12 December 2008
Have a Nice Trip!
Next week the the wife, youngest daughter and I are going to Paris for two weeks. Oldest daughter, who's doing her junior year at a university in Finland, will meet us there. Inevitably with this trip, as with any other vacation, I'll mention it in conversation. Ninety per cent of all people will say something along the lines of "sounds like fun have a great time," or will ask a question or pass on a recommendation. But among the other ten per cent are the less gracious responses. Like these:
1) "You know it's real cold/hot there this time of year." Or "it's really crowded/no one is there this time of year." This is a person who's really saying that since they're stuck at home they want to spoil your trip in some small way. They hate for other people to be enjoying themselves or be excited. They're happy to be the rain on your parade. If you root for a sports team in a league or sport that has no connection to them, they'll always point out when your team loses. I root for an English soccer team and I can't tell you how many times people have who've not the slightest interest in the sport will remind me when my team loses. I can tell you exactly how many times theses people have congratulated me on the team's victories. Zero.
2) "Oh yeah, we've been there." Translated: What, you think you're special? As if you thought you were the only person ever to go somewhere fun or exciting. In elementary school this is the person who would ask, "am I supposed to be impressed?" If you were about to be crowned King of England they'd point out how many other kings England has had -- what, you thought you were the first?
3) "We were there ten years ago and blah, blah, blah, yak, yak, yak....." Anything you ever say to this person is just an opportunity for him or her to ramble on with their own story. "You just climbed Mount Everest? Yeah, well let me tell you about the hike we took last weekend."
4) Last, worst and most baffling of all is this: "it must be rough." A few years ago when I told my boss that I was going to miss a few days of work because of a trip to London, that was his initial response. What the hell does it even mean other than that the speaker is totally lacking in grace or charm? Many years ago I told a co worker I was leaving work early. She came back with the "it must be rough." Yeah it was, I was leaving early to have a root canal.
Thankfully the vast majority of people are quite nice. Dealing with all these pleasant folks in the world -- it must be rough.