Michelle and your cute sense of humor– love it! I would be the one laughing at your jokes, because I can’t pull them off as well as you can! 🙂 I have been reading for a while now and I love your sense of humor! You are the cutest! And don’t let anyone make you think otherwise! They are the one with the problem not you

    and ps–I hope this is okay if I put this on here but I love Holly’s comment! Love her too! 🙂 Miss her blog come to think of it! 🙁

  11. mama k Says:

    I think that a lot of context is lost on-line… just typing out something funny people don’t always “get” it. You miss the in person delivery.

    When I was teaching I had a particularly difficult (ok he was really lazy) student. My coteacher said, “Well somebody has to pump my gas.” Funny but true.

  12. Kim Says:

    I also saw your response before you deleted it (but not the response to your response). I also laughed out loud. Thought it was true – and funny. I also got an email forwarded to me the other day that was HILLARIOUS with some Random Thoughts that I hadn’t seen before. One of them was that someone really needs to develop a sarcasm font. 🙂

  13. Rachael Says:

    I agree with your first commenter: why would someone find the burger flipping thing offensive but not the original post about stupid people?!

  14. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for all of the comments guys! And really, whether or not I’m funny isn’t the point. Humor is subjective some people think Benny Hill is funny – go figure. I’m just hoping people stop looking for offense.

    And a sarcasm font would be brilliant!

  15. Ansley Says:

    A couple of thoughts:

    — When did we all lose our individual or collective ability to just say, “What an a&$hole” to ourselves and move on? Or, as you more charitably suggested, give people the benefit of the doubt unless we have a good reason to do otherwise.

    –I’m no Facebook expert by any means, but wouldn’t you have been commenting on a friend’s page? So I’m guessing the person who got offended was another of that person’s friends? I would never presume to correct a friend of a friend on a page that isn’t mine. If I’m offended by something online, I do know why God invented that little red “x” in the corner of my web browser page.

    –Love the idea of a sarcasm font for the humor challenged!

    Ansley

  16. Melany Says:

    I was thinking what Hadyn said. Strange what people choose to get offended over. I agree – I often blow off remarks that other people would get offended by just because I know the intent was not cruel at all.

    This whole thing makes me think of the other day when you posted on Facebook about why do people let their kids play in the street. I typed out “Maybe they just don’t love them” and then deleted it because I was afraid it would somehow be offensive to someone – and it was just my first funny reaction. Ah, life on Facebook.

  17. karen Says:

    I have the same problem. I feel that I am blessed with a quick wit – and with that comes a sharp tongue. I agree with DD – the problem is that people can’t hear your tone. Whatever. I have way too much on my plate to take offense at every little thing I read on the internet. Good lord. I work for a fast food corporation that employs about 400 burger flippers – and trust me when I tell you that it is rocket science to many of them…….

  18. Ashley J Says:

    The older I get… the more I realize that people need to lighten up and let go!

  19. Ansley Says:

    Sorry! I just realized to my horror that it may have sounded like I thought you were an a******. That’s not it! I just meant that if people really get their knickers in a twist over something or think that the person who wrote it is that terrible, they really could just shrug it off and get on with their lives.

    Ansley

  20. Ruthie Says:

    I’m with you…I have the same kind of humor running through me. I get myself into some of the worst situations with it. Usually with my husband whose sense of humor is NOTHING like mine! As to why people get so offended: I’ve wondered the same thing…maybe they need more to do since they have so much time to worry about such things. Another more serious senario: We all have our “touchy” points. I would have reacted the same as you to the “Mexican” workers comment at lunch, but the commenter who was offended may have a child with mental handicaps who is being teased relentlessly at school for being dumb. Who knows? I tend to handle such situations by remembering that you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. You handled it well. This sense of humor has it’s advantages…we are great at apologizing!

  21. Marianne Says:

    I think some people have way too much time on their hands if they have time to worry about your burger flipping comment.

    I love your sense of humor which comes across in your writing and is one of the reasons I enjoy following your blog.

  22. carla Says:

    AMEN SISTER!

    although I worry Id have been offended by the Mexican comment.

    ok.

    I know I would have been.

    sign me,

    PMS McSensitivePants

  23. muriel Says:

    I totally agree. I get myself in trouble all the time and wish people would just lighten up a little.

  24. JUlia Says:

    I saw that -and wondered …
    Just know -(realize I am 100% aware of the lack of value my opinion holds) that I think you and your comments – are accepted – by me – no matter what –
    you kids are gorgeous – just growing up WAY too fast –

  25. jane Says:

    Sarcasm font. Brilliant.
    Mine is so underappreciated at home – it would help me develop a whole new audience.

  26. Jody W. Says:

    See, now, if I had decided to respond to the question, “Why does God make stupid people?” *I* would have said “To make all the rest of the stupid people feel superior.”

    If you’re going to insult anyone, might as well make it everyone 🙂

    Depending on what was SAID about the construction workers, “Mexican” could have been a somewhat inaccurate descriptive or the first of a long, slippery slope of racial slurs.

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