Friday, February 8, 2008

Whatever

We had dinner with friends tonight, and had a lovely time. We hadn't had a chance to catch up with them for quite a long time, and it was good to do so. The chili was excellent, and I got the recipe for the cornbread. (No wonder it was good. The amount of butter in it would give a cardiologist hives. And then we added more on the outside. Mmmmmm.) Paul got to sample their hot sauce collection, too, which made him happy. I don't understand the drive to burn your tongue off as recreation, but whatever.

Speaking of whatever, I was just talking to my brother about that word. It's so useful. Think of all the things it can mean:

- I think torturing your tastebuds for fun is silly, but it's no skin off my nose.

- I don't care -- you pick.

- No, I don't know why he has a safety pin in his eyebrow. I wouldn't do it, but I'm sure he has a reason.

- I'm too tired to make a decision.

- I'm not sure why you just bit my head off, but I'm going to forget about it instead of either escalating or holding a grudge.

- Yes, that was the ugliest couch I've ever seen, but I don't have to live with your mother (or sister, or business partner), so I don't care.

- That's really messed up. But you're a big girl, and I can't fix you, and I can't tell you what to do. Look at me not having an ulcer about it.

Saying "whatever" doesn't mean not caring, but it means letting go of the illusion of control. It means cutting other people a little slack, and not forcing my opinions on them. It doesn't mean having no standards, but it means not expecting perfection from other people. Or from myself, which can be harder.

I think some people probably perceive it as rude.

Hey, whatever.

And for the record, my mother-in-law's couch is lovely.

P.S. I have completed a whole sock. I was so excited that I lost my head for a moment and made Paul admire it much longer than his initial interest warranted. He made all the right noises, though. What a guy. Here's a picture:

1 comments:

Alan said...

Actually ... there seems to be one more meaning of whatever, whatever it's worth: and it's related to the de-escalation you mentioned.

Apparently you have a strong opinion about something that you think I should be concerned with, like respect for you, and ... I don't have time to listen to you.

Whatever.

That was the one that wounded me quite a lot, some time ago, and I can still feel it sometimes, as a cutting signal of dismissal.

Tryin' to be non-involved on that one, but I DO still remember it.