My oldest has started recording Minecraft videos. If you’re not familiar with the concept, this means he records himself playing the game for awhile, then puts the video on YouTube for the world to watch. I had no idea there was such a demand for videos of blocky graphics with a soundtrack of a pre-teen boy saying, “So…yeah,” every two and a half minutes.
He’s very excited about it, to the point that every other
word out of his mouth is “record,” and every plan he relates to me of his
future—ten minutes from now or ten years from now—includes a provision for
During these conversations, I’m reminded of the wife of a former
coworker, who almost got herself strangled for a similar transgression. I’m
willing to put up with this behavior in my kid, but in a relative stranger it was unforgivably
Her husband and I were on a business trip together, and
since he was staying for two weeks, she joined him for the second one. Our time
overlapped by only one day, but it was a very long day.
We collected her at the airport, and on the drive to the
hotel (approximately 30 minutes) she proved herself to be amazing: competent,
efficient, and skilled. I know because she told me. Six times.
She was also apparently a horseback rider, and we were near
an area that’s famous for its horses. She was planning to hit up a nearby
stable and do a little riding. I know this because she told me. Fourteen
“I was thinking of doing a little sightseeing. If I’m not
riding, that is.”
“I’ll probably go shopping for presents for the kids on
Thursday, unless I’m riding, of course.”
“I’m thinking of riding on Tuesday, so that might not be the
best night to go out for a fancy dinner.”
But the best thing, the thing that made me want to shove her
under a train, was that night when we went out to dinner.
There was an area where lots of restaurants were clustered
together, so we went there. She assured me that she was not at all particular,
and anything would do. We examined the first menu board. Her husband and I both
said it looked fine. She pursed her lips.
“I don’t know…there’s not really anything here that strikes
me…” We walked away to check out another restaurant while she breezily
declared, “But you know, I’m easy—I’ll eat anything.”
“Well…I’m not really in the mood for Mexican.” Off we went.
“But I don’t care—anything is fine with me. I’m not a picky
Oh yeah? From what I can tell you’re actually what picky eating would be if picky eating were given human form and a superior attitude. But whatever.
Finally, on the
recommendation of the maître’ d of another restaurant (Him: “What kind of food
were you hoping for?” Her: “Oh, I’m not particular—I eat everything.” I rolled
my eyes so hard it took 15 minutes to get them back in place after that
exchange), we found someplace she would deign to sample. They served seafood.
We ordered and our meals arrived. Because I was raised with manners, I asked
how her entrée was. I didn’t actually care.
“Oh, well, you know, it’s okay, but this is a citrus sauce, and I sort of prefer a cream
It took every ounce of self-control I had not to lose my
shit. I wanted to say, “Then why did you not read the fucking menu, where it said that the dish you ordered was
served with a citrus sauce and not a cream sauce, you self-involved, conceited,
You will understand when I say I was not disappointed in the
least when she declared she was too tired for any further socializing after
dinner. No chance for us to become lifelong friends? Darn.
I have no idea if she rode. I have no idea if she was able
to find seafood with a cream sauce. I got on an airplane the next morning and
left before the urge to shove her under a train became overwhelming. Or rather,
became irresistibly overwhelming.
Have you ever wanted to shove someone under a train? Have you ever had someone who was clearly an exceptionally picky declare that they were not? Do you prefer cream sauce, or citrus sauce?