Monday, March 29, 2010

Are you rude? Good, I'm taking notes

Before we get started today, everyone should go visit my Agency Sistah, the hilarious Linda Grimes. Today on her blog you get a double-dose of obnoxious humor as she interviews me for part of the “Pay it Forward” series.

While you’re there, you could also consider reading her excellent post about avoiding the temptation to drown your readers in backstory.

While I agree with her 110% about backstory data-dump, her tale of the uncomfortable airplane conversation forces me to admit I kind of enjoy awkward interactions with strangers. I like to file them away in my brain so I can dig them up later and use them in my books.

One such interaction that’s been simmering in the back of my brain for couple years has been begging for inclusion in my current manuscript. Though I haven’t decided yet whether it belongs there, I’ll share it with you for the joy of embarrassing myself in public:

I was holding a garage sale a few years ago and had just started to pack things in for the day when a woman pulled up in a nondescript sedan. She began browsing, picking up a few items for purchase as her kids fought over an empty cardboard box.

Eventually, she made her way to the table where I was packing up a set of unsold dishes.

“Those are fabulous,” she said. “Where did you get them?”

I held up a mug for her inspection. “They actually belong to a co-worker, but she asked me to help sell them for her.”

She gave me a confused look. “No, your boobs. They’re great. Where did you have them done?”

I stared at her for a few beats, waiting for the punch line. This had to be a joke, right?

But no, she was serious. And she stood there staring down the front of my tank top in a way that made me want to check my boobs for price tags.

“Um,” I told her, “well, they’re mine. I grew them myself. Would you like to buy some dishes?”

She frowned at me. “They can’t be real. You’re so tiny and – ”

“These dishes are great, did you see the pretty silver trim here?”

Apparently realizing I wasn’t going to bond with her over my non-existent boob job, she gathered her merchandise, requested an embarrassingly large discount, and drove away.

I stood there shaking my head long after she’d driven off – probably in search of another garage sale where she could haggle over used undershirts and make inappropriate comments to strangers.

It did make me wonder if there’s a school people attend to learn social skills like that.

If so, I’d like to attend. It would be damn handy for writing.

20 comments :

NWFoodie said...

OMG it's a good thing I'm working from home today or the cube rats would call the nice men in white to come and take me away! I was laughing so hard! You grew them yourself! Cackle..snork...mwahahaha

When I was a kid and we were visiting Palm Springs my Mom went to try on a swimsuit. Mom is tiny I...am not. The sales woman asked Mom if I was hers. I was so waiting for her to say "HELL NO! We can't get rid of her...you want her?"

People can be fun!

Candyland said...

Well on the bright side, they're good enough for people to think you paid for them.<--jealous

DA said...

I am speechless. Only because I can't breathe I am laughing so hard.

All I can think is: WHAT was that lady thinking??????

Linda G. said...

Have you considered wearing a T-shirt that has "Yes, they're real!" emblazoned on the front? Just to help out those who are wondering, but too civilized to ask.

Tawna Fenske said...

NWFoodie, my favorites are the people who say something so ridiculously rude and never actually realize it. To this day, I'm sure garage-sale-boob-lady is wondering why I didn't just give her the name of my plastic surgeon.

Candyland, I suppose this is the bright side, though I'm still not sure I'll take it as a compliment!

DA, I kept waiting to find out I was on Candid Camera. Sadly, I was not.

Linda G, do you remember that old Seinfeld episode with Terri Hatcher where they were all speculating whether hers were real or not? Love that line. "They're real and they're spectacular."

Tawna

Bill Cameron said...

Pics, plz.

(I know. I'm going to hell.)

Maggie said...

Hahah, I love that: "I grew them myself."

That really is rude. Though I suppose you could take it as a compliment. It was given in less than normal way, but still. :)

Im going to check out the interview now!

Cynthia Reese said...

See, now, NOBODY could ever accuse me of having MY, ahem, breasts, ahem, done.

And yes, aren't people just the most interesting critters??

Sydnee said...

*chuckle* Wow... that's a lovely story. See, no one would ask me something like that because even though my ta-tas are ginormous, they fit with the rest of my body. You're just... erm, really gifted I suppose. Take it as a compliment.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Very funny story. I know that the proper response is to be shocked but I have a brother who spouts out the most inappropriate things all the time. Never thought of using it for fodder.

Tawna Fenske said...

Bill, well, I did promise Dan Krokos I might someday blog about entering ski bikini contests. Had the pics out last night and asked my husband if any were decent enough for online posting. "Since when have you cared about decency?" he asked. Good point.

Maggie, nothing like bizarre compliments to leave you wondering you should say thank you or slap someone.

Cynthia, though this was certainly the oddest inquiry I've had of that nature, it's not the only time I've fielded the question. Maybe I should have T-shirts printed or something.

Sydnee, I was built with mismatched parts, apparently. The boobs definitely don't fit the body.

Jadee, inappropriate brother comments are THE BEST! Mine is a goldmine for book fodder!

Thanks for reading, guys!

Tawna

Larissa said...

Sadly, that doesn't shock me. LOL. Maybe I just know a lot of rude people...

Amie Boudreau said...

Your blog makes me laugh so hard.. I have to read your posts to my spouse they just crack me up so much.

This story reminded me of a time when she was at our local grocery store and she is also a small lady though well endowed.. and a couple of elderly women were overheard arguing over whether hers were real or not, and not quietly either.

Too Funny!

You also gave me a new outlook on rude people!

Anonymous said...

Weird, WEIRD synchronicity. I've had this link open in a tab most of the day and just got to it ... at the same time I turned on a Seinfeld rerun ... and there was the tail end of that Teri Hatcher scene.

I'm taking that as a sign to read more of your blog.

--NinjaLurker

Claire Dawn said...

LOL! Guess some people have different ideas about what's off limits :)

Lola Sharp said...

I am currently living in NJ- NOTHING anyone says shocks me anymore.

And I call your boob-question and raise you one butt question-- I have been asked where I got my butt implants!! Srsly! WHO gets butt implants?? Is that even done?

Just keeping' it real, yo. People are freaks. It's kinda full of the awesome, isn't it.

~Lola

Tawna Fenske said...

Larissa, if you know a lot of rude people, congratulations! You're obviously set up to be a great author!

Amie, that's hilarious! Did she stop and set the record straight? :)

NinjaLurker, I'd say that's a great way to interpret that sign. I love that Seinfeld episode. It's one of my favorites!

Claire Dawn, no kidding -- some people just have a very different social filter. Or no social filter at all, as the case may be.

Lola, butt implants? Surely there must be such a thing, but I have a hard time imagining I could spot one. I'll certainly be on the lookout from now on!

Thanks for reading!

Tawna

Cynthia Reese said...

See, now, Tawna, if you had BUTT implants, maybe your butt wouldn't feel so sore when you brainstorm?

Adrien-Luc Sanders said...

Diet coke, meet screen. Some people really just have no sense of tact or decorum; they're hilarious. But they make things happen! Life wouldn't be interesting without 'em.

Great story, Tawna.

Tawna Fenske said...

Cynthia, you might be onto something with the butt implant idea. I wonder if they could use that cushy gel stuff they put in padded bike seats?

Adrien-Luc, let that be a lesson to you, I'm writing down every tactless thing you might say! :)

Tawna