If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my 20 years of life thus far, it is that people can be very rude. Oftentimes, the most impressive part is that it doesn’t even seem to be particularly intentional on their part. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I would hear some offhand comment directed either at myself or another that left me reeling at the thoughtlessness of it all. More often than not, they aren’t even phrased in a way where the person seems to be trying to cause offense.
However, this doesn’t really change the fact that what is being said is very much, not okay. I can’t say that I necessarily enjoy when I hear these kinds of comments, whether they are said directly to me or to someone else, but I have to admit that some of them are pretty entertaining in their incredible stupidity or lack of awareness. Although I’ve forgotten a regrettable amount of the wilder quotes (or maybe blocked them out), here are a few offhand and casually offensive comments I’ve heard while living in this wonderful world. They aren’t really ranked in any particular order beyond that of what came to my mind first.
- “Sometimes when you speak I just sort of zone out, hahahaha.”
This one I heard while walking through campus last semester. I had been passing by a large group of girls gathered right outside of our dining hall, and although I want to blame the bad food for the ensuing b*itchiness, I’m not sure I can. The strangest part was the tone in which it was said.
The girl in question stated it as if it were funny rather than slightly hurtful, and her resulting laugh didn’t even come off as mean but rather entertained. Needless to say, I doubt the friend she was speaking to found it equally enjoyable, but I didn’t hear any level of anger in her response, and it didn’t come to physical blows (which I found impressive).
- “You only support gay marriage because you’re one of them!”
I don’t have much to say about this one beyond it was said very aggressively by a very confused and very ignorant frat boy. Even if this were the case, I still see no issue with his point, so it being phrased as an accusation is a bit pointless. Overall, entertaining and strange, but I hope he either becomes better educated or finally comes out of the closet himself.
- “Maybe you’re just gay because you haven’t found the right man.”
This one was said to a friend of mine and spoken as if it were supposed to be helpful and thoughtful rather than stupid and horrible. Luckily, the friend who had received this lovely comment simply scoffed as a response, but it is sad to know that some people would be much more affected. Men can be wonderful, but I doubt any level of ‘wonderfulness’ can completely change someone’s sexuality.
- “You look a bit like a sasquatch” and “You look like a giraffe when you run because…. Ya know, you’re tall.”
When I mentioned I was writing this article, an alarming number of my friends immediately volunteered some mildly hurtful or funny things that had been said to them. This specific friend is absolutely gorgeous and also happens to be a bit on the taller side.
Clearly, to those around her during middle school, this equated to her being a variety of animalistic creatures. I’m not sure why anyone would think a giraffe (one of the weirdest looking creatures on this Earth) was an appropriate or flattering thing to be compared to, but middle schoolers do tend to make bad decisions.
- “I wouldn’t post a Tinder profile pic with another girl if I were you. You want to make sure you’re the cute one.”
This lovely quote came from a guy I’ve known for quite a while. He also happens to spend a large (perhaps too large) amount of time on Tinder, swiping through options and making quick, decisive judgments of people. When asked for advice on what made up a good profile, he responded with this gem.
I’m not sure if I find it more offensive that he’s implying I am less cute than the majority of my friends or just impressed that he really thought presenting his advice in this manner would be helpful and deserving of thanks.
- “Ok but look, just eat more burgers or something.”
This one came right after I had been complaining about how a pair of pants that didn’t really fit. Admittedly, they were a bit stretched out, and I know that although they may have made my a** look concave, this isn’t actually the case. However, a moment of insecurity regarding how I felt the jeans made me look a bit like a prepubescent boy didn’t warrant the infamous “just a eat a burger” comment. Body types of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, but sometimes, when it doesn’t necessarily feel this way, a quick dismissal paired with an unintentional ad for Five Guys doesn’t really help.
- “Y’all shawties looking AVERAGE!!”
I actually have fond memories of this one. It happened in my sophomore year, walking down Broad Street with a group of friends. We may not have looked the most put together, nor were we the soberest. However, this catcall seemed to utilize a new technique that, although not specifically negative, was almost more devastating than if it had been an actual insult.
At the time, we were strutting down the Richmond streets as a posse of loud and annoying girls and wouldn’t have ever believed a man shouting; we looked actively “bad.” However, there was a definite chance that we looked very much “average.” The realism really hit hard.
- “My other friend is taking this class so no matter which one I decide to do, I’ll have a buddy in each class. I’m just weighing my options.”
I’ve been in the process of planning out my schedule for the next semester, and a friend of mine actually suggested that we take a fun class together. She initiated the idea, and as I have rather limited contact with the outside world right now, I full-heartedly agreed. However, a day or so later, she mentioned having the added option of taking another class that would not only also work with her schedule but would have another friend of hers in it.
She probably didn’t mean for it to come off as so dismissive but knowing I was just a small part in a line of options didn’t exactly match the good vibes of the yoga class we had been planning on taking together. It was a texting conversation, and I ended up leaving her on read like a miffed significant other.
- “Nice fanny pack. My mom has one just like it.”
I’m not sure why this one made me laugh so hard, but it was recently said to a friend of mine. Although the comment itself was most definitely sarcastic in tone, I’m fairly sure he decided to take it as an actual compliment instead. Who’s to say that guy’s mother doesn’t have a fantastic fashion sense?
- “Hey. I was dared to ask you out…. Please just say no.”
This quote was repeated to me several times throughout my elementary/middle school days and holds a very special place in my heart. It manages to both be and make the other party feel pathetic. For some reason, during the earlier portion of my life, it was very common for my male classmates to ask me out on a dare and then basically beg/make it very clear they would be horrified if I were to respond positively.
I’m not sure if these activities have stopped now more due to the boys having matured or me having had a glow-up of sorts. Regardless, the fact that asking another person out would be seen as a punishment or joke of some sort is hurtful in theory and funny in reality. Especially considering the boys asking weren’t exactly charming or particularly attractive themselves.
Anyway, I hope at least someone found this list entertaining. I enjoyed looking back and selecting some of the sillier quotes from my past. As someone who tends to over rather than underthink what comes out of my mouth, I almost respect some people’s lack of self-awareness. I can only hope that they either improve themselves or think a bit more before saying what really doesn’t need to be said.