Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What NOT to Say at Holiday Parties

Tis the season for holiday parties, drinks get-together, and reunions with people we may only see a couple of times a year. We'll schmooze, reminisce, and field an awkward remark or two. But what if we tend to stick our snow-booted feet in our mouths? For the cringe-inducers among us, here's a list of things NOT to say at a holiday gathering:

To a recent college grad:
"Your parents spent a fortune on your education and you're temping at Macy's?"

To an middle-aged engineer:
"I hear you finished a job in Arizona and are due to start another in Illinois. When are you going to demand an assignment in town? Kids need both parents."

To a career-changer:
"You'll be competing with kids in their twenties. They'll chew you up and spit you out."

To a dieter:
"I thought you loved my sopapilla cheesecake? I made it for you."

To a teacher:
"You've got some racket: winter break, spring break, summers off. And you wonder why kids can't pass standardized tests?"

To a stay-at-home-mom:
"Now that Noah's two, I guess you're looking for a real job."

To a doctor:
"I've got a throbbing pain in my upper arm. Take a look at my elbow and tell me what you think."

To a lawyer:
"Let's say, hypothetically, I were to incorporate a business."

To a banker:
"Look at you, hobnobbing with the 99 percent. What, Mustique Island's booked this weekend?"

To your boss:
"A honey-baked ham? I'd rather have a gift card."

To a writer:
"Amanda Hocking self-pubbed and made two million dollars. What are you waiting for?"

24 comments:

Ginger said...

Haha--very funny! I of course especially love the last one. ;) What am I waiting for? Um, well ….

Alicia Street said...

So funny, Pat! And right on target.

Prudence MacLeod said...

Pat, I love this.

How about this: to a new father, "He sort of looks like your younger brother."

Or the one I hear from friends who are traditionally published, "So, you self published, are you making any money?"
My answer, "A lot more than I made writing query letters."

Louise Behiel said...

thanks for the chuckle before I go to work Pat. I'm glad I don't have any other writers in my social circle, except in big groups - when most of us are in the same boat. have a great day. you've started mine with a smile.

Julie Hedlund said...

These are funny Pat! I especially love the banker and writer ones. :-)

Coleen Patrick said...

Oh the real job line, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that one . . .
Thanks for the laugh Pat!

Lark Howard said...

Hilarious!!

Then there's the question to the young woman who put on a few pounds over the past year: "When are you due?"

Tim O'Brien said...

Great list Pat! The other day I was at school waiting to pick up my children. A woman approached me and asked if I was here to pick up my grandchildren. I bit my tongue and didn't say what really was on my mind, but I'm still mad.

Lisa Hall-Wilson said...

Very funny! Thanks for the chuckle.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

"Um, well...." WAS my response, too, Ginger.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks, Alicia! I'm sure there's a raft of thoughtless remarks directed at dancers. Blog post idea for you?

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Prudence, we know someone out there made that remark to a new dad. Let's hope the new dad managed an awesome comeback--or the baby managed targeted projectile vomiting.

Love your response to those who ask if you're making money self-pubbing, but those people wouldn't ask that of a doctor or a plumber. Grrr.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Glad I made you smile before you headed off to work, Louise.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Julie,
The most recent variation of the Amanda Hocking comment features Darcie Chen, instead. Glad you like the banker comment.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Ooh, you gave me an idea, Coleen. We fine people when they say clueless things. Of course, I'd have to pay up every day, too.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Ouch, Lark! I've witnessed a woman paste on a fake smile after she got that very question.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Grandfathers must look really good in your part of the world, Tim!

That said, the comment would have made me mad, too. Some people say whatever pops in their heads and excuse themselves with, "I was just showing an interest."

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Lisa, I read and learned from your honeymoon post. Thank YOU.

Emma Burcart said...

So funny! I needed the laugh after the long day I had.

Karen McFarland said...

Very funny Pat!

Can't believe sometimes what people say.

And once it rolls off the tongue you can't take it back. :)

LynNerdKelley said...

Great list, Pat. Yes, that last one is a good one. And people really do say things like that to us. And I always get the one about, "I'd like to write a book. We could write one together." And then they tell you about their idea...for hours...

debrakristi said...

Hehehe! So true! And my mother called me just the other day to tell me her husband found this article, you know the one? Yeah. He's sending me a copy because he thinks there might be something there for me in self-publishing. Maybe, but not the way they're thinking after reading that!

Kay Hudson said...

Two of my favorites: "Have you figured out yet why you haven't sold a book?" (from my brother, who was lucky he was four states away on the telephone) and "When I have a little time off, I'm going to write a book" (from a friend who was working at the time scraping dead animals off the roads of northern Louisiana).

Margo Berendsen said...

These were painfully great!!! My parents actually gave me an article about Hocking not long ago! They were so clueless, they meant in the best of ways, of course.