Sunday, November 3, 2013

What I should've said

"People in France have a phrase: "staircase wit" or "spirit of the stairway". In French: esprit de l'escalier. It means that moment when you find the answer, but it's too late. Say you're at a party and someone insults you. You have to say something. So under pressure, with everybody watching, you say something lame. But the moment you leave the party.... As you start down the stairway, then-magic. You come up with the perfect thing you should've said. The perfect crippling put-down. That’s the spirit of the stairway." (from the short story "Guts" by Chuck Palahniuk)

That always happens to me. Most of the time, the perfect things to say always arrive late, and I'm always regretting it. This happens when I'm being plastic and afterwards I almost want to puke because I feel slimy that I even entertained someone I dislike. Sometimes its better to be hated than have that feeling. One example is, my brother passed an entrance exam for a university and someone just asked, "You have a backer, right?". That's a bit insulting, the person didn't even consider that you can pass the exam through your own effort. He told me that he almost wanted to say, "Backer? Backer? Back-lasin ko mukha mo kaya?" Well, doesn't sound that funny when I write it but I laughed when we talked about it.

Funny thing is, a classmate keeps on commenting about my weight and I already rehearsed in my mind what I will say when she's at it again. But I keep on forgetting what I have practiced in my mind and end up a speechless idiot. Anyway, here are things I should've said but haven't got the chance to say, so I still think about them:

Classmate: "When you get thinner you'll look more like a woman."
What I said: *I just nodded* What I wished I said: "WTF? Then thin women are more womanly than those who do not reach your ideal of thinness?"

Someone bragging: "I have this mental disorder," and saying like its a badge to be proud of.
What I said: *No answer* What I wished I said: "Then what are your medications? None? I bet you only diagnosed yourself on Wikipedia. Those with real disorders don't brag about it like you do."

Someone bragging: "I recommended my fashion designer friend that she should design a pinoy duster which doubles as a lingerie."
What I said: *No answer* What I wished I said: "WTF? I bet your friend was only humoring you and you're full of yourself thinking that she will take on your lame ideas. Duster/lingerie? Have you seen a damn nightgown?"

Someone bragging: "I was once like you, too. I changed and became better."
What I said: *No answer* What I wished I said: "Don't you know that you're being condescending and patronizing? You don't even know me. When did I even last talk to you? In a conversation I've forgotten years ago? Did I ask you to help me become better? Well, I always felt alright with myself unlike you."

Someone playing devil's advocate: "I do this to all my friends!"
What I said: *No answer* What I wished I said: "Who told you I'm your friend? "

Each of these happened with more than one person, just with different words. I don't want to be a smiling idiot anymore when I'm being a pretentious good girl, just taking in what they say and hiding irritation with a grin. Next time, I'll say it because they just clog my mind.

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