Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Brutally Honest and Operative Words

Apparently, my hair looks like this today.

I truly hate the brutally honest. They're always so proud of their honesty, as if "honest" were the operative word in that phrase.

Hey, I like honesty. I certainly don't like being lied to, and I have enough short term memory loss to make lying an activity I can't reliably engage in, but not all honesty is necessary or desirable. I'm not even talking about theoretical Jews in hypothetical attics, I'm talking about hurting someone's feelings for no benefit.

Look, if a friend of mine modeled a low cut blouse that they were very proud of and then mentioned they were wearing it to a job interview, I would tell them, gently, that while the blouse is fabulous and they look fantastic in it, not appropriate for a job interview. That's beneficial.

There is absolutely no benefit to walking up to someone having a bad hair day and loudly asking "What did you do to your hair?!"

It's curly hair, it's humid, the results can be a bit unpredictable. And large. I don't get days off for bad hair days, I can't wear a baseball hat, so there it is. I left the house telling myself it wasn't that bad, don't worry about. Then I get this:

What did you DO to your hair?!

WHAT did you DO to your hair?!?!?!

WHAT did you DO to your HAIR?!?!??!!?!?

I patted my hair a bit, not that patting is likely to help, and muttered something. I may actually have muttered "asshole", but old lawyers don't have the best hearing.


"I'm having a bad hair day," I explained, unable to look up from my desk. Like prairie dogs of humiliation, several of my coworkers had popped up over the tops of their cubicles to look.

"Oh, I thought it was a new style. Are you sure you didn't stick your finger in a light socket?"

Really, I did not think it was that bad, but there's the rest of my day. Shamefacedly trying to hide my hair by staring at my desk or my feet, because if I can't see anyone else, I can't see them seeing me.

So do me a favor. If you can't think of something nice to say, don't fucking say anything, because the operative word in the phrase "brutally honest" isn't "honest", it's "brutal".


  1. I have the same problem sometimes. I have a leave in hair conditioner that I comb through my hair on my "big hair" days to weigh it down a little. When that doesn't work, I grab a hair tie and clips and avoid mirrors. It sucks that hats don't work when hair goes frizzy.

    Tell them you are rocking an ethnic hairstyle and they are being culturally insenstive or you can flat out say racist. This is the hair your heritage gave you. Obviously a lot of people thought it was sexy throughout time to bring it to your genes.

    Or ask them what they did to their manners. I wish everyone had etiquette lessons from Tim Gunn.

    Also, big hair is sexy! Throw those shoulders back and strut like a model. Confidence can work any look. Not feeling it? Go to the bathroom and masturbate. You will feel sex and naughty and stop caring about your hair.

    Yeah, those people are douchenozzles. Don't let them tell you how to feel.

  2. LOL!
    "What did you do to your manners?"
    Best comeback ever.

  3. *files uzza's comeback away for future use*

  4. I honestly felt like saying, "Have you seen you?!" but he is a partner here.

    I'm not sure I could pull off a claim of "ethnic". Unless Scots-Italians have become ethnic recently.

  5. Could you claim Irish? Long history of discrimination there...

  6. Oh man, what an asshole. Brutal honesty is at least defendable if someone asks you a question in the first place, but answering an unasked question with it? The hell with that guy.

    I'm "honest" myself (by which I mean, lying is really hard for me, so I don't do it. I've always envied my brothers ability to lie about anything) but I also suffer from a huge dose of self-awareness and sympathy for others.

    So if someone asks me how their hair looks, face shining with the happy cheefulness that can only come from complete obliviousness to the true horror of the creature that appears to be hibernating on top of their head, my mind will automatically think "I'm sorry, it looks terrible at the moment" and I will then have to think of something acceptable to tell them about it. But as I already said, I can't lie. So while I'm frantically grasping for something honest to compliment about their hair, my body language and rapid eye movement's are practically screaming "I really don't want to answer that question!".

    In order to try to cover this, and stall for more time, I will begin the sentence, elongating the words "Uh... it... looks..." But then I realise that I still don't have an answer, and worse: I've started the sentence. I can't say "I don't know" or suddenly take an intense interest in the wall or be distracted by my phone ringing "unexpectedly" in response to the panic button I keep concealed in my palm at all times or light myself on fire and jump out a window. I have to finish the sentence.

    At this point actual compliments are out of the question: I don't have any time left to think of one, and the other person is already starting to look a bit suspicious of the stuttering and the way one of my eyebrows is trying to crawl into my fringe and hide. So I settle on the first adjective that pops into my head, saying it as if it were a question because I'm completely unable: "... curly?"

    At this point I know I'm lost. There's no way they can fail to notice the ordeal I've just been through in order to answer their question. They're on the verge of flying into an intense murderous rage and braining me with the nearest heavy object. Or maybe they'll curse me and never want to see me again, and convince all my friends that I'm a hair-hating, baby-eating, devil-spawned monster of truly epic proportions. Or maybe they'll just be sad, and go home and cut their wrists and I'll feel guilty for the rest of my life and wish I'd never insulted their hair, which hindsight turns into something that really wasn't all that bad. I brace myself for the inevitable.

    "Oh, okay. See you around!"

    And they walk away, leaving me wondering if they were just faking a cheerful attitude and are now going off to cut my brake lines, or if they truly didn't notice.

    So if you're going to ask me questions like that, show some mercy and give me the answer as a part of the question. Don't ask "How do you think my hair looks?" ask "Does my hair look okay?" That way I can just pick "Y" and we can all get on withour lives without me finding out too late that, yes, you were faking it and now I don't have any brakes and am going to crash into a Semi.

  7. wow - Quasar continues to STEAL MY POSTS!!!

    Jaysus - what did i ever do to, that you keep saying what i was going to say before i say it?


    OnTopic - damn, what did he DO to his BRAIN? asswipe

  8. http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens

    atheists, we're gonna cut off your heads...


  9. http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens

    atheists, we're gonna cut off your heads...



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