Situation #31 – You just don’t get it

15 08 2008

The situation: You and a friend are discussing the poetic nuances of the latest Pussycat Dolls hit, “When I grow up.” You assert that rhyming “nameless” with “name is” is nothing short of lyrical genius. Your friend counters that the words “genius” and Pussycat Dolls should not be used in the same sentence without the inclusion of the words “lack of”. You agree to disagree and move on to other matters of great importance.

Somewhere in the midst of this conversation, your friend casually tosses out a rather controversial statement, assuming (incorrectly) that you share her opinion on a divisive issue.

“Of course pirates are totally cooler than ninjas. You know how it is, right?”

Tread carefully here, Reader! Do not fall into the trap of the rhetorical “you know how it is, right?” This is not an invitation for you to explain that actually, you have no idea how it is, and in fact, you disagree entirely with everything she’s just said. The only socially acceptable answer to a rhetorical “you know how it is, right?” is a nod of the head and an “mmm hmmm” or possibly an “Amen, Sistah!” should you choose to agree in a more emphatic manner.

You don’t want to get into a whole debate about the relative merits of pirates and ninjas with your friend; you just want to escape from this conversational minefield with your loyalty to ninjas intact. However, you also don’t want to give your friend the impression that you totally agree that pirates are “totally cooler than ninjas.” This could lead to further awkwardness when your friend invites you to “Pirates of the Caribbean 4: Johnny Depp Wears Even More Eyeliner, Savy?” and you have to awkwardly decline. So, what do you do?

The solution: When you don’t want to agree with someone and are too lazy to have the debate that will inevitably follow from your disagreement, the best thing to do is this: Change the topic with a smooth conversational segue into a piece of pop culture trivia.

“Ah, speaking of ninjas, did you know that the voice of Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons was done by the actor who played Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air?”

Now, not only are you out of conversational hot water, your friend will admire your vast knowledge of early 90s television trivia.