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You really look terrible in that shirt. And fix your hair.

Yesterday, with the sun warming my face and last night’s ice cream still cool in my belly, I decided to take my running sneakers out of hibernation and hit the streets for my first run of the new year. Although I exercise regularly, I only run outside in fair weather. With the temperature nearing 50 degrees, my brain was itching for the fresh air instead of the stale gym odors that I had been inhaling all winter.

So I layered up and set out; one foot in front of the other, trip trapping down my street. It had been while, but it felt good. I missed going on autopilot through my neighborhood, while losing myself in my head. What would I think about today? I wondered and considered my options.

Should I wallow over my father’s declining state? That could get me through miles.

Or, should I think of snappy comebacks to the friend who recently said, “Wow, it’s so great that you can just go out without doing anything to yourself. I could never do that.”

Oh, I got it! How bout….  “You’re right. You totally look better with makeup.”

Wait! No! Better… “Thanks. It’s true. You really need self-confidence to pull it off.”

Hmm.. I’ll get back to that.

There’s always the to-do list. First shower, then supermarket, dry cleaners, stop for Dunkin Donut’s coffee, pick up kid…

Wow, figuring out what I’m going to think about has gotten me through over a mile. Yay. I should probably think about what to wear to tomorrow night’s School Social. Certainly not pants like the lady who just walked past me. Really? Flesh colored leggings? I don’t know anyone who can pull that off. I almost want to follow her and let her know that unless she’s auditioning for ‘What Not To Wear’, they should never be worn again.

In my college sweatshirt, skull cap, striped gloves and yoga pants that make my thighs look too heavy, I have no business criticizing anyone, yet I have to fight the urge to share my feelings.

Maybe it’s genetic. It would be something my grandma would have done. I can still remember her walking over to poor, unsuspecting strangers and saying things like, “Honey, no one’s going to tell you, but that lipstick color looks horrible on you.”

I always died a little, totally mortified, but now, decades later, it doesn’t seem like the worst idea. I mean, yeah, it can be seen as judgmental, but maybe it’s just being helpful. Maybe, sometimes we all need someone like that; a ‘truth teller’ in the form of a well-meaning stranger.

I mean who else would tell you these things? Certainly not your friends. No way will your friends tell you how fat you look in your jeans, or that –

Wow! The lady I just passed must be bathing in perfume.

What was I thinking? I might have blacked out there a moment. Oh, right, friends. They love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. They can’t be completely honest.

I don’t know if the sweat has seeped into my brain, but I think this is a kick ass idea. I can open a school and train people on proper approach, having good ‘street-side’ manner, and of course, how to diffuse an offended person’s wrath. My people will be like secret agents. Employers will hire us to do an office walk-thru. Friends will hire us to say things they can’t say. It’s a public service. It’s genius!

I can’t believe it. I’m almost home. That was fantastic.

Wait, I just came up with the best comeback to my friend’s comment. Ready?

“You’re right. But you know, saying things like that is the reason a lot of people don’t like you.”

Boom!

Brutal Honesty. My grandma would have loved it. But would people actually appreciate the truth whispered to them by an unknown judge?

I don’t know, but i’ll have to think about it next time. I’ve just run out of steam.

Brittney, Let's talk about that bra. I'm here to help.

Brittney, let’s talk about that bra. I’m here to help.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

196 responses »

  1. Something I was thinking about very often…….
    Open your school,I’ll be the first to enrol!

    Reply
  2. That bra… Blimey.

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  3. This is exactly how I run. Mulling over comments, thinking about Grandma, judging other people’s outfits. I don’t wear my college sweatshirt because I hated my college but otherwise it’s me. And I struggle with how much truth to tell. Your comebacks are hilarious. I can’t help but think she really hurt your feelings. That’s a brutal feeling.

    Reply
    • nah… it was fine. i’m more impressed that she can zing things like that… i’m good with me. low effort is still working.
      and it was my husbands, uh 25 year old, sweat shirt.

      Reply
  4. Winnie Schindler

    maybe im partial, but you cant look bad anytime, they are all jealous , havent you learned that yet.

    On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 7:26 AM, Icescreammama

    Reply
  5. This sounds exactly like my head while I’m running. I tend to have really involved two-sided conversations to get me through the miles.

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  6. OK. I totally enjoyed going on the run with you! I usually turn the music on loud when I run to shut off these rambling voices, but maybe I should just go for it. Maybe I’d come up with a new business idea, philosophy or at least a decent come back once in a while that way…

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  7. I let my head ramble like that while I’m bike riding or walking the dog. No music – just my own thoughts without someone doing a handstand or fighting beside me.

    As for the honesty part – I work with a woman who wears jeggings every day. Jeggings with some very unfortunately positioned pockets. I’ve considered trying to snap a picture of her backside and then pretend to show her something else in the picture.

    Reply
  8. We are like two peas in a pod – I only run in fair weather and I have these exact conversations with myself. Such a fantastic post – loved your comebacks (especially the last one) and I think you’ve just found your million dollar idea! Your school idea is genius!

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  9. I think grandmas have a right to say what’s on their mind. After decades of keeping it all in and being polite, damn it, I’m going to start telling it like it is! Who’s with me?

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  10. Ha, I loved this post! When I wasn’t a total fatass and could run pretty easily, this is the sort of stuff that went through my brain. If you’d like an associate professor for your new school, I have a 4 year old you can borrow. He’s not bashful about telling people “you’re pretty fat” or “why are you not very pretty in the face.” Lol.

    Reply
  11. Hi Im Lily,
    I am new on this site and have just started up an animals blog 🙂
    Your blog really does look great. It’s so catchy! How long have you been blogging?
    My blog link is http://lilythedogloversblog.wordpress.com/
    Bye bye, Lily.

    Reply
    • that’s a very cute cat picture. i’ve been blogging for about 8 months. it’s a lot of work. thank you for coming over to say hi. good luck with your new blog!! it looks great. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Thanks so much! 🙂 8 months seems like a lot of time since I have been blogging only for 2 days. Can I add you to my links because I really love your blog?

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  13. Love the way you wrote this. I agree with another commenter, little kids are great for this. I’m a nanny for a 3-year-old and I keep a running list of the amazing “insults” she innocently says to me all the time — like “Oh, you forgot to comb your hair today?” and “Why are you wearing that shirt? You look like a daddy.” Hilarious, but definitely knocks you down a peg! I certainly know adults who do this too, though…not as cute.

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  14. i could totally help run this school with you! honesty beats awkwardness in my book any day.

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  15. The only people who appreciate brutal honesty are the ones handing it out. 🙂 Take a deep breath,I scream mamma. Is it about your dad? That was me three years ago. You’re not supposed to worry about them, it’s their job to worry about you. Go find someone to hug and talk things through with (not idiots who give you stupid advice about your appearance).

    Reply
  16. Loved it – do the same all the time! Check out this video from Australia’s Tropfest finalists – same concept – sometimes there is no easy way to tell people http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P14bWf52op8

    Reply
  17. This was absolutely fantastic. I felt like I was traipsing around your mind as you explained it. I was on the journey with you. GREAT!

    Reply
    • totally appreciate that. my mind takes a lot of turns… i did one like this during spin class… except it turned out more of nervous breakdown. it was called ride of my life it’s back in july. if you’re interested in seeing me as an emotional mess in a dark room with 30 other people. all good. 🙂 thanks for visiting!

      Reply
      • I’m planning on looking back at your posts because I enjoyed it so much! I also look forward to the new ones! I can appreciate a great narrative!

  18. I am all for this idea. I think this world needs a little (or a lot) dose of truth.

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  19. Perfect. Just perfect. 🙂

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  20. Veterinarianess

    This is like my brain all the time! haha

    I totally wish someone would comment on me… how am I supposed to improve myself if I never get any negative feedback? 😦

    Reply
  21. Hahah I actually laughed a little when reading this. thinking about what to think about is an ordeal – especially when you’re like NO NO NO DON’T THINK ABOUT THAT, DON’T EVEN GO THERE! good stuff

    Reply
  22. I can’t take a trip to Walmart without thinking several things like this each time. Last time I saw one of those women trying to jam size DD boobs into a size C bra. Don’t ppl look in the mirror before they leave the house???

    Reply
  23. Nina (@all tom bell)

    Just stopping by… Like what I’m reading here… Keep it up!

    ps. Liked you on facebook! 🙂

    Reply
  24. I seriously wish that more people would be a little brutal with their feedback. It’s just annoying when people beat around the bush just to tell you “kind of” look bad when you really look like a train wreck. I mean come on, it only takes a few seconds to tell someone that you don’t like what they’re wearing!

    Reply
  25. Enjoyed reading this. Thanks for posting!

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  26. The older generation was not so damn weak or sensitive. They told it like it was and did not need therapy just because someone told them they smelled like a fish;) Go Grand Ma!

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  27. Deliberately Delicious

    You go, girl! I remember the time an older gentleman stopped my friend, who had her two young sons in tow: “I hope you didn’t pay for those haircuts,” he said, nodding at her children. It still makes me laugh to think about it. I think your grandma might have been on to something.

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  28. love the snark (in a positive way)

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  29. I think I liked your second comeback best. An epic slam at the very least. It’s hard to get away with the same things a grandma can. It’s one of the advantages of getting older. Betty White is a perfect example. The woman is hilarious. Some of the things she says would land a younger woman in prison.

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  30. First of all, I love your writing style! It reads so smoothly. And good point, friends won’t tell you, only family will…so yes, that annoying aunt that tells you everytime you gain a couple of pounds..cherish her! haha.

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  31. obstructedbynone

    Educational institutions teaching common sense and courtesy? No way! Sigh, that really would be great though. Good writing, and congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    Reply
  32. I enjoyed this post very much. Besides the subject matter (which I was totally into), the writing and structure was great, just as enjoyable as the story.

    Thanks for writing and keep it up, please. I’ll be following.

    Reply
  33. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks this way! So many times I wanted to tell this gal at work that the bright lime green she wore or the bright red lipstick just were horrid colors next to her super fair skin. But alas, I kept my mouth shut and like a good citizen, didn’t say a word. I need to do some people more favors. Ugh. 😉

    Reply
  34. My Grammy used to take blunt to a whole new level! She would tell everyone EXACTLY what she thought. She told me once that my perm looked horrible, but you know what- she was right!! And I have made my hairdresser swear to hit me with a brush if I ever try to perm my hair again…. Maybe we do need a little more honesty! ~ Rae

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  35. I wish I could meet your grandma! I laughed while reading your post! Great comeback though! She had it coming her way :o) Congrats on FP!!

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  36. Well, I think it’s ok to tell stuff like this gently to nice people, and directly to people who you can tell, at a glance, are really mean and awful. That’s my two-cents.

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  37. I always think of a perfect twitter or Facebook status (depending on content and who I know will read it) when I’m out running, then once I’ve de-sweated, totally loose my momentum to write it. Next idea – thoughts going directly from you head to twitter!

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  38. Great post!Enjoyed reading it!

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  39. hahaha….please help britney…sh needs it soooo much….
    that’s so true… when it comes to our near and dear ones, we always try to soften the truth..sometimes to the extent that the truth is no more the truth.
    if you do start that service, you’ll be ultra successful…and what’s more is that you’ll be remembered as the one who showed you the true mirror.
    hilarious read. thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

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  40. Hahaa.. Enjoyed reading this. Don’t grandmas always have a quirky way of telling things 😉

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  41. A familiar face on FP! Congrats! Worth a read the second time.

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  42. stephaniedubyna

    It’s hard not to comment on other people – look, you’ve got over 60 comments from well-meaning strangers (or friends) who said something about your post. Nothing is wrong with saying something in a well-meaning fashion. People just aren’t wired to accept positive critiques. It’s a double-negative. It takes time to be able to take criticism and be able to see the good in it.

    Reply
  43. Poor Brit Brit!
    Your grandma sounds like the one from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Hysterically brutally honest. Love it!

    Sign me up for the school, I alwasy try to sugar coat everything… “It’s not bad, just different” just doesn’t have the same punch as “actually, your right, its terrible!”

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  44. Well done––a great read. That and we must be connected on some level because that sounded a lot like my own self talk AND I had one of those grandmothers! Thanks for sharing.

    Tom McCollum

    Reply
  45. I read the title of the post and thought you were talking about me. 😉 Very funny- glad I stumbled upon you from Freshly Pressed.

    Reply
  46. Very entertaining. I’d like to apply for the street agent job : )

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  47. Haha, loved reading this. Your comments on honesty are something everyone should hear!:)
    I am a new blog with only a couple of entries but it would be amazing if people would read and tell me what they think?:)

    Reply
  48. I think your friends should be truth tellers. I would laugh if someone said, “That dosen’t fit right.” I wouldn’t take offense, probabaly wouldn’t change it either. The kids though. Got to learn from their honest approach. That is laughable!

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  49. Perfect! Backhanded compliments are the worst. My mother sounds like your grandmother. She used to say as I was walking out the door (when she was upset with me), “Are you going out carrying THAT purse?” I think it’s only karma that I ended up writing fashion features when I got older:)

    Reply
  50. At work I want to tell so many women, this is work…not the club

    Reply

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