My passport needed to be renewed. I didn't want to do it, but I made an appointment on my day off to meet with the proper authorities. I brought all the required material, fought my way through LA traffic, and arrived 15 minutes before my appointment. I made no plans with friends until well after the agency's 5pm closing time. I brought my iPad, knitting needles, and a brown bag lunch, anticipating an entire wasted day of my life.
As it turns out, I was ill-prepared for what lay ahead.
Women love to gossip about their vanilla lives, but nothing is as vapid as discussing the origins of their child's name.For the next two hours, I was trapped in a building with my least favorite type of women: the vapid conversationalists. You women and your pedestrian conversations in public make me want to rip my ears out and hand them to you because then at least you'd have something interesting to speak loudly about. I know you just want people to hear you because you think you're important, now that you've randomly run into your friend from college or whatever in a government building. I dislike you immensely. Stop gesturing wildly and stop speaking with a rising inflection. I beg of you, please, just keep your traps shut and read a book.
The first vapid conversationalist I spotted was gesturing with her bejeweled hand to a sea of poorly-postured people waiting for their number to be called, saying things like, "Can you believe this wait time? I mean, how many people actually need to leave the country?"
Conversations between two estranged women always go the same way:
First they find a common, mundane enemy:
- Wedding plans
- Peanut allergies
- The long process of getting a passport
Then they congratulate themselves on triumphing over mundane adversity:
- "I told the caterer THIS IS MY DAY! I'm PAYING you!"
- "I tolerate her because she'll babysit our kids for free one day."
- "We never go anywhere without the EpiPen. NOWHERE!"
- "I always make an appointment a week before leaving the country."
Finally, they use phrases like "Bless her heart!" which we all know means "She's an inconsiderate bitch."
So just say it. Just say she's an inconsiderate bitch. Don't hide behind Southern terms of endearment. You are not Dolly Parton and this is not Steel Magnolias. If you don't want a red velvet, Armadillo-shaped groom's cake at your wedding, then tell your aunt not to make one. Fuck. It takes two minutes of your life, not an entire movie scene, which I reference nearly 20 years after that movie was made—that's how angry I still am with these women. All that Southern sass and no one could pull the baker aside to tell her to 86 the roadkill cake? Lord, Almighty. Somebody pass me a glass of sweet tea while I sit here in the Louisiana breeze and untwist my panties.
Two women right behind me were having a mini-reunion, so instead of cracking open a book, my ears began to bleed listening to their rapid catch-up conversation. Women love to gossip about their vanilla lives, but nothing is as vapid as discussing the origins of their child's name.
"This is my child Aidan," one of the women announced proudly.
"Oh, like from Sex and the City?" the other woman asked. Which is what I was thinking too. Which is what everyone who could hear their squawking was thinking.
There was a light silence followed by a manic flapping of the lips from the mom.
"People ask me that all the time, but I've never even seen the show. Not a single episode. I promise you. It's a family name. I've always loved that name. As a little girl I dreamt of a marrying a man by that name but unfortunately my husband's name is Matthew so I had to settle on naming my handsome little son ‘Aidan' instead. Isn't that funny though? People always just assume I named him after that guy on that show."
Oh!! Hell no, bitch. Bless your big fat lying heart.
You are a young, thirtysomething, Caucasian woman. I know you watched Sex and the City. It may not have been during its original airing on HBO, but someone in college had the box set, and it's currently syndicated on TBS. You cannot escape the show's cultural American reach-around unless you grew up on a goat farm in Utah.
So what are you, lady? A liar, or a goat farmer?
Even my boyfriend who has never seen an episode of Sex and the City knows the main characters' names!!
My God, woman, I know you've seen the show. I know who you wanted Carrie to end up with, you named your kid after the underdog! I'm sure you wore your best "Carrie" outfit to the premiere of the movie at the Beverly Center. I'm sure when the second movie came out and Aidan showed up randomly in Abu Dhabi you had a flicker of hope that maybe their romance would be rekindled only to have them flushed out by poor plotlines and reprehensible dialogue. Not even the men in this building are buying into your deception. Just admit it.
So I turned to her husband and gave him the "your wife is a fucking liar and we both know that kid is named after John Corbet's character so now I'm gonna continue to give you this look while you sit there and allow her to claim it's a family name—you are a beta male sir" look.
With that, and a heavy sigh, I moved to another seat where their chatter was drowned out by a teenager's video game.