No, we’re not going to talk about sex. Get your mind out of the gutter, people. You disgust me.
Naw, we’re going to talk about conversations. How people communicate. You might find this shocking, but I prefer a more direct and “rougher” line of communication than most people, (seriously, why have we not developed a sarcasm font?). This is especially apparent in a community of, well, of nice Catholic kids.
Let’s study this in an example.
Say someone has used all of my fancy conditioner (I’m using this as an example because I don’t own or use conditioner. This way, no one gets nervous that this might be based on actual events. It’s not. It’s all for hypothetical fun. The only kind of fun I have some days). Obviously, I have to talk to this person. I mean, this is my salon-quality, swanky hair cream stuff. I can’t just let it boil under the surface and not deal with it (If you’re thinking “Are you sure you couldn’t do that? Sounds like you could just not deal with it,” I have words for you…NO! SACK UP and DEAL with your frustrations before everyone hates each other, especially you).
Here is how I would love to deal with situations like this everyday: (Imagine a voice direct and assertive, but not authoritarian or argumentative. Mmmmm, a voice dreams are made of.) “Hey! Did you use my conditioner? Cut it out, please. Thank you. What’s for dinner?”
But I understand that this world is not perfect and alas, I cannot communicate my problems in the manner as often as I would like. I realize that people might take offense to this way of bringing up my griefs. They might think I’m trying to argue (I’m not. No, seriously, I’m not).
So sadly, I often end up resorting to this way of dealing with situations: (Imagine a quiet voice that is trying very hard to sound tactful but not whiny but you can tell it’s trying to sound tactful. Despite it’s peaceful intentions, it somehow grates on your ears and you can almost guarantee you are going to hear an “I feel” statement in the next 30 seconds. Sigh, I hate this voice and I KNOW I use it all the time). “Heeeey, So-n-So. Can I talk to you for a second? Um, yeah…did you use my conditioner? Yeah, so it’s pretty expensive and I’d really rather you didn’t use it. Yeah, no no no, we’re cool and everything, it’s just that, you know, it’s kind of hard to get and I try to use it sparingly myself, so yeah, if you could just not use it, that’d be great. Thanks.”
Of course there are more than two ways to deal with any problem that arises between people, but when I have to bring something up with a person, I usually feel like I’m deciding between these two.
Now, to me, the second method, which we’re going to call the Lumbergh, is far more “offensive.” It does not feel honest or genuine. Plus, you don’t ever find out what we’re having for dinner. However, I feel most people would tell me that the first method, now called The Dirty Harry, is not at all how they would prefer to handle problems. Which is why I, with a dab of self-loathing in my heart, slip into Lumbergh gear. I don’t want to be a donkey butt, but that’s how I feel comfortable communicating. So this will be a year, where I learn to be a decent and nice person or suffer the consequences. But don’t worry, I’ll still be a donkey butt to all my friends and loved ones when I get back!