Wednesday, March 18, 2015
On One-Way Quick Critiques and Rude Questions
A new craze is sweeping the nation: the One-Way Quick Critique. This is anything but an attempt to engage; in fact, many QCs thus cut off your defense: 'This conversation is over.' Shut up and take it or get up and go. Here are a few of the common QCs:
1) Someone who aspires to become a true Serious Writer feels free to take a quick shot at your books...though she has no plans to read them.
2) Some point out your flaws as a sibling, son or daughter but will hear no mention of their own family wrongs.
3) Those whose own lives are blameless claim that you're over-defensive when they're simply offering you help you don't want.
4) A coworker who spends 3 hours a shift on her cell phone quickly coaches you on ways you can simplify her job.
5) A slob spreading over three seats on a bus gives you hell if you forget to say 'Excuse me' when you belch. The only allowable answer is: 'I'm so sorry--I wish I were you!"
And so on and so on and so forth.
The One-Way Question is the QC's inbred country cousin, barging into the most private parts of your life.
People, without thinking, ask the damnedest questions, . Usually ones they won't answer themselves:
1) How much money do you make?
2) How old are you?
3) How often do you have sex with your companion or spouse?
4) What are your best trade secrets?
5) What's the worst thing that you ever did?
6) Can you tell me a little more about that dreadful secret that's too painful to discuss?
7) Is your penis small or average?
8) Why don't you have a car/smart phone/gold-digging mistress/Rolex if you're really a good writer?
9) Could you connect me with your agent?
10) Has your age impacted the stoutness or length of your penis?
That maxim's good but it's only a start. We must also be prepared to put it in reverse: be as generous in speaking as you are greedy to hear. With the two sides kept in balance, we'll show more respect and steer clear of much grief.