April 3, 2007

Miss Manners

Posted in *cringe*, The WTF at 8:28 am by Dagny Taggart

I’m of the belief that everyone has baggage.  If you don’t have baggage, then you probably don’t have that much relationship experience, which can be baggage in and of itself. 

I, for example, really do NOT respond positively to the question “so what are you wearing?” when asked, by someone I’m not in an exclusive relationship with, via instant messenger or telephone.  I have this tic that causes my hand to click the “x” in the corner of the window, so I can find a way to not feel unclean just for reading that sentence.  I think this is more like a tote than actual baggage, because it likely won’t interfere with normal daily relationship operations.  At least, I kind of hope it wouldn’t. 

Sometimes, though, there’s something a little more serious.  Someone whose dating history incorporates colorful characters, for example, might not know exactly how best to approach something potentially healthier, something more along the lines of normal dating.  While not necessarily a dealbreaker for everyone, this could require more careful handling.

Whatever you choose to call it, if you start a relationship with someone, you run the risk of stumbling over the duffel they left in the living room.  You can choose to leave, or you can choose to stay.  But I think the only truly irresponsible choice is to stay, and criticize the person for having some extra Coach pieces lying around.  It’s their living room, after all.  How long you choose to stay is up to you, but it’s just plain rude to tell them to clean the place up on your account.

I think relationships would be a lot easier if everyone came with this disclaimer:  “I’m just a f*cked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own piece of mind; don’t assign me yours.”  Then we might have an easier time remembering how impolite such unsolicited advice can be.



  1. You forgot to add the “cringe” tag to this post.

  2. HYSL: Rectified. Merci bien!

  3. Oh yeah, i’ve got several sets of baggage I keep neatly stacked in the closet. no need to have people tripping over that shit. But I’ve also been the one left because someone else couldn’t handle that I’d ever been in a relationship before. WTF is THAT about? HELLO…adults here…but whatever. I’m better off. And that’s another duffle to toss on the stack (neatly).

  4. The temptation to just write “so…what are you wearing” is overpowering.


    I don’t think it’s the baggage, per se, but how you handle it that matters. If you have more bags than Baggage Claim at JFK but pretend you don’t…that’s a problem. But if you’re open about it and in touch with it, than anything can be dealt with.

  5. carrie m said,

    INPY makes an excellent point. As for the what are you wearing question – maybe I’m too jokey with my dates, but I would think that was hilarious. Or hell, I would message someone that if we had that kind of bantering chemistry.

    But if it’s something you’re not comfortable with, then that’s that.

  6. BBTY: I’m reminded of a very fun card I saw once: “Of course I have baggage. But mine’s really cute and matches”.

    INPY: I did smile at that… and I agree. It’s all about someone whose baggage fits with yours, and the only way to know that is to be open about it.

    CarrieM: That’s why I classified that as part of my “baggage” – I know many people would think it was funny/cute/flirty, but that whole thing was sort of soured for me. I’m glad others can have fun with it, though! 🙂

  7. LMNt said,

    I think it’s absolutely retarded to think that anyone in their late twenties (or beyond) can come baggage free… That said, I try to keep it down to one small carry-on.

  8. LMNt: Overhead bin, or gate check? 🙂 But that’s a good point. As much as it’s okay to have baggage, I think it’s a good idea to keep it minimalist when you can.

  9. boutros said,

    I am the SAME way with “what are you wearing?” There’s a guy I’ve known for years (though fell out of touch for several) who I’ve been chatting with recently, and he always always does that and it skeeves me out. Well, that and the time he sent me a picture of himself without pants. WHY?! Not a good look, gentlemen.

  10. boutros: Pantsless can be a way to go, so long as the gentleman is also (1) not wearing socks, and (2) in possession of permission from viewing parties to disregard normal pants-wearing requirements.

    It’s good to know I’m not alone, though! 😀

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