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Tammy Swift, Published March 29 2014

Swift: Adults say the most vexing things

Children say the darnedest things. And sometimes adults say the most vexing things.

Well, “vexing” is a strong word. But there are certainly people out there who say things that are completely foreign to me. I come across these statements in day-to-day life and have such trouble relating to them that I briefly think they are speaking Martian. Inevitably, I find myself biting my tongue not to overreact to them. (After all, we fear what we don’t understand, right?)

It isn’t that there is anything inherently wrong with these statements. It’s just that they somehow manage to push one of the many buttons installed in the complex data-entry/

communication-output machine that is Tammy.

Here they are, in all their vexing glory:

• “That dish is just too rich.” (Variation: “I don’t really like sweet desserts,” which is kind of like saying “I don’t like my steak to be too meat-oriented.”)

Who are you people, why am I hanging out with you, and how did you get this number? I struggle to understand this one.

Could Bradley Cooper be too good looking? Could a puppy be too adorable? Could a spa day be too restorative and relaxing?

As a “more is more” girl, I’d like to share one anecdote to help illustrate how I roll: When I was in college, I started a diet that allowed you one “treat” per day.

At first, it started off as a single small cookie. By the end of the week, that single treat had mushroomed into an ice cream sundae finished off with marshmallow crème, peanuts, crumbled French silk pie and peanut butter (I rationalized that the peanut butter was akin to eating lentils). This. Actually. Happened.

• “I can eat and eat and I never seem to gain any weight.” (Variation: “I don’t exercise. I just naturally have slender, toned legs and abs that could double as a waffle iron.”)

It’s a good thing you have slender, toned legs because I am now going to chase you down, wrestle you to the ground and force-feed you a cheesecake.

• “I’m a morning person!”

These are the peppy people who spring out of bed at 4 a.m. to squeeze in “a quick run” before they hit their 6 a.m. Zumba class.

As a slow waker-upper who doesn’t speak intelligible English until noon, it took me years to figure out there was a whole segment of the population who had actually seen sunrises, eaten breakfasts while sitting down and heard radio morning shows. I thought roosters crowed because they’d been out all night and were still drunk.

Someone once told me that our birth time helps determine what our “strut time” is during the day. I, of course, was an overdue birth, because I was busy napping. And when I finally showed up, it was at 4:30 p.m. – just in time to leave work and go to dinner.

• “My husband is my best friend.” (Variation: “My husband loves to do dishes and laundry. And he’s a really good cook.”)

We occasionally hear of those lucky couples whose marriage seemed to have been arranged by cherubs in a land of rainbows and chocolate.

They share everything – from their deepest secrets to hubby’s semi-monthly back-shaving ritual. These are the couples who send out holiday cards in which they’re wearing identical applique sweatshirts (how did she ever get him to wear a pink shirt of a puppy and a bunny riding a snowmobile? I couldn’t get my ex to wear a T-shirt that said: “This is my Halloween costume.”)

Truth be told, I am actually envious of these women. Obviously, their mate-picking skills are highly sophisticated and never involved dating a guy who once gave you an expired Taco John’s coupon and a director’s cut of “Dude, Where’s My Car?” for your birthday.

• “Ooh, my legs are always too long for jeans.” (Variation: “My calves are so thin that I have trouble holding up my boots.”)

Yes, it’s a real trial to be so tall and gazelle-legged and Bundchen-esque. Meanwhile, I am buying Charlene Tilton Jeans in the section of the department store usually frequented by Hobbit grandmothers. Excuse me if I don’t throw a bake sale to save you from your horrific plight, Stemmy McStemmerson.

• “Sometimes, I forget to eat!”

That’s so weird! Sometimes I forget that I’m not supposed to eat carbs and will find that a whole Entenmann’s coffee cake has accidentally fallen into my mouth.


Tammy Swift writes a lifestyle column every Sunday in Variety. Readers can reach her at tswiftsletten@gmail.com.