You Look Tired
I am tired. But hey, thanks for pointing it out.
Someone said something like this to me tonight. It reminded me of a time, actually, I know exactly when it was, when someone observed the same thing. That was the summer of 1994, I was working in Germany. I probably was really tired (mostly of speaking German all day). Now someone said it again. I sense a trend …
I have never understood this comment. What, possibly dear all-knowing-one, could the person want from such a comment? What sort of answer are they looking for? How could they think this could do anything other than harm, deflate or at least wipe any (tired) smile off someone’s face.
What response might they be looking for?
- Gee, thanks for letting me know. I was actually feeling pretty good until you noticed. But whew, sure glad you did! I wouldn’t want to get through a day feeling better than I look!
- You’re right, I am. I’m going back to bed. Forget this workday stuff!
- I may look tired, but you’re ugly and I can go back to bed.
- Your wife kept me up all night. I’m beat!
- Oh, do you mean the bags under my eyes? Those aren’t fatigue. I’m just getting older. Thanks for reminding me. By the way, how old are you?
- Really? How do you mean? Could you be more specific? Is it my eyes? My whole face? Maybe it’s my whole demeanor. Maybe my body language? Maybe I got out of bed on the wrong side. Maybe I just shouldn’t have gotten out of bed.
- Really? Hmm, my day was going pretty well until you were in front of me.
- I get that look when I see your face.
- I seem tired when people make really stupid comments to me that have no possible response.
- How does my ass look to you? How about my biceps? Could you just finish off your analysis of my entire body?
- Wow, you must be psychic.
- Are you a doctor? Or just an asshole?
- If I look tired, you look like complete shit. I’d rather just be tired. Lucky me!
- I have no response to that.
- What possible response are you looking for with a comment like that?
Ooh, that last one is my new favorite answer. Wow, I didn’t realize I had so many responses ready for that. Maybe I should write down other comments that bother me so I’m more prepared with witty answers.
Where are they coming from to remark such a thing?
Let’s see if, through deduction and completely playing around, I can figure out where they’re coming from. Maybe if we don’t make any comment, they have to come back with a follow-up comment to explain themselves. Let’s see what they might say after, say, 10 seconds of silence and staring back into them. Without blinking.
- Right, I was just wondering because you really look like shit.
- Oops, I apologize, that’s not a very polite thing to say. I’m sorry.
- You must be going through a really hard time.
- I’m actually really envious of you so I thought I’d put you down a bit to bring you back down from the pedestal I usually put you on.
- I’m sorry, maybe that came out wrong. I just care about you and thought you looked a little haggard. Is there anything I can do for you?
- I actually don’t really like you, so I thought I’d throw that in.
- I just couldn’t think of anything else to say and that’s my default line when I have nothing to say. Sorry, you actually look fine.
- Well, you do look tired.
I don’t know. I hope I have never said this to anyone and if I did that I had a reason behind it. Maybe to my kids … with the idea that they needed to go to bed!