You said what?!

Series note: The “You said what?!” posts are my effort to make life on this little round earth a little more bearable. I seek to shame those who say stupid things. If you are one of those people, please take offense and say something that I can write about next post.


“Well, at least…”

We were without a home for awhile. It was a messy ordeal, but we have survived with only mild side affects (a nervous tick and a deadly fear of moving trucks).

The story is simple. Put in an offer on a foreclosure. Offer accepted by bank. Closing date set for first week of July. Terminate our apartment lease. Pack everything up. Get call from bank saying we have to wait a week. Move all our stuff to the garage of new place. Camp out in old apartment. Move to our pastor’s home for the few days before closing. Bank delays. About two months after original date, close on the house (a day after putting a deposit in on another apartment). You know, the normal.


One of the comments we cherished during that time was… “Well, at least you don’t have kids…”

Thank you for that. My hat goes off to you, Pessimist Person, for showing me my good forture.

This comment, “Well, at least…” is a real gumdrop. It is normally uttered by the pessimist trying to convince you that things could be worse. I say it is a pessimist, because who else would walk through the hallways of their mind looking for a way things could be worse?

The “Well, at least…” game is great fun. We could play it all day long! At least I don’t weigh a thousand pounds. At least I don’t have four arms. At least I don’t have a nervous tick…well, too late.

Dear Pessimist Person, your “well, at least..” may be your attempt at pointing me to some silver lining, but maybe it is making me miss it. Maybe I don’t need to know how bad things could be, or imagine what I would look like with four arms (more nervous ticks enter here). Maybe instead of “well, at least…” you could just say “that’s tough,” or “I’m sorry you have to face that.” How about instead of “well, at least…” you could just pray with me.

Instead of the “Well, at least…” gem, how have people encouraged you in tough circumstances?

Later this week I would like to look at comfort. Some understand it. Some don’t.

You said WHAT?! The “Concerned” Put-down

Sometimes people say the strangest things, and it is not until afterwards that you think of a good response. This post will equip you to respond to one of those sayings.

The “Concerned” Put-Down

I like to think of this little dandy as being offered by an individual who really is trying to show a form of concern, but in the process pokes you in the eye. You normally don’t catch this until too late, but now you will be prepared.



  1. What it looks like: “You look REALLY tired today, are you doing ok?”
  2. Translated:
    • “The bags under your eyes are so distracting I can hardly carry on a conversation with you.”
    • “You must be in over your head judging how AWEFUL you look today.”
  3. Appropriate* Response
    • “No, I naturally have saggy eyes.”
    • “Crazy! I was about to say the same thing to you.”
    • “I was up all night praying for your soul. What were you doing last night with your precious hours?”
    • “Yes, actually, I am. I really need help cleaning my house/finishing a paper/doing laundry/washing our dog/sorting my bug collection alphabetically by latin species name. And since you are volunteering to help, you can come over tonight at 7 pm. Bring protective eyewear.


  • Alternative – Why don’t we stop making the “concerned” put-down and just ask how people are doing.


*”Appropriate” is based on the “Seth Standard of Sarcasm”


Let me know – What do you say?