Once I hit 30, I began to have a standard response to all sorts of things. It’s encapsulated in one word, largely rhetorical, said with varying degrees of sarcasm or wonder.
You seriously believe Fox is real news?
You’re seriously going to do this in a grocery store aisle?
You seriously think you have the right to touch me without my consent?
You seriously think I care enough to be insulted by your opinion of me?
Does he seriously think I can’t tell when he’s lying?
Does he seriously think anyone believes the corporate doublespeak?
Does she seriously think I don’t remember what she did?
This sense of proportion didn’t happen overnight, of course. It took the divorce, therapy, and a couple other things to get me to a place where I could look at someone’s behaviour and think “Really? This is what you’re going to do in this situation? Really?”
Often, it pulls other people up short. When I am charitable I like to think that they just didn’t realize how ridonkulous their behaviour is, and when I am busy it gives me a means to disengage and stop wasting my energy on situations that just aren’t going to get any better even with my attention or intervention. When I am cranky, feeling vulnerable, or just plain irritated, it gives me a defense against people who mistake my politeness or patience for weakness, and think they can take advantage of either.
I realize Urban Dictionary has an entry for this little word, and that it’s one of my more annoying vocal tics. But for someone raised to believe the only faint worth she had was in serving and rescuing other people, just the mere act of judging something to be so incredibly ridiculous that it’s not worth the time or emotional energy is pretty goddamn revolutionary.
Of course, the part where it’s most useful is when I look at myself and go “Really, Lili? Seriously?”
You’re seriously going to care what that nasty old man has to say?
You’re seriously going to kill yourself for this unreasonable deadline because someone else fucked up?
You’re seriously going to think that maybe someone reading your diary is a forgivable offense?
You’re seriously thinking you should rescue that perpetual-crisis person?
You’re seriously going to worry about this at 3am?
Apparently the anti-anxiety meds, as a side-effect, allowed me to take my natural sarcasm and use it to give myself a healthier sense of proportion. Nothing in the literature prepared me for that. *snork*
There is (dare I speak of it?) something even more powerful. Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about the best phrase ever, It Makes Me Tired.
…to be continued