The ridiculous tai-chi mailman who can’t close my mailbox. I have a normal mailbox. It has no levers, pulleys, laser-sensors or key-pads. Every day that I find the mailbox open the temptation to remark on the mad tech skills necessary to lift the front back into place rests on my lips waiting…but I push it back.
Like a trail of blood in the water, my sharp, forked tongue tastes the ridiculousness, the obliviousness, the callous stupidity that just seems to drift everywhere and my heart rate speeds up.
The person at the ATM who not only doesn’t prepare their deposit before commandeering the machine, but also realizes that they haven’t brought a deposit slip, a pen, several of the checks they want to get into their bank account or any usable neurons with them.
“Perhaps you should stick with the abacus…” Does not get said aloud.
The girl who parks her shiny red VW Beetle in two parking spaces. Sort of. Not really in two places, but just over the line into the space next to her. Neither ballsy enough to claim she’s taking two spaces, nor considerate enough to keep herself in one. Sort of the passive-aggressive approach to not wanting her new, glossy paint scratched, but it’s hard to be sure. “Are you really bad at being obnoxious or just really bad at parking?” gets bitten back.
Now my tongue is bleeding.
I spent many years learning to tame this sharp tongue, because for a long time I thought my only asset was my brain and that being smarter than everyone else was my only advantage. And I further thought that the only way to showcase my sole asset was to highlight how much smarter I was than everyone else, and the way to do this was to make everyone else look stupid.
You can imagine how fun high school was for someone with this decidedly warped philosophy.
When someone – I don’t even remember who now – turned to me after one of these quick, razor remarks that I actually did say out loud and asked in a really tired way, “Are you always a bitch?” The snark-infested waters of my brain quipped back with, “Because I should aspire to the alternative?”
But the currents turned chillier in that moment.
Thus began an internal revolution where though I couldn’t stop thinking them, I did learn to stop voicing them – these sharp, barbed comments that exposed the unintentional or possibly unnoticed goofs or gaffes that were such easy snark-fodder.
And about that time I also appreciated that there were lots of other smart people around me, I just hadn’t noticed them because they were not inclined to jump the snark the way I was.
So I keep reining that part of me in. And the mail-man, and the deposit-fumbler, and the ridiculous girl with the shiny new car swim off un-bitten.
Who knows…they may find themselves in a snark tank with someone else. Someone even snarkier than me.
This post linked with no snark whatsoever to “Word Up, Yo!” at the A Belle, A Bean and a Chicago Dog, Mommy of A Monster and Taming Insanity Nerd Mafia Network. Click over to play, if you want an offer you can’t refuse.