Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Social Strategems

How to sound like ...

1 ... someone brilliant: Declare things "brilliant." Because to be able to identify brilliance, you must know what that is, and to know what brilliance is, you must possess it, right? Just try it. You'll even fool yourself. It's a brilliant idea.

2 ... someone artistically-minded: Declare things "stunning." Same reason as above. You'll feel hip and invested in culture. It's hard to contradict someone who calls  something "stunning" without feeling like a complete Philistine, even if that something is an empty light mayonnaise container glued to a piece of plywood. Dibs on that idea, btw. It's okay to sound deep even if you aren't.

This is what I imagine when I want to have stunning nightmares.

3 ... a good parent: In public, loudly ask your bratty-acting kid, "What is with you today?" By emphasizing the "today," you imply that on all other days, your sticky little likes-to-fart-on-girls cherub is usually reading Homer, meditating, or cultivating his hydroponic garden.

What is with you today, Graham? Oh wait, you're this flipping cute every day. This is just the day your mother failed at making homemade finger paint, instead concocting some sick clumpy gel for you to smear around. What a sport.

4 ... you care about the environment: Name-drop "organic" like it's your best friend's husband's famous cousin. While you'll be deliberately using the vocab in casual conversation, you're communicating that the organic vs. conventional choice is completely automatic for you. Of course you used organic heirloom (bonus granola points for this) tomatoes for your caprese salad.

I like how they say it's a "market." So earthy that way.

5 ... you're not judging: Use the phrase "just not my style" when you're actually thinking "omHeck, what a horrible mother/driver/Mormon/non-organic baker/Klingon you are!" Yes, this phrase condones a certain level of relativism, which in some cases is not okay. Ex: Oh, you water board your child when he raids your chocolate chip stash? Good for you, but that's just not my style! Child abuse aside, this phrase communicates disagreement without attacking another's right to be an idiot. There are a lot of things that don't matter, or shouldn't matter. Or they really do matter and tick us off but the circumstances aren't right to verbalize our judgments. This is also a great phrase to use when people give crap advice. Because choices are like caftans; more often than not, somebody else's is just not my style.

Good luck finding the organic cotton caftan of your dreams.


  1. I especially love your "what is with you today" comment. Would definitely make me feel less embarrassed in public places. Also, whenever I dislike something/disagree/think something is hideous, I usually use the phrase, "that's interesting." But I definitely need to try "that's just not my style" sometime. :)

  2. You need to write short stories. Or snippets or essays. I would read them.
    Laura Henriksen

  3. homemade fingerpaint is called frosting. Love your post, keep 'em coming. I second the write a book. Oh wait, you already are. I think you should get on with your local newspaper as a columnist. really, do it!

  4. Yes, Kimber, you must write for someone else besides us peons. (sorry to all the peons out there that read Kim's blog) But I am sure that all your creativity is going towards entertaining and enriching Graham's life.

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  6. Sorry my last comment came out weird (stupid auto correct) I miss your face!! Glad your doing well.... and thanks for teaching me ( months ago) about saying 'that's not my style' it has saved me loads of trouble!


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