Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Zinger Challenged?

We all remember Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail.

I loved Kathleen and identified with her in two ways, a love of independent bookstores being one but also because she could never think of a sarcastic comeback to Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). 

Like Kathleen, I am zinger challenged, rarely can get one off.

Have you ever lain awake at night thinking of all the perfect zingers you could have made?

Are you as witty as a standup comic--hours after you need to be?

Are you a fellow member of the "staircase wit" club--that slow reaction comeback known as L'esprit de l'escalier

Are you a tortoise surrounded by hares when thrown into an argument, a brilliant answer or zinger popping into your brain at 2 a.m.?

Then again.............

Perhaps it's just as well if we haven't been given the gift of a quick comeback, piercing putdowns. 

Remember when Kathleen had enough and launched her own zingers at Joe?

It stunned him, which probably was a good thing. Kathleen felt vindicated at first but then her natural niceness prevailed and she  was ashamed of herself.

Maybe it's just as well not to have been given the gift of zingers, what do you think?

And maybe an even greater gift is having the gift of returning that zinger, but not unleashing it, even on FaceBook or other social media.

What do you think about this? 

And lest you worry that I'm writing this because I've been personally hurt by this recently, not at all. I just admit to being bothered at the general unkindness seen on social media, the zingers shot back and forth as tempers rise.

Just wondering what some of the kindest people I know think about!


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  2. Dewena, I will tell of a zinger..I had to do it. I worked with most men in the skilled trades at GM. One day in the shop, one of the nastiest men said to me, Hey, Susie, my wife is going to be out of town this weekend maybe you would like to come over, if you get lonely.. All the men were looking at me, I could feel my face turning red. I said loud enough for all those men to hear me, "There will never be such a day as that Swamie!!" All the men then turned on Swamie and told him he was disgusting, and he needed to shut up. I swore when I became a journyman I would take nothing from any of those nasty types. After all I was raised with 6 brothers and knew how to stand up for myself.
    I do not like to be mean , don't like to be around nasty people. I would love to face book, but I hear all the nasty stuff and just don't . People are some times too thin skinned and need to just laugh or shrug it off. We are need to try to be the better person. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  3. Oh yes, I am most definitely zinger challenged!! I always think of the best comebacks in the wee hours of the morning!!

  4. I have never been good at zingers. I always thought LATER what I might have said. but I know I never would have the nerve anyway. my mother's favorite advice "you be the lady."
    once when I worked at the university I was walking with a fellow employee. we were both carrying a large mailing and in high heels no less... were carefully maneuvering over the ice laden walkway to the university post office.
    just ahead of us was a young student who was 'shoe skating' and cutting up and pretending to slide into us.
    until he no longer had to pretend. down we all went. envelopes flew everywhere... all three of us sprawled on icy ground.
    he started apologizing.
    my co-worker said very drily... "never mind. when you walk behind a jackass you expect to be kicked."
    I actually felt kind of sorry for him then!

  5. I have been shown so much undeserved love, kindness and forgiveness by God that I turn to him for help in knowing how to respond to people who hurt or offend me. He says in the Bible not to return evil for evil, but to give a blessing instead; to give soft answers instead of harsh ones; and to love even my enemies. Easier said than done, of course, but that is where prayer helps. It never costs me more than I can afford to give to practice patience, kindness, gentleness and forgiveness.

  6. I envy anyone who can talk on the fly. And especially those who can stick up for themselves. I'm the one still thinking about it at two a.m. and wondering what I could have said.

  7. I know how to tease, but I don't think that's what you're talking about. I don't like put downs and don't want to participate in that kind of foolishness. I've noticed a consistent move away from civility in our culture and it grieves me. I really hate what I'm seeing on social media. Nastiness, vulgarity. So sad.

  8. Hey, Dewena-dear! I have given my share of zingers, but I regret it like Meg Ryan's character. I don't like what it does to me. I don't like myself when I get ugly with someone. I don't want to be that kind of person. But I see that I have the capability if put in the wrong situation. I want to be a better person and return kindness. Very hard sometimes! I also am grieved by what is happening on social media and I don't want to add to it.

  9. Kindness costs nothing, and those that feel they need to have the last word, or be insulting, gain little. The temporary satisfaction they might feel is just that, temporary. As Michelle Obama said, when they go low, we go high. :)

    I haven't witnessed too many insults on social media, with the possible exception of one or two political discussions shortly after the recent election, but they seem to have died down considerably.


  10. Great topic, Dewena, and I so identify with you. Zingers are wonderful if you can have a sense of humor about them. Some of the things that keep me awake half the night are replaying total conversations the way I wish they had gone. My biggest problem is being caught unawares and speechless. And then I stutter. Ugh! I think this is why I love situation and romantic comedies so much...the zingers are funny and snappy!

    Thanks for your kind comment today. I'm having a problem responding personally by email but until I get to the bottom of it, I'll just keep stopping by. :)

    Jane x

  11. Well, I'm the queen of zingers, but I've learned to reel it in and hold it to myself. People are so hateful on social media and everywhere else! I love to use my gift for zapping for helping others who are being attacked. It feels so good to step in to someone's defense who is left stunned by a hateful comment. I usually stay off facebook as much as possible and only follow sweet friends anyway, but it's always a shock to learn someone you admired has unleashed their wrath on an issue. If you ever need my services, let me know and I'll bring fire and brimstone to anyone who bothers you!

  12. I, too, am the queen of zingers, but I have toned it down over the years and now make more jokes at my own expense rather than at someone else's expense because I don't like to hurt people...nor do I want to make someone else in earshot uncomfortable. I had a houseful of witty kids, too---BUT good old Dad was/is zinger he was often on the receiving end of it with the kids as young adults.

    I think that you have to put kindness first and fun comes after that as long as it doesn't hurt someone. xo Diana

  13. I never think of what to say back to someone but as I've gotten older, I don't dwell on it as much. I know I saw things that make more sense if I have time to think about it! lol And even then....I'm not sure I get my point across. But most of the time, it's just best to let things go and smile if you can. Hugs!

  14. I think the last one you said was true, because it's great to have a quick wit, but even better to know when to use it. There have been plenty of times when I've humbled myself when someone lashed out with harsh words. That's in my real life, but fortunately I haven't had any mean words spoken in blog land. My blog friends are truly dear to me. And I don't dare get on facebook. I think when we send cruel zingers that it definitely hurts us more than anyone else. And kindness is always the best thing.

    On the other hand, sometimes a person might send a zinger, and that might be how they really feel, and I would much rather speak true words than tell someone just what they would like to hear.

    With that said, a very interesting post, Dewena. And I'm sure you'll get lots of different views on this.

    love you,


  15. I am zinger challenged for sure, but that hasn't kept me from holding my tongue all the time, which makes it worse! However, I have learned through the years to think before I speak. I love You've Got Mail:)

  16. I'm also zinger challenged, but on the odd occasion when I do manage something timely, like Kathleen, I regret it. So I'v learned to slow down and think a little. I do love teasing, though.

  17. Hmm, I am not proud to say it, but I have no problem coming up with a zinger. I have known my husband since I was about 13 and he always says that you can't win with me. I think it comes from growing up with a lot of siblings, we were always zinging each other. Of course, now that I am *ahem* a grown up, I have learned to keep my zingers under control unless they are duly warranted. And usually my zingers are out of fun, I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings. However, all that said, I think even those of us who can come up with a quick response, have been in situations where we could not and think about the should haves and could haves later on...And love, love that movie!!

  18. I have my moments. Sometimes I feel bad and sometimes I don't. It depends on if it was truly deserved or not. Most of the time, I'm like you though and don't think of anything until later... sometimes YEARS later. I got off of social media because of all the rhetoric and mean spiritedness and I won't go back. This past election year was enough for me.

    And you know I love that movie, and YOU too :)


  19. Zingers are fine if they're light-hearted and funny, not used in a mean or spiteful way. But yes, I always think of what I could or should have said hours later.

  20. I never can think of a good comeback. Usually I'm a little stunned at people's meanness/lack of civility/sarcasm, etc. Sometimes I wish I had a good reply, if only to ever-so-politely put them in their place. But maybe, after all, silence is best.

  21. Nice over naughty every time! I haven't thought about this film for ages and now I want to see it again.

  22. I have a sign in my kitchen that reads: Because Nice Matters. Yep, I'm with you. All the way. blessings and hugs ~ tanna

  23. Im zinger challenged and ive loved meg ryan since she was "betsy" in " as the world turns". Sure do miss those days....(kim and Bob and frannie and margo and annie and all the rest)

  24. Hello,
    Oh, I just love You've Got Mail. Yes, I am with you and Kathleen, I can never come up with anything. I agree, it probably is best. I would be upset with myself later, thinking I was not kind.

    I agree with Tanna .... Because Nice Matters :-)

  25. Oh yes, Dewena...although I'd have to say the general unkindness seems to be not so general and quite unkind. I've "un-friended" several due to language abuse...meaning horrid cursing. That entire facebook thing about "friends" fairly riles me. "Friends"? I can't even, rightly, call a lot of them acquaintances.
    Unfortunately, I have a quick mouth but, especially since Dave's death, have taught myself to hold my tongue.
    Exodus 14:14

  26. Thank you for your sweet comments and compliments on my easter hat! Do you wear hats too?

  27. Dewena, your post is quite timely, indeed, especially regarding social media. Case in point: this morning, I read that Susan Sarandon and Debra Messing have been feuding on Twitter with regards to a political comment initially made by the former. Zingers galore! I won't get into the gory details here, but I guess, if one wants a lesson in zingers, this exchange does a pretty good job of illustrating them!

    I used to be pretty preoccupied with the perfect comeback, and was actually quite quick with them, too. Apparently, it is another 'creative outlet';) But, the last few years, I am finding that holding one's tongue takes more talent! So, let's just say that I'm honing my skills for now!;)


  28. My husband will say, "I told them (blahblahblah)!"
    I say, "You said that to him?"
    "Well, I wanted to, but I didn't."
    I think, "Thought so...."


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