Several months ago, Twin and I were on our way to yet another company happy hour open bar event (somehow these manage to get scheduled on a monthly basis at least). We had to walk up 8th avenue for about 15 blocks, which was the perfect amount of time for me to relay a story to Twin. At this point, I have no idea what the story entailed. All I know is that it was the end of a long day and I was very passionate about getting this story across (shocker).
So we’re walking up 8th and I am heatedly telling Twin whatever it was I had to tell her. It was likely venting about something at work or one of my roommates or something and so there was a lot of “Ohmygod, and then she was like [blah blah blah] and then I was like [blah “>blah blah!]” and so on. I’m sure it was not the most intriguing story and I know I was certainly not speaking eloquently by any stretch of the imagination. But that really wasn’t the point.
In the middle of one of my “ohmygod, like, whatever” statements, this woman cuts in front of me (this takes skill, since walking past Port Authority at 6:30pm in the middle of the week is just a little bit crowded). She turns to me, her anger actually tangible, and says in the most cutting tone:
“Do you have ANY IDEA how many times you have just said LIKE???”
Twin and I stopped dead in our tracks as this woman continued walking with a weird air of pride and vindication. We looked at each other in shock (and slight horror) and then immediately burst out laughing.
I mean, what? Ok, sure, I was saying “like” a lot. I realize that. Sometimes when I’m tired (or not, even) and sometimes when I speak quickly and heatedly, “like” is a filler word that appears on my speech more times than it should. But again – what?!
I wasn’t offended by this woman’s absurd explosion – I was actually incredibly amused – but what really struck me was how fucking angry she was. So angry, so appalled, that she felt the need to tell me, a total stranger on 8th avenue, how disgusted she was with the way I was telling a story. I think it made her angrier that all I could do was stare incredulously back.
As if that outburst weren’t inappropriate enough, Twin and I continued up the street (an awkward 2-3 feet away at all times from this woman) and then had to stop at a red light. On the corner. Next to this woman. And of course she felt the need to turn to me, AGAIN, and express her utter disgust at my speech pattern 3 blocks ago. “Really, do you have to say ‘like’ so many times? It’s just ridiculous.”
Of course Twin burst out laughing again as I just stared blankly at this woman, probably reaffirming her snap judgement that I am an airheaded ditz with very poor conversation skills.