Sorry for the delay in posting this. I have been without Internet due to a server crash at Time Warner. What fun!
Q: Yesterday we had a fire drill at work. A co-worker made a joke when we gathered at the far end of the parking lot that he would just let the flames get him next time rather than tromp down three flights of steps and walk so far. Lots of people laughed but I gave him a sharp tongue-lashing. My parents died in a fire when I was a child, and it's nothing to make fun of. Now some people think I'm the rude one. What did I do wrong??
Anne: Sometimes people say things that are in poor taste but they don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings. Did this person know you had suffered such a tragedy? I'll bet not. Maybe you should have said something quietly to him instead of in front of others. In fact, maybe you can apologize in just that way now. Once he knows your circumstances I'm sure he will apologize right back for making a crude joke.
Dee: Not to minimize your loss, but fuck a duck, lady. How in hell was the guy supposed to know that your parents died in a fire?? Think back and carefully—haven't you ever said something that might better have been left unsaid? If you say no, think again because we all have. There are plenty of reasons to be offended in life without going out to look for reasons.
And while we're on the subject of things better left unsaid, how old are you, anyway? The last time I heard anyone say they gave someone a tongue-lashing, I was playing with a spoon and my grandmother was changing Anne's diapers. In this day and age—and in my world—"tongue lashing" means something very different and much more pleasurable.
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