Monday, June 6, 2011

The thing with free advice.... isn't worth anything.

Have you ever been approached by someone, a complete stranger, in a public place, who has told you what to do/ what not to do/ how to live your life?  

I had one woman, years ago, interrupt me as I was reading a newspaper to tell me that the diet Coke I was drinking was causing me to be infertile and yes, looking into my eyes my irises indicate that irreversible damage has already been done and I would struggle to fall pregnant so I should stop drinking diet Coke RIGHT NOW.  Okay crazy lady, step away from the table.  Looking back, I wish I had said, "is that so? what a relief (take big swig of diet Coke), I don't want to fall pregnant so I'll just keep drinking diet Coke and stop taking the pill.  Thanks so much!"  But I didn't.  Instead I just stared at her in disbelief.  I'm pretty sure my jaw was dropped and my eyes were wide "Is she for real?!?!?!" while she continued with her rant.  I'm also sure she mentioned the fall of civilisation and the decent into anarchy.  Whatever.

Anyway, that was my one incident.  The LOML, he gets them all the time.  Predominantly women.  Women who think they have the right to go up to him and tell him what he needs to do to fix whatever it is that they think is his problem.  How he hasn't sworn at them I do not know.  He does swear a lot when retelling the stories though.  Not as much as I would if I was telling them :)

Just yesterday he had a woman, completely out of the blue, tell him he needs to eat more green beans.  I beg your pardon?, he said.  Green beans, you need to eat more green beans.  To fix your eyes.  My eyes?  There's nothing wrong with my eyes.  Green beans will get rid of the dark around your eyes.  Lady, the 'dark around my eyes' you are referring to is hereditary.  I don't have a problem with it.  Green beans will get rid of it.  You need to eat more green beans.  No I don't.  You seem to be the only one with the problem with my eyes.  I'm done talking with you.  (silence)  Well, you need to be more humble.  (what!?!?!?!)  You need to leave my store.

Okay, so that was the condensed, swearing-removed, retold version but this is just one incident of many.  'Oh I'm sure they only mean well' you say?  Meaning well is one thing, imposing your beliefs and opinions on others is another and one that is not on.  Particularly not when the person you are imposing on has not invited your opinion or advice.  And even more so when that person doesn't know you.

So what's the solution?  What's the answer?  How best to respond to someone who does this?  I don't know.  

Always there will be people who think they know better and that it is their place and their right to tell the world how to suck eggs.  Maybe they need a dose of their own medicine.  I wonder how they would take to being told to pull their head in and mind their own business.  I wonder what what their response would be to being told that they really need to eat more sugar and sweet foods because clearly from the tone of their voice and the puckering of their mouth as they talk they are in desperate need of something to sweeten their sour disposition.  I wonder how that would go down?  

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