Monday, March 26, 2012

situations in which people are almost always disingenuous

1. After lunch with a friend on a Saturday, the friend will sometimes ask what you have planned for the rest of the day. Partly because it sounds lame somehow to reveal your actual plans (get in bed with laptop, search Manhattan for the shampoo you really like that your "place" stopped selling, etc.) and partly because you're not sure if the friend wants to keep hanging out so you want make it clear you're "busy," you offer this vague but firm response, something like, "Ahhh, got a bunch of different things to take care of. Thank god it's nice out!"

2. Whenever someone prefaces a story with some kind of serious, whispered "please don't tell this to anyone" request, the other friend will - basically without fail - respond in this completely overdramatic, theatrical way: rolled eyes, hands in the air... "Of course not! Who would I even tell??" she'll say, as if she just arrived in New York and lives alone in a sewer and knows no people.

3. Anytime a friend shows you a picture for the first time of someone they've just started dating. ("He looks so nice!")

4. When you mention a party you were invited to and your friend realizes she wasn't invited, she'll often say something like "Ohh, I'm so offended... I guess Zach just doesn't think I'm cool enough!" in this exaggerated, "sarcastic" way. "Yeah," you'll say, "I mean, it's not like it's some great honor to be invited to his party or anything, you know?" Your friend will respond, "Yeah, I honestly don't care," as she blithely scrolls on her phone. (Actually, in this situation, both parties are being disingenuous!)

5. Whenever a friend is recounting in unusual detail a ~~crazy~~ night out or a work trip or anything they've done, really, and you rotate through like seven two-syllable remarks ("So fun." "Oh, wow." "Really??" "Crazy.") during the 8-minute narrative. (Hah, I love how this last one basically just boils down to, like, "Whenever anyone is talking to you.")

Friday, March 16, 2012

"about your cousin"

I'll be en route to meet up with my friend Kyle and I'll be feeling super anxious about some aspect of seeing him. Maybe we're going to be getting drinks, and I'm worried he's going to ask if I want to order food and I'll have to say "no" because I have dinner plans after... and there will be this uncomfortable moment when he contemplates his "slotted in before dinner" status. Or maybe I'll be panicking that he's going to bring up the e-mail he sent me a few weeks ago that I ignored in which he asked if I would help his cousin get a job interview.

Then, without fail - and I wish I understood precisely what it is about my character that causes me to act in this way - I'll get to the bar and find Kyle and sit down and literally the first thing I'll say is: "So, it's cool that we're just getting drinks and not food... ?" And he'll look at me kind of quizzically and say, "Yeah, why, are you hungry?" and just like that, I've made it into a weird thing! Or there will be a pause in the conversation, and I'll start rambling, "Hey, by the way, sorry about that e-mail... about your cousin... I was gonna respond... but just... so busy... you know." He was probably never going to bring it up himself!

I guess this behavior is a sort of corollary of the "when you concentrate on not thinking about something, it becomes all you can think about" phenomenon, except instead of remaining an in-your-own-head annoyance, this kind results in your groan-sighing when you get a text the next morning that says: "drinks was really fun! and thanks so much for agreeing to help out my cousin, i'm just gonna give him your e-mail and he'll be in touch!!!"