If you see my husband at a social event and you, knowing that he works at a car dealership that sells General Motors products, come up to him and say: "No offense, but there's no way I'd buy a GM vehicle from you right now, or maybe ever again. But tell me, what do you think about Subarus and Volvos? Can you give me any pros and cons? Because I'm in the market for a car and those are the two brands I have my eye on."
Just don't do that, okay?
Because first of all, unless you are a gaping cretin (which you aren't, and you know who you are and I'd love to think you're reading this), you understand already that when you preface a sentence with the words "no offense," that means that you're getting ready to dish it out, right?
You might have noticed that my husband did not respond to you by saying, "None taken." Because, wow. Wow. Was he ever offended. And so was I.
I was so offended, that if we hadn't been at a lovely social occasion where people were dressed up and music was playing and hors d'oeuvres were being passed around on silver trays by smiling, bow-tied waiters, I would have gotten up close to your ear and in sweet, low tones (with a firm grip on your upper arm to prevent you from making a break for it) I would have told you a thing or two. Oh, yes.
For the rest of the party, I entertained myself by playing scenarios in my head of what I'd like to say, especially when someone asked you how your work was going and you replied with a hearty, "Oh, it's just great!"
I wanted to say, "Oh, it's really nice to hear that work's going well for someone, because for us, it is a constant struggle to keep the utilities connected and the rent paid, even though my husband works sixty-five hours a week. Because he doesn't make money just because he's there, you dig? He has to sell cars. And it's hard enough selling cars to die-hard Chevy fans these days without people accosting him AT A PARTY where he's finally getting a chance to relax and have a beer with some friends AND ASKING HIM TO WEIGH THE MERITS OF FOREIGN CARS FOR YOU, you bodily orifice."
I could have gone on about how we now have to depend on social services in the state of Indiana to provide health care for our children for a tiny monthly premium based on our income, or how he hasn't taken a vacation in three years, or how he spends much of his time on his days off in good weather either mowing lawns for people or going around asking people if he can mow their lawns. He doesn't mind doing this because he has an incredible work ethic and he's also one of those people who enjoys yard work and likes being outside, but if you think we wouldn't all rather be spending time together, you'd be wrong.
Call me petty and childish, but it is pretty hard not to hope that your car choice, whether Subaru or Volvo, turns out to be a total lemon that will have you tearfully wishing every day that you'd bought another Chevy from my husband. It's hard not to be fervent in my desire for you to find a mechanic who will totally hose you for each oil change, tire rotation and belt replacement you need with your Subaru. Or your Volvo. Also, I'm trying not to sit here thinking that it is an insult to bodily orifices to refer to you as one.
I am trying to get over all that because I'm aware that this is, well, petty and childish, not to mention un-Christian, but you have just about driven me to it with your smug superciliousness and your Consumer Reports magazine and your rudeness in feeling that a party would be a great place to tell my husband how you believe that the General Motors Corporation deserves to go straight into liquidation.
Would you like me to come to you and tell you -- no offense -- that I hope the company you work for goes belly-up and leaves you with no main source of income in these current economic straits the country is in? No? Really? Imagine!
And do you really think that my husband, the car salesman, has any authority whatsoever with the United Auto Workers or General Motors' board of directors? Do you really feel that the grasping greed of the corporation and the corruption and entitlement of the union is somehow his doing? Look, my friend, the auto dealers and their employees are caught in this web just like all the parts suppliers for the manufacturing facilities and all the many subsidiaries who do this and that under the purview of GM: we're all here getting screwed just like you think you are. Which, why do you think that?
You are, plainly put, an idiot.
Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi - Cranberry Crackle Tart - The second recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is Cranberry Crackle Tart, found on pages 135-137 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi book. Dorie has also publish...
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