Saturday, May 30, 2009

WAG, part 14

“WAG #14: Do-Overs” Thanks to Carol for the topic idea! (This one is more of a mental/emotional exercise than observational, but you get bonus points if you can somehow tie this to a person you can see and describe OR a physical object.) Think of a time where you’d like to change what happened - whether it’s to get that witty retort in or to say something you never got the chance to say. Write how it should have been and compare it to the reality.

Well, poop- I hate compare and contrast- (sorry, Carol, nothing personal)-so, here's what I wrote:

I'm the kind of person who just goes blank when someone says or does something awful. I mean, I just stand there with my mouth open and people march on... full of their horrid little selves, making that funny snappy z with their fingers. Meanwhile my friends come around and say, "I can't believe she said/did that." I know- sigh. "I can't believe you just took that." Okay, all right. So I have a big L for loser on my forehead. Me, banging forehead on wooden desk.

And that is why I write. I write because alone in my office, I can fling comebacks at a moment's notice. I am the superwoman of jabs and sarcastic bits... I am Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" dancing around boxing the air, shouting, "go to the mattresses..." (I am also young, athletic and brilliant...okay. It's my office. I can be that.)

Do overs...not so good for me in person. Even if I think of a good come back, I regret every word... so, I've learned instead to simply say "ouch!" when someone is rude or snide. That one word is surprisingly good at taking the wind out of their sails. And I go back to my office and dance around, boxing the air, muttering about mattresses. (I have no idea why, I've never seen "The Godfather.")

Cheers! For all the really wonderful writers and their interpretations of this assignment-visit Nixy Valentine's blog. Please come join WAG. it's a lot of fun to see what they come up with next.

14 comments:

Ann Victor said...

Oh. I'm the queen of snappy comebacks...three weeks after I needed it!!! :(

And, yes, I agree with you. I think I also write partly because in my little private space I can create the kind of world that I'd like to live in. Admittedly, it's an idealistic, Utopian world, but at least there those "horrid little selves" can at least strive to be nicer...and then I wouldn't have to worry about looking like a fish gasping for breath as I struggle to come up with that snappy reply!! :)

Jessica said...

LOL Great example with Meg Ryan!

Oh my goodness, I am like you. Isn't it horrible? Once my family got in this truly terrible fight, and I did nothing. I was so shocked I just stood there. If only I could go back, I feel like I could've averted the fight.
I guess we learn...

Nancy J. Parra said...

LOL!

Oh, Ann, you are truly a good soul to want to redeem those "horrid little people." Sigh. Me, I like to kill them in my books... ;)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Jessica,

Live and learn- good for the soul I suppose but don't you wish that just once we could figure it out in the moment? LOL

dan powell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan powell said...

I like the idea of writing as the ultimate do-over. Perhaps turning these moments into something of value in our writing is the best retort.

That said, if the words would come at that moment I think we'd all like to see their face when slammed by our heady ready wit.

Frances said...

There's a lot to be said for "not sinking to their level". Sometimes I can do instant come-backs, but it's often more effective just to carry on as if they HAVEN'T said anything nasty. Then they don't know what to say! Lovely piece - I certainly knew what you meant about being who you want to be in private - I sometimes feel I put on my smile with my dog-collar. :-)

Mickey said...

Yes, that rings true. I can't snap back unless there's some history and the last few words were enough to push me over the edge. I'm much better at responding when some other, vulnerable person was the target.

Christine said...

Hi Nancy, this was so perfect and such a great read. Writing is a release of our true selfs, desire, powers, jokes, and fears. This was a really great read that reflected my own heart.

Paige said...

I liked this a lot!

The fun part is when you get that one day, that one time when you get in the perfect zinger, the moment you want it. Because it never happens, it makes that one moment all the sweeter!

SueO said...

Brilliant! The construction of this piece is effective, and based on how many responses you've gotten, it evidently draws the reader into the discussion.

As far as my opinion on the subject, I find that 'the baby of the family' (of which I am) tend to be a bit quicker on the draw when it comes to snappy comebacks simply by virtue of practice. The oldest of the family tend to learn early how much those types of comments can sting. :-) Just imho. Not a rule, just a tendency.

Marsha said...

Oh yes, I forgot about the regret and guilt that seep in after I do manage to make a snappy comeback! Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

emmarose said...

So very true. I think of myself less digital when it comes to the witty come back, but damn if I am not brilliant later one. Well said -

Brenda M (wag)

J. M. Strother said...

Fast on my feet, I'm not. Never have been. Never will be. That is exactly why writing is my preferred means of communication.

Then there is the fact that once said, words cannot be unsaid. But once written, words can be edited over and over again - to lessen the sting, or to hone the edge as circumstances warrant.

Good thought provoking piece.
~jon