Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Snark of the week

In response to last weekend's column (I liked my original column title better - I called it "Be a Man"), I received the following email:

Dear Ms. Lewis,

Your anecdote about that polite youngster sounds good, but you and your physician friend have fallen for externals.

Sure, the boy might have been a model of good manners, but for all you know his mother had to threaten him to get him to dress nicely, and for all his polite demeanor, he might be a real punk otherwise. Or maybe not.

Do you remember the television series, Leave it to Beaver? The character Eddie Haskell, Wally's best friend, was unctuously polite to adults, but a weasel and sharp-tonguedly mean to everyone else, a model white-collar delinquent. That 14 year old you described could have been the same. You just can't tell by outward appearances as you seem to have done.

As for future husbands out there for your precious daughters, they're out there and have always been there. Don't fall for the trap of painting all young men with the same broad brush and don't presume that most young men are slime buckets just because you're aware of a few that are. And speaking of painting with a broad brush, you said that "men find great amusement in bodily functions and bathroom humor." That might be true of the men in your family and your friends, but don't make a generalization to include all men, which you have done with that unqualified "men."

So let me get this straight. It walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it dresses like a duck, it looks like a duck...but it's a crow? This fellow is suggesting that a nice polite well-mannered and well-dressed young man is in all likelihood being browbeaten by his mommy to be a polite well-mannered and well-dressed young man? That in reality he was probably a punk? Buddy, what are you smoking?

Despite his protestation that he never finds humor in bodily functions (hooray for you), I'll bet this reader isn't a Man - he's a Guy. And I wouldn't want my "precious daughters" dating such a snarky jerk any way.

I'd rather they date someone like the fourteen year old boy in our doctor friend's exam room. Call me fussy.


  1. I agree with you Patrice... if "pigs" could fly, oh wait a minute, maybe they DO! Another nice story is: Don't try to teach a "pig" to sing.... You're wasting your time and you'll only "p..." off the pig. This "guy" sounds like he wouldn't recognize a "truly honest (and brought up right) young man" if he bit him in the "a..." But then again, that young man would not do that very thing anyway!!!!

  2. You do seem over-ready to jump to unjustifiable conclusions Patrice. As a result of one critical but polite email you classify someone you have never met as a "Guy" (which apparently has pejorative meaning for you) and a 'snarky jerk'.

    Incidentally, the conclusion about the 'Young Man' I would have jumped to is that he is probably gay and entirely unsuitable for your daughters anyway.

  3. He's being defnsive, and only he knows why, hence the dig at the men in your family. You presented facts as you experienced them. He presents the product of his own imagination, but YOU are out of line! He advises you not to paint with a broad brush. From now on, please include the names of all the tens of thousands of men you are speaking of, separated by commas, so paranoid readers won't think you are speaking of them.

    Bill Smith

  4. He IS being defensive. But I would like to remind anyone who knows football, that is a GREAT way to LOSE ! I'm with you Patrice, teach your daughters about self respect and true wisdom (biblical). I'm thinking this is a young man. Don't worry young man, just reel in a few years and you will likely change your mind as surely as the Santa Ana winds rake So.California every year.P.S. Stop watching that damb T.V.

  5. When I first read this I thought it was stupid then I felt well she has her opinion. Then I read your list an realized some peoples opinions are wrong. Like my mother who always would ask me why I couldn't be more like this friend who was always nice to her and called her a witch with a B in her bonnet behind her back. Now days she's thanking God I haven't been a Junkie for the last 25 years that's now dying of HIV like that friend who I quit being friends with in high school.

  6. Patrice, we homeschool our children, too. Two down, five to go. The eldest just got his B.S., and the second is about to get his A.S. When they were little we often got comments like this: "Your children are so well-behaved!" And then, in the next breath: "Aren't you worried about them?" Or a relative who says she disapproves of homeschooling, but then says that if she's asked to substitute teach at the junior high again she's going to request combat pay. Some people just don't make the connection between active, loving parenting and the behavior of their children.