Monday, February 16, 2009

YOU Write Something Clever

Sometime back around the holidays, maybe because we were cooped up (er...home) for so many days, I started paying attention to the way my kids argue. They employ a simple technique, really. All you need to do is throw a piece of conversation back at your opponent, preceded by “you” or “you’re”. It doesn’t even have to make sense. Besides that, they’ve taken to calling each other “Fatty” even though they are both beanpoles. (It’s not like I condone it. What can I say…there might be a few flaws in their upbringing.)

Let’s say, for instance, that my son needs to get into the bathroom to shower in the morning. He might say something like, “Hey, Fatty, can you finish drying your hair in your room?”


And then my daughter will say, “YOU finish drying your hair in your room!” See, it doesn’t matter that my son’s hair is perfectly dry, and that he doesn’t even own a hair dryer.


Or let’s say my daughter is looking for something to cart some belongings in, and she asks, “Hey Fatty, don’t we have a couple of milk crates out in the garage?”

Of course her brother’s very logical response would be, “YOU’RE a couple of milk crates!”

See how easy that is? About ninety percent of their interaction takes this form, so I can only gather it must be pretty satisfying. I started wondering if I should give it a try.

Hmm…

The next time I get a dinnertime phone call asking if I’ll participate in a survey, I could yell, “YOU participate in a survey!” and then hang up.

If a snippy cashier at the fast food place tells me we only get one container of dipping sauce, I can just exclaim, “YOU’RE one container of dipping sauce!” Yeah, that should do it.

Maybe once, just for therapeutic purposes, I’ll draft a letter to an editor in response to a rejection. It could read, Dear Editor:

YOU’RE not the right fit! YOU find the right home for this!

Childish? Maybe. But I have to admit, it is kinda satisfying.

17 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

Okay, I know I'm childish but that's how I argue with my husband. If he says, "this meatloaf is a little dry."

I'll say, "You're a little dry."

It shuts him up because there's no way to argue with that ;-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I like it. I'm going to try it myself.

LW said...

My son and his friends use to do this; I called it mirroring response..
He is in college now and every once in awhile it still comes out….
I guess some habits are hard to break…
I call him on it now although I can see where it could come in handy at times…

Louise

PS… I loved Kim’s comment …

PJ Hoover said...

Childish, yes. but freaking hilarious! Thanks for the huge laugh! I love this idea!

Rena said...

Oh gosh -- I love this!

ICQB said...

My kids preface argument come-backs with, "Your mom (insert mirrored response)."

That makes it hard to argue with one's own children using this technique.

Bish Denham said...

Help, I'm having a flash-back! Too funny!

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Ara Burklund said...

Thank you for the laugh--after a long weekend at home, I definitely needed it! Now I'm going to be listening more carefully to see if my kids are doing this. : )

Brenda said...

This is what I miss about being an adult...sis and I use to argue like this all the time...grin..

adrienne said...

Kim - :-D Hilarious!

Green Girl - The best part is you don't have to think :)

Louise - It's the absurdity that cracks me up! And I laughed at Kim's comment, too.

PJ - I know, and I can't really scold them when I'm laughing...

Rena - Yeah, I think they're on to something...

ICQB - Oh, they love this one! You've armed them with new material :-O

Bish & Brenda - It does take you back, doesn't it?

Ara - If I didn't spy on them I don't know what I'd write about :)

Stacy Nyikos said...

Or, you could write, YOU'RE a form letter. Makes even less sense, but yes, very satisfying. Wow. How did we ever lose this great arguing ability as adults??

Suzie said...

OK I have a new comeback. I feel safe now

Anne Spollen said...

LOL -- YOU find a HOME for it -- very satisfying.

Angela said...

Ha, this is awesome. And I'll admit, after my third or forth 'this-is-a-charity-calling' call, I feel like saying, Why don't YOU donate some money instead of just collecting a paycheck for calling people during dinner?

Mary Witzl said...

Yep -- I love that; it's potentially very satisfying. I'll try it mentally. Especially the letter to the editor version of this.

sruble said...

This is how my husband and I argue too. It usually goes on long enough that we burst out laughing. Ok, so it's not so much arguing as it is just funny to us, and sometimes we argue that way.

Recently I've started arguing with the escalators at our local subway station. They just renovated and put in these really loud, really annoying voices that tell you to hold on to the railing and other things. May favorite is when they say, "Have a nice day!" My response is always, "No, YOU have a nice day!!!" Makes me feel good. Makes the escalator voices less annoying. Makes other people stare at me ... but that's ok. They're just jealous. They want to yell at the escalator people too.

Ok, probably more than you wanted to know, but I loved your post and can totally relate :)