Some Holiday Empowerment


Faithful Ukweli readers, I would like a to take  a moment to empower you.  You heard right.  Take these words, stow them in your back pocket and head into the holiday gatherings of friends, family , and co-workers geared-up with the bold, conversation-ending syntax of Victorian Britain.  Yes, Victorian Britain was a repressed, stifling culture of strict etiquette and rigid posture, but they also knew how to be verbally aggressive.  Much more so than we dare in our modern interactions.  I now challenge you to dare.

The holidays are often a time of  “catching up.”  This can be a slow torture of relentless questions, amounting to a laundry list of personal failures and underachievments.  The following are 3 bold statements, taken from Jane Austin, that are sure to result in sweet relief:

1. “Don’t ask me questions.”  There is no misunderstanding this.  It is recommended that upon delivering the command, one should directly walk away.  Do not wait for a reaction.  Depart.

2. “I’ll say no more.”  If #1 is more preventative in nature, then  “I’ll say no more” is great for terminating a long and endless volley of meaningless cocktail chatter.  Again, it is best to exit the personal space of the individual(s) two whom you have stated that you will say no more.  The more daring will remain in curious silence to see what happens next.

3. “For once in your life leave me alone!”  My personal favorite.  Best delivered to a parent, supervisor, or anyone in a “superior” rank.  This may be accompanied by a tense point of the index finger and the gnashing of teeth.  If the maximum effect is desired, one should hold fast his or her position and force the recipient to retreat.

Obtain three 5×7 index cards and a Sharpie, and write these statements down in the unflinching black and white of decisiveness.  Put them in your pocket.  Use at will.


5 Responses to “Some Holiday Empowerment”

  1. toby Says:

    Yes! I’ve been looking for this all my life.

  2. maureen Says:

    I’ll bet, Toby. I can see David making this happen, but you? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  3. Sage Says:

    You haven’t seen Toby’s dark side. Once a snake bit him and the snake died.

  4. hannah Says:

    black and white of decisiveness. yes. i like. i dont know maureen, i think he could definitely pull off #2 at the very least he has a formidible silence. i do like how JA made no bones about her characters having opinions, such as “it is a pity she is not more fair”. ouch.

  5. Leigh Ann Says:

    Toby, I have found an equally effective line which I have used on many occasions and it WORKS!

    “Why do you ask?” They usually say in response “no reason” I then say “it doesnt matter then” and do not answer the original stupid prying question….

    It nips it in the bud….

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