Say What You Mean (Kind of)

All this political ridiculousness has got me thinking. I’ve gotten VERY JUDGEY in the last year with regards to politicians and all their talky-talk. You need to have a little pity for me with this because I live in Iowa, which means we were getting mailers, phone calls, and television ads voiced over by men who’ve smoked since the age of eight for THE LAST TWO YEARS. Probably more. I can’t remember that far back because I’ve had children and children rob one of one’s ability to remember one’s life.

I do know that I’ve been hearing from all sorts of politicians for years—years!—, and that’s just this latest election cycle, not all the many that came before. And I’ve learned something while I’ve been busy getting all judgey. I’ve learned that people do NOT say what they mean. People say all sorts of things and comb all sorts of hairsprayed and shellacked hairstyles into their coifs, and they wear the same exact riff on a suit for two years, no matter the outside temperature or if the suit looks like it should have found a comfy spot on the shelves of Goodwill a long time ago.

They do all those things. But they do not say what they mean. And I’ve gotten really irritable about this. In fact, I had a really nice spot up on my pedestal all staked out and ready for the install of my new couch and flatscreen, right next to a six-foot-tall portrait of myself. (JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE PORTRAIT. WHO DOES THAT?!) But then I had a very sobering realization:  I don’t say what I mean either. Particularly when it comes to talking with my husband.

Poor Marc. Not only is he the nicest human alive married to a woman who…um,…struggles with nice-ness, he is also required to interpret what I say using the Kim Dictionary Of Fake to Real Meanings. Here’s a sampling of the most frequently consulted entries:

p. 35 *When you ask, “Can I help with that?” and I say, “No, I’m fine,” THIS ACTUALLY MEANS “Drop what you’re doing and help me right now or I’ll be cranky/broody-silent with you for approximately 4.1 hours.”

p. 14 *When I ask, “Do you think my arms look like mom arms in this?” YOU MUST ALWAYS, ALWAYS SAY, “Your arms look like Michelle Obama’s only sixty percent more toned.” Always. There is never a time when this is not an appropriate response to the mom-arm question.

p. 87 *When I say I don’t want any presents for my birthday or Christmas, THIS ACTUALLY MEANS I want to go out to dinner and a movie with you. And dessert. With sprinkles. So yes. Yes, I do want a present. Just nothing with a bow and wrapping paper. (Bonus hint: The use of Valpak coupons is strictly forbidden at birthday dinners. Also, please don’t take me to a restaurant that sends coupons in the Valpak.)

p. 73 *When I say you can’t use a coupon for my birthday dinner, this does not mean you can’t use the Valpak Krispy Kreme coupon for buy-one-get-one dozen of doughnuts. Krispy Kreme is exempt from the no-coupon birthday rule.

p. 74 *When I say, “Does my butt look ginormous and lumpy after eating that dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme?” YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER.

p. 8 *When I ask you if you like my new haircut and you respond that you do, but your eye twitches or your right nostril flares or Saturn passes earth in its autumnal orbit and I freak out because I’m reading into your behavior (and the passage of the planets) and I suspect you are not telling the truth, STAY THE COURSE AND KEEP LYING. THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO UNTIL IT GROWS OUT.

p. 46 *When I ask you if you’ve read my blog and we both know you haven’t, just say no. But you’d better take a look every now and then because you just might be well-represented and I want to make sure you’re getting updates to the Kim Dictionary.

So I’m sorry, all you politicians. Sorry I thought you were really the dregs of society in unflattering suits. I was wrong. I am the dreg. I embody dreg. My apologies.*

(*New entry to the Kim Unabridged, p. 101: When I say I was wrong about politicians, I’m really saying, “Wake me up at Thanksgiving, and I would like you to bring the Krispy Kremes.”)

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