1. We’re always messing with you
Don’t take it too seriously. We’re playful, like cats with laser pointers. You’re the cat and we’re the laser pointer. Or something, I don’t know. Just take the joke and throw it back, okay?
2. Mean comments are displays of affection
There’s nothing more intimate or affectionate than me calling you an asshole and kissing you afterwards, trust.
3. We remember everything
That time you tripped outside the movie theatre, that embarrassing picture of you dressed as a lacrosse bro on Halloween freshman year. We like to keep our joke bank fresssssh, so don’t think that anything goes unnoticed or is off limits.
4. You can make fun of us too
We can honestly take a joke, even about our appearance. It’s fun when you bite back.
5. We come off cocky, but it’s a front
We’ll say inflated things about our appearance, like “I’m just so gorgeous” or “damn I look good” when we’re at our worst. We’re not infallible and we don’t spend hours on our faces. We don’t actually think we’re the shit…well, okay, we kind of are, but we will not say it like that.
6. If you don’t know if we’re joking, safe to assume we’re joking
The default mode of your phone is silent, and the default mode of my mouth is sarcastic.
7. We ARE laughing at you. But that’s because we like you
I wouldn’t laugh at you if I didn’t think you could laugh at me too. Your misery might make me smile, but only because I want to be the one to help you up and hug you after you fall down.
8. We have soft, gooey centers under the hard exteriors
We’re like rude Entenmann’s cookies. We’re only this sarcastic because we have mad layers of depth and feelings. For every mean thing we joke about, we have five more nice things to say about you.
9. If I’m ignoring you in a big group, it means I like you, yes you, the one I’m not talking to
Don’t get used to the loads of attention we pay you when we’re alone. We’re not really about PDA or making you feel like royalty when there are a bunch of people around. We’ll never be the ball and chain, and the more we ignore you, the more we can make eyes at you and mouth “I hate you,” which is basically a sign of head-over-heels, stupid crazy affection.
10. I hate you = I love you
Always. Always. Always.
11. Learn to take a little hit
We’ll shove you, playfully slap you for a good joke, and obviously hit you with a verbal shot to your glass jaw. The better you take it, the more we love you.
12. We will say something really mean and immediately wish we didn’t say it
It’s almost like sarcasm is this involuntary reaction and we. can’t. stop. being. sarcastic.
13. We will occasionally say something incredibly sincere, but you won’t notice because you’ll think we’re being sarcastic
..And then we feel pretty foolish for putting ourselves out there.
14. There’s nothing in my eye
I am actually having an emotional reaction to something. I’m not sure what this salty watery substance is coming out of my eyeballs right now but it happens sometimes when I get upset. You don’t need to stare at me like I’m on fire. I have feelings!
15. I actually have a lot of feelings
I’m not an emotionless robot, I’m just a sardonic lady. I like to joke and mess around, but that doesn’t mean I’m a stoic rock.
16. I know it may not seem like it, but I’m not trying to play it cool
We are so sensitive, if that wasn’t obvious by now. Too sensitive. Could be why we are so sarcastic, but whatever, that’s dumb, we cool, we cool.
17. We’re bad with making moves
We truly, honestly do not know how to give you the signal that we like you or that we care about you. We are hoping you will see through our sarcasm and see we’re basically dying for you to notice us.
18. Being sincere doesn’t come easy
So when we get serious, you need to pay attention. (Or like cherish it or whatever).
19. In the truest reality, you’re dating a sensitive, affectionate, loving lady
Beverly Keel was a professor I had at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). She was the professor who pushed me into working award shows and I’m still working the shows eight years later! Keel was hands down, one of the best professors I had. Here is a an article written by her that was published in The Tennessean recently. So True.
A study recently presented at the American Psychological Association’s convention revealed that people tell an average of 11 lies per week. I’ll bet the most common lie told is, “I’m fine.”
Wouldn’t it be great if instead we would tell the truth? “Thanks for asking. I’m about to fall apart.” It’s such a shame that we feel pressure to keep up the facade of normalcy, which is perhaps the greatest fallacy of all.
We are all broken in some way. Many of us are just experts at hiding it. After 25 years of interviewing the successful and famous, I’ve learned that they don’t have it any more together than the rest of us. Indeed, sometimes they have more inner turmoil than others and it may be those broken parts — their need for love, attention or financial stability — that drive their ambition or creativity.
I’ve been reflecting on this lately following a Facebook revelation by a friend that he was the victim of traumatic violence at a young age. My first realization was that my tremendous respect for him had grown even more. To think that he had overcome such horror, and became a better person and writer than I could ever hope to be, leaves me in awe of a man whose kind heart was strong enough to successfully fight off the anger that could have consumed him.
I felt awful that he’s carried the burden of this secret for decades. If I had known, could I have helped in any way? If I had only known, I would have been kinder to him. My thoughts raced back to our encounters: Was there a time when I rushed a conversation or treated him with less than my full attention on what might have been a horrible day for him?
Like many Nashvillians, I’m still having difficulty processing the tragic death of Rob Bironas. While I know nothing about his last night other than what I’ve read in the news, I believe that what happened was a symptom of something else going on in his life, not a comment on his character.
We shouldn’t be defined by the best day or worst day of our lives, but by the sum total of how we live most of the days on Earth. If you meet me on a good day, you might think I am kind. But if you encounter me on a day that I’m so lost in my own worries that I don’t hear you speak to me, you might believe that I am rude and self-involved. Yet I am the same person on both days. Hopefully, I’ll have many more years of good days than bad ones.
Bironas should and will be remembered as a Nashville hero, not only for his inspiring performance on the field, but more importantly, for the lives he touched off of the field. He created the Rob Bironas Fund to provide financial assistance to help young people succeed in school through music education. He also worked to help children in need through the Kicks for Kids program, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Then there are the countless children to whom he spoke in schools, signed autographs and gave words of encouragement. Perhaps his kindness was the one thing that gave a child the courage to compete or succeed, or let the child know that he or she was important and worthy of love. Maybe he just said something that gave a broken child the strength to get through another day.
Lately, I find myself saying, “If I had only known.” I could’ve been kinder, more present, more generous. But the truth is, I already knew. Because we are all broken in some way, battling our own demons, issues and pasts, we are all in need. Therefore, I need to be kinder to everyone. That way, I won’t add to their pain or problems, and I won’t look back in regret over what I could have done.
Journalist Beverly Keel is also a professor and chairwoman of Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Recording Industry. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.