Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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He Just Calls 'Em Like He Sees 'Em

Stopped at 7/11 the other night after a particularly nutso day in the newsroom to pick up a six-pack of Corona. I am standing in line waiting for the kid in front of me to pay for his case of Budweiser. Beerfest at 7/11. Anyway, dude is taking FOREVER counting through his wad of ones and then hands them to the cashier who, of course, has to slowly recount them. I briefly consider breaking a bottle of beer over the cashier's head, jamming the jagged bottle into the neck of the kid then calmly stepping over his twitching body as I leave with my liquid gold.

I don't. Opting instead for a reaction more in keeping with my character. I sigh passive aggressively.
"Oh yeah, and get me a pack of Marlboro red." The kid remembers. Then he looks at me.
"Man, you look tired," he says. I guess by way of conversation? Or by way of a violent death at my hands.

Listen up! There are rules when it comes to the ladies. Rule 234,567 Clause B, Number 1) Don't ever ask her how far along she is. EVER! Even if she seems to be in labor at that exact moment. Don't do it. Similarly, if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that woman is pregnant, don't EVER guess how far along she is. EVER! Also, if you know exactly how far along said woman is? Don't EVER comment on whether she seems big or small for being that far along. Got it? You sure?
2) Never tell a woman she looks tired. Unless you want your eyeballs scratched out. I get this one from coworkers occasionally as well. Late night last night? Har har har! You look tired. Do I? Do you want your esophagus yanked out of your mouth so I can hang it in decorative fashion from my rearview mirror next to my '95 graduation tassel.** Because me and my tired ass can make that happen for you. You look tired is not conversational. Is not nice. Is code for you look like shit.

So he tells me I look tired.
I, in no mood to play nice, respond with; "Oh, you mean I look like shit then?" He steps back in surprise. The cashier stops counting change and looks at me.
"Don't ever tell a woman she looks tired, you're just telling her she looks bad." I try to insert a bit of humor into my tone. The kid visibly relaxes. Thinking we're being conversational after all he responds with "hey, I just calls 'em like I sees 'em." You calls 'em like you sees 'em?

Took all I had not to key his car in the parking lot. But then I thought, he'll get married one day and will likely call it likes he sees it.

And then I'll be vindicated.

**I don't have a 95 graduation tassel and generally dislike anyone out of their teens who still has their tassel hanging there. I am just an angry judgmental person like that.