You Need Thick Skin At This Table

, , , , , | Friendly | May 3, 2019

(I’m at a banquet with my mom, seated next to a husband and wife my parents’ age that I know, but not very well. I’m a biology professor and I’m pretty sure they’re aware of that. I’m wearing a sleeveless dress and I have a large mole that my dermatologist is not concerned about, so I haven’t had it removed.)

Woman: “Oh, you need to get that taken care of.”

Me: “What?”

Woman: “That mole. That’s cancer.”

Me: “No, actually, it’s okay. My dermatologist says it’s fine. I could have it removed if it bothers me, but I haven’t gotten around to it.”

Woman: “Nope, that’s cancer.”

Man: “You know, our daughter’s husband had a mole just like that. He didn’t even know it was there! It was on his back. Our daughter didn’t even notice it! But one day he got out of the shower and she said, ‘Hey, what’s that?’ And he got it checked. And you know what? The doctor sat down and said, ‘You have six months to live.’ It looked just like yours.”

Me: “No, really, I’ve had it looked at; it’s not cancerous.”

Woman: “You probably have six months to live, too.”

Man: “When the doctor finally looked at it, it had met… med… What’s the word? When it spreads?”

Me: “Metastasized?”

Man: “Yeah, that. He was a goner. It was everywhere. Lungs, brain. Everywhere.”

Me: “Yeah, skin cancer’s weird like that; it has its places it goes.”

Woman: “Do you know about cancer?”

Me: “Um, a little? We just covered it in my intro cell bio class last week. I use breast cancer as an example.”

Woman: “Are you going to apply to med school?”

Me: *completely taken aback* “No? I mean, I thought about it years ago, after I started my PhD, because it would have made more financial sense to get an MD/PhD at the time, but those programs are hard to get into. And really, I didn’t want to pursue an MD; I wanted a PhD.”

Woman: “But think of all you could do! You should apply to med school.”

Me: “No, really, I’m happy with my PhD. I like my job.”

Woman: “You should apply to med school.”

Me: *later, to my mom* “Why did you make me sit next to them?!”

(For the record, I was probably going to get that mole removed next summer, but now I don’t want to, just out of spite!)

Generously Accepted Your Solution

, , , , , , , | Right | May 2, 2019

I worked as a cashier in a “fast casual” restaurant a while ago, so I don’t remember the dialogue for this incident, which is unfortunate. Every so often, I’ll get customers who are friends and doing their utmost to pay for the other’s meal. Usually, this resolves with one of them insisting more than the other — or getting their form of payment faster — and the other one backing down. Not this time!

Two women had come up to my line, joking with each other and with me. When I told them the total, they started arguing about who was going to pay, racing to get to their wallets first. They good-naturedly took out their credit cards and waved them at me and tried to get me to pick. Laughing but also a bit scared to pick a favorite, I took both credit cards, put them behind my back, switched them around a bit, and asked my general manager to pick a hand, any hand. The winner cheered as I swiped her card, while the loser dejectedly took hers back. I had never seen anyone be that exuberantly generous, and it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Good thing I had learned some basic conflict management skills!

Something Cagey About Your Friend

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 1, 2019

(My best friend in college is ADDICTED to hamsters and doesn’t deny it; she blames it on an incident in her childhood where she accidentally squeezed a hamster to death. She owns five or more at a time and buys the biggest, most elaborate cages and miles and miles of tubes for them. She insists they like variety, but switching out some tubes isn’t enough; she has to have enough tubes so that EVERY tube in each setup is different than those used in all other setups! She isn’t supposed to have this stuff on campus, but it is an open secret that many students have forbidden pets in their rooms — I suspect because it is an agricultural school. I am helping her load her car up for a visit to her hometown. We’ve just finished filling literally every inch of the car except for the driver’s seat with hamster cages and supplies when she asks:)

Friend: “Hey, why don’t you come with me?”

Me: *laughing because I’m sure she must be joking* “Your car is completely filled with hamster cages. Where am I supposed to sit, the roof?”

Friend: “Of course not; there’s room in the trunk.”

(I burst out laughing even harder, but the transformation I see come over her face as it cycles through confusion, realization, and embarrassment makes me realize she wasn’t joking.)

Friend: “I meant that we could move some of the cages into the trunk!”

(She’d just made a poor — but hilarious — choice of words. Okay, so she was not guilty of saying hamsters deserved to ride on the seats while people had to settle for riding in the trunk. Another time, we are getting into her car to go to the movies. I’ve just climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled my seatbelt when I notice a HUGE cardboard box on the backseat.)

Me: *groaning*Please don’t tell me that’s another new hamster cage.”

Friend: *completely matter-of-fact, nonchalant, and sincere, with no hint of sarcasm or humor* “Of course not. That’s just the bottom half.”

(Fortunately, getting a Lhasa Poo she could lavish all her love and attention on after graduation enabled her to kick that habit.)

Paint Me Selfish

, , , , | Friendly | April 25, 2019

(I’ve been best friends with two other girls since childhood. We’ve pretty much always done everything together, even when we started growing up and our personalities and interests started shifting. [Friend #1] has been saving money and building up her credit since she was old enough to get a work permit and credit card. A few days before winter break in our senior year, she gives me a call.)

Friend #1: “Hey, where are you?”

Me: “At [Friend #2]’s place, finishing up homework.”

Friend #1: “You’re together? Perfect. I’m coming over; I’ve got a surprise to show you guys.”

(Fifteen minutes later, [Friend #1] calls us outside and we find her leaning against a car we’ve never seen. It’s hers! She bought herself a used car! We, of course, start freaking out.)

Me: “Oh, my God! Do we get to ride in it?!”

Friend #1: “Naturally.”

Friend #2: “Can we decorate it? Oh! I’ve always wanted a car with fuzzy dice and a cute steering wheel cover… Oh, and painted a bright, pretty color!”

Friend #1: “Ha, paint. Nah, I’m good with how it is, and I already put a little dream catcher on the rear view.”

Friend #2: “Well, what can we do?”

Friend #1: *thinks for a moment* “You can each put a bumper sticker on the back — non-political — and a bobblehead on the dash.”

Me: “Dude! Will you take us bobblehead shopping?”

Friend #1: “Sure!”

Friend #2: “That’s it? We can’t even pick a fresh paint job?”

Friend #1: “It’s functional and reliable; I don’t need it to be pretty. Paint is expensive.”

Friend #2: “But this is going to be our ride! It should look amazing, and lame bobbleheads aren’t going to do that. It needs serious accessorizing. I say we vote on it.”

(We sometimes vote on things we’re going to do together when we can’t come to a full agreement.)

Friend #1: “Um, no? My car, my rules, my final say. Gosh, I have a car to make rules for! I feel so grown up!”

(She and I giggle, but apparently [Friend #2] isn’t amused.)

Friend #2: “That’s not fair! We’re all going to share it. We should have equal say in what goes! Right, [My Name]?”

Me: “No? What are you talking about? This is her car. She paid money for this. We’re lucky we have a best friend who can drive us around now.”

Friend #2: “We share everything because we’re best friends! How is this any different?”

Friend #1: “Fine. You want a paint job? You get to pay for it, along with [significant amount of money for us at the time].”

Friend #2: “What? Why so much?!”

Friend #1: “That’s half of what the car cost, and your price for equal ownership. Oh, plus half the insurance costs… Wait, my name is the only one on the insurance. Never mind, my veto power is absolute. No to the paint job.”

Friend #2: “This should be for all of us! I can’t believe you’re being so selfish!”

Me: “Dude.”

Friend #1: *disbelieving laugh* “I’m not the one being selfish here.”

([Friend #2] goes off on a full tantrum, complete with screaming and crying. [Friend #1] puts up with it to stall for me so I can sneak inside the house and grab my stuff. When I come back out, [Friend #2] is threatening to key the car, since [Friend #1] “doesn’t care about the paint, anyway.” [Friend #1] brings her phone, which is now in her hand at her side, up to her ear.)

Friend #1: “Hi, [Friend #2’s Dad]? You’re there? Did you hear all of that? She’s talking about my car. I just bought a car, yeah.”

(This does not help the tantrum. It does, however, freak [Friend #2] out enough that she runs screaming into the house. Once [Friend #1] finishes talking to [Friend #2]’s dad, she takes the opportunity to get us out of there. It’s total silence for a few minutes while she drives.)

Friend #1: *visibly upset* “So… want to go get gelato to celebrate my new car?”

(Not only did we get gelato — which I paid for and insisted she get multiple scoops — but as soon as winter break started, we headed off on a long weekend road trip that she’d wanted all three of us to go on. I covered half the gas, we enjoyed ourselves immensely, and we continue to enjoy ourselves to this day, while our ex-friend still needs permission to use her mom’s car whenever she wants to go anywhere alone.)

Learning How To Talk Crap

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 22, 2019

(My friend and I are traveling together through Mexico. We are sitting in an outdoor cafe on a square in a beautiful Mexican city when I am approached by a young woman. She engages me in conversation. I am nervous. She does not speak English, and I only speak basic high school Spanish, so the conversation is going slowly.)

Woman: “¿Cómo te llamas?”

Me: “¿Me llamo [My Name], y tú?”

Woman: “Gabriela… ¿Y cuantos años tienes?”

Me: “Tengo 23 anos.”

(She leaves quickly. My friend starts laughing.)

Me: “What did I say?”

Friend: “You told her you have 23 a**holes.”

Page 4/57First...23456...Last