July 17, 2009

What was said:

Posted in *cringe*, 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Oubliette, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh! at 8:23 am by Dagny Taggart

“I don’t remember how it even came up, but we were talking about you”

Translation:  I know exactly how it came up, but I don’t really want to admit that I’m a gossip or that I was shallowly dissecting you with someone you don’t know.

“She said that your tattoos are pretty… typical.”

Translation:  She’s like one of those indie music freaks for whom your taste will never be sufficiently obscure or esoteric – judgmental AND pretentious.  And, I’m passing this along because I want to see how you’ll react, and that’s more important than sparing you some potentially hurt feelings.

“I mean, I was just telling her I thought they were pretty hot.  She said something about how you wouldn’t be able to see them if you wore clothes that fit.”

Translation:  She was totally implying that you wear unflattering, slightly skanky clothes.  And again, I’m a gossip who enjoys stirring up controversy between people, just a regular old Leland Gaunt.

So tell me – if you were conversing with someone who constantly snarked on another, not present party, would you then relay those comments to the subject of the conversation?  Why or why not?



  1. Shannon said,

    No, I would visibly flinch and change the subject. I’ve fallen into gossip before – who hasn’t? But it’s a tendency of mine that I’ve been trying to squash.

  2. Brian said,

    Flames, burning, down the sides of my face….

    Wow. And this person is, presumably, older than 16?

    That’s ridiculous. And not so much about relaying commentary, as ridiculous as that is, but how it’s being relayed. The most charitable thing you could say is that the person is the single dumbest human being on the planet, because otherwise that’s just malicious and cruel. A pool cue to the side of the head would have been completely justified in that situation. Like a rolled-up newspaper for bipeds.

    As to your question, I would go with “no” in most cases. The exception would be if the commentary was especially objectionable, in such a way that the subject would kind of need to know. Presuming that I’m friends with the snarker in question, I’d be tempted to pose a couple of questions to her in response, since that’s a lot of energy spent on a stranger. Smacks of compensation for something, no?

  3. Shannon: Oh, I’ve definitely taken part in those kinds of conversations before, and felt bad about it afterward. I’ve got enough things to improve for myself, that I don’t need to snark on other people. Sigh.

    Brian: Heaving… breathing flames…
    Yes, this was an adult. And you know, it’s possible that the relayer (who is male, if that’s relevant) didn’t realize just how snipey the comments were. Or genuinely thought I was thick-skinned enough to not care at all.

    And yes, I did think there was an air of competition or compensation in the remarks.

  4. i didn’t know you had a tattoo. judging from the “typical” remark and the fact that you can’t see them except when your clothes shift, am I to assume that it’s a lower back tattoo? (I am sure your friend would refer to it as a tramp stamp).

    on an related note, I had a very interesting conversation about tattoos with my artist friend the other day about what they mean to the people who get them.

  5. Jen said,

    The guy was relaying the conversation as a misguided and not so subtle device to tell you that he thinks you’re hot. He thought you would appreciate and be flattered by his defense of your hotness. The other girl was being snarky, and sounds a bit jealous.

  6. HIN: I have three, one of which would definitely be called a “tramp stamp” by those who use the phrase. I got them for various, personal reasons, and a criterion I used for placement was that they couldn’t show in an evening gown. Ah well – I guess I can’t win in the eyes of hardcore ink enthusiasts.

    Jen: I think you are on to something here. It was brought up a bit clumsily…

  7. Lisa said,

    Yikes. That passer-onner is best avoided. What I would like to say to that person is: Why go out of your way to make people feel bad about themselves? Because you’re unhappy and insecure and need to take others down a peg to make yourself feel better?

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