Monday, April 24, 2006

It's Time To Rumble!

A few days ago I ran into one of Kira's classmates and her mother at the supermarket. I've written about this woman before - I had helped her out often, providing transportation, childcare, work contacts, but I distanced myself when it began to feel like I was being taken advantage of. Last summer I had to politely decline when she asked me to not only take her daughter with us to swimming lessons but also to watch her for three hours after each session. It seems this mom was busy, busy with her part-time job and vigorous workout schedule. You see, she works out three hours a day, every day, and parenting her child was getting in the way of her quest for killer abs and a taut ass.

Not long after that incident I heard, through Kira, no less, that she was accusing me of 'announcing' at a dinner party that she was getting a divorce. I confronted her immediately, and after blasting her for involving our children, told her that not only was I unaware of her marital status, but that we had better things to talk about at our dinner party, things like the garishness of her clothes and her striking resemblance to the main character in 'Corpse Bride.'

She apologized profusely, and suddenly 'remembered' that she hadn't told me about her divorce after all. She said that she regretted possibly 'mentioning' her suspicions in front of her daughter, and to please try and understand because she was going through a hard time - she hadn't been able to fit in a full hour of lunges every day and it was starting to take its toll. I told her all was forgiven and that in lieu of flowers, a nice spa certificate or handmade soaps would go far in soothing my wrath.

I hadn't seen her since then, so when I saw her last week I assumed a fair amount of groveling on her part would be in order. Apparently not.

Me: Oh, hi there! It's been a long time.

Her: Hello! You've gained some weight!

In a perfect world, the homeless man who I'd seen lingering outside the store would have chosen that moment to stumble in and take a nice long pee on her size-0 tracksuit while simultaneously coughing up phlegm onto her fake designer purse.

But instead, I showed her! I managed to eek out, "Hmmmm! Hmmmm! Well! Thank you. I think."

I congratulated myself on my fine wit, and after laying down my jacket for her to walk on, I handed over all my credit cards and jewelry and headed out the door.

I've spent some time thinking of things I could have said that day. Everything from, "I'm sorry, did you say something? I was too busy counting your wrinkles" to Rigel's contribution, "I see you've managed to stay thin, chasing after all those old men in their Mercedes." Problem is, all the great lines seem to come after the fact, long after the moment has passed.

So what I've decided I need is some sort of official system for coming up with the perfect comeback at the right time. Perhaps some conditioning exercises to prepare me for the unsolicited attack - I could have Rigel hurl insults at me while I practice replying with pre-scripted responses while timed. Maybe it's a 'one size fits all' retort, such as, "Bite me, skank whore." I could try a cheat-sheet approach, where I have several juicy lines written on index cards that I keep in my purse. That way, once insulted, I'd be ready with, "Oh yeah? You're gonna regret this in around thirty seconds or so. Just you wait till I get my notes out, buddy."

I'm going to work hard on this. My attackers will be reduced to a quivering, pathetic lump by the sheer genius of my cutting wit. I'll become a master of the well-crafted rebuttal. In fact, people will come from great distances just to insult me, so that they may bear witness to my legendary comeback gems.

And as for my future encounters with workout-mom? Game on, gym-hag.

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83 comments:

  1. I think the perfect response would have been:
    "I see you have too." And take a look at her arse.

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  2. you just need to hang out with me. i'm the fucking comeback goddess. rarely ever without a comeback- it spews out of my mouth before i can stop it.
    that's it, take me everywhere with you. like a backpack. it will be fun. and a good workout. so you can lose the weight you've gained and i can kick bitches that get out of line

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  3. You could have told us that you were deliberately being courteous, and we all would have assumed you were just the bigger (ahem) person.
    Have you seen Mystery Men? Ben Stiller suffers from a similar problem.

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  4. I'm with Jennster. I am rarely without one either. But my friend has the same problem. ANd Even though I've coached her, she still can't do it. But blogging about her to the entire world is kinda cool too. That skank whore. I like that one as well. How fucking rude. Girl you for sure have not put on weight. But skanky bitches like her only know how to talk about weight. Cause that's the only thing important to them. If you said the same thing to her, she would have cried. Maybe you should just repeat it to her the next time you see her. It will send her straight to the gym.

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  5. Ok, sometimes you have to enlist the help of others. Case in point. I was scheduled to have a get-together with my ex-husband's widow, her daughter, and my children's baby half-sister. This woman and I are NOW on rather friendly terms. She always asks me if I am dating, which I don't mind. But, with the help of a friend, I was braced with the best answer ever (since I really do not have sufficient time for a lot of dating). She asked if I was dating, if I'd met anyone. I said, "No, all the men I know are married." And considering the her husband was my husband when they, um, met, it was an instant classic. Unfortunately I think it went right over her head. Shucks. But with the death thang looming over both of us and our respective children, I just let it go...((sigh)).

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  6. How about " Wow you could see that without your glasses"
    or
    "And I didn't think you were smart enough to notice that."
    or be direct
    "That's the stupidest thing anybody ever said to me but then what can I expect coming from you?"

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  7. You can always use my personal favourite: "I see you're still ugly."

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  8. I hate those moments of clarity when you think of a hundred witty comebacks about one hour too late. How about, "Oh yeah, I've put on a little weight but I just started dieting...we're going on a little anniversary trip to Bora Bora this summer." Followed up by, "How's your husband? OH...wait I forgot...your marriage fell apart, didn't it?"

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  9. esprit d'escalier (e-SPREE des-kal-i-YE) noun, also esprit de l'escalier
    Thinking of a witty remark too late; hindsight wit or afterwit. Also such a remark.


    I have dished out some pretty rude comments since my husband's deployment, even using motherf***** to a man in the parking lot. I personally like the "I can lose weight but you're stuck with that face forever" retort.

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  10. I think, from now on, you should just tell them to read your blog in a day or two. That way, you have sufficient time to come up with a remark. Then, you can post all about what happened, and what they said, and then you can post your reply to them. It's a win-win plan. They get their what-for, and you have time to give it to them!

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  11. I KNOW. That happens to me too. I can come up with all sorts of line SEVERAL HOURS after I've seen the person. Go figure.

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  12. ooh. gym hag. that's a GOOD one. Well, you'll have it ready for next time.

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  13. "Hello you've gained some weight"? "Hello you've gained some weight"? Wow.

    I gotta say, I do best with calling people out on their bullshit. Like just say, "my weight? Wow, why would you say something like that? Are you trying to hurt my feelings for some reason?" Voila! She feels like crap! And you still own the higher ground.

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  14. Not that I consider myself to be particularly funny or quick or witty, but my virtual/email/ bloggy self is SOOOO much better at bitch-slapping people with words than the real me. Sad, just sad.

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  15. I like to carry round a bit more weight than is strictly necessary: in case there's a sudden famine-stricken winter. I can sit in my den and watch the thin people die off as I live off my reserves and then emerge in the spring and really own the gaff.

    People (actually, women) often say to me "oo you've lost some weight". My wife keeps telling me they are being nice but all I hear is "I have always thought you were a lardarse and am closely monitoring your body shape". I did once try saying "Thanks! And may I say you look somewhat less ugly than you used to too. Well done you!" But Penny kicked off my patella with one of those moves she learns down at classes at the gym.

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  16. Wow that woman has issues. I'm with mom 101 on this - I would've said the same thing but loudly enough that everyone in the area would have heard, and probably added "cause if you were trying to hurt my feelings it'd take more than a comment from you to make that happen" and laugh at her and walk away

    And, while it's trite to say so, I really think it's true that people who say stuff like that have their own issues which are the cause of their behaviour. Just be glad you don't have to live her life.

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  17. I'm with mom101, too. Of course it's fun to come up with mean retorts but I think the response that would've gotten to Petty Mom the most would've just been to call her out on her childishness. "Wow, that was so rude." And walk away...It sounds like she does have issues, so I'm with Heather - you should probably be glad you don't have to live her life! I hope her daughter doesn't end up with an eating disorder!

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  18. Oof. I'd be seething inside and I'm pretty blunt, but I too would probably go with something along the lines of "thanks for noticing, it's all muscle weight". In my head I'd also add "for kicking your scrawny little ass".

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  19. That is pure toxic evil at it's worst.
    I would take the high road and say " Why would you say something so rude?"
    It puts it back at her and makes her look like the shallow, mean, thoughtless person she is.

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  20. calling out/high road seems good to me - but the deal with these folks, is that they're LOOKING FOR a specific response or rxn. that want you to seethe or catch you off guard and barely get a peep out. and asking an open ended question is just gonna give her a chance to dig further.

    My $.02? I would do the crazy Tom Hanks laugh (see: The Money Pit) in her face. (like when ppl in traffic are giving you the bird or yelling at you - they want a war - or response right? Nothing unnerves that like laughing like it's no big whoop)

    If she asks what's so funny, hold your sides (cuz the laughing made your sides hurt),catch your breath, for extra drama wipe away fake tears, and go, "oh God, (catches breath) Oh...it was just that that was so rude. [laugh, laugh]"

    do a 180 of fake composing yourself, give her the hairy eyeball and turn your heel and walk.

    easy peasy.

    it's a good fallback when you don't have a comeback. I think.

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  21. I'm totally using the Tom Hanks retort. I love it, makes me think of Bugs Bunny's giant kiss on the nose move. Love it!

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  22. i think "bite me, skank whore" could be used in almost every situation. quite useful and easy to remember when blindsided by people who are obviously in need of this response.

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  23. Seriously- I had to stop reading after I read what she said. I had to put my hands over my eyes and count to ten because I wanted nothing more than to become you and run to kick her in the fucking mouth.
    I'm better now.
    And next time you see her, spit the same line back at her, you'll love watching her turn and puke her lunch out while she does fifty lunges!
    bitch.

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  24. hilarious. and what a bitch to say that. i'm like you---think of good comebacks when its too late. good luck!

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  25. I'm the same way, I talk all big until the moment comes along, and then I'm like "uh.....real runny"

    Then I'm pissed off all day.

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  26. What she wanted to do was talk about her own weight. Sad that it is probably her opening gambit with everyone she sees. She wants to be noticed.

    Anyway, you turned a yucky experience into a hilarious post that is entertaining thousands!

    Moobs--you funny.

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  27. Ugh. I am the same way when it comes to retorts, though -- NOTHING good enters my mind until days after the moment has passed.

    I kind of like "bite me, skank whore." It will work in just about any situation, unless it's a dude that's pissed you off.

    Oh man, is it wrong that I so wanna bitch-slap this woman now, and I don't even know her?

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  28. I'm floored. But I think I would have had the presence of mind to say, "Excuse me?" Make the bitch repeat herself. Then ask, "Why would you say something like that?" And if I wanted to be nasty (which it sounds like she royally deserved), embellish that question slightly by adding a choice expletive.

    What is WRONG with people?

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  29. ooh oooh oooh I thought of one!!! See I told you!

    "Yea, that happens when your happily married and comfortable. Your looking thinner..."

    *shrug*

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  30. When I'm in the place, I like to try the "grace and class" approach. Sometimes, I can't really even see the person for all the steam that is venting out of my ears but I try. That way, it is just you and her. She'll feel like crap even if you don't know it. And remember the key - avaoid, avoid, avoid!

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  31. i find that i carry extra weight when i am happy in my personal life. that skinny bzzatch is clearly miserable. why else would she need to tear down someone else to make herself feel better? i know it's hard to see now, esp when you are still caught up in thinking about the microscopic window of opportunity for a witty retort, but for all the headaches she has provided you with, you now have a good excuse for not seeing her/babysitting her kid for 3 hours: "after last we saw each other, i decided that you're right -- i need to invest more time in ME. sorry i won't be able to (fill in requested favor here) anymore."

    don't waste a minute more trying to figure out why people do and say mean things! it cuts into valuable brain cell space that is better used for watching E network, shopping at target, and raising two beautiful girls who know better than to not be a supportive sistah. rock on SPM!
    -kb

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  32. What a BIAAATCH! Seriously, K and I often go through a series of drills. I also become tongue-tied in the face of evil. These drills have helped immensely. A seething blog post doesn't hurt either. :)

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  33. Holy shitburgers, Sweatpantsmom! That was so incredibly rude. Rude.

    I used to be the same way about comebacks, but now when people are talking and I'm not sure how to process what they have said, I just take a deep breath and think. Then I let the comebacks fly.

    But what a cow for being so rude.

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  34. Don't let her get to you!

    She's just jealous...and bitter...and a bitch. Yeah.

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  35. Is "Talk to the Hand" too dated to use as a comeback anymore? I can't really help you with good comebacks. I usually say "Eek" and scurry away like a frightened mouse. And then I key their car.

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  36. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that line. What a rude crotch! People like that have got some serious insecurity issues. Plus, they're puckered a-holes on top of it all.

    But I know exactly what you mean: the best comebacks always come to us long after the fact. I usually just sputter for awhile but try to keep above it. Later, I'll fume for hours & take my frustration out on loved ones. (kidding about that part)

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  37. UNREAL! That's something right oout of Desperate Housewives. Yowza.
    The last time someone blurted something really rude and uncalled for at my husband he looked them right in the eya and said, "What did you say"-brief pause-KISS MY ASS!" I'll tell you what, it shut them down immediately. It was awesome.

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  38. what a skank whore B'YATCH. and CLEARLY she has issues. who the f*ck says that to someone???

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  39. Watch her kids for three hours after swimming lessons so she could work out? Is it Kathryn Sansone?

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  40. Unbelievable.

    Although I've often done exactly what you did...nothing. Or thanked them (for what? for being a beyotch?) Ah, the curse of politeness.

    Yes, practice those comebacks! Knowing this woman, you'll get a chance to use one soon.

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  41. I like the idea of a nonsense answer that will have her scratching her head for a few weeks. "I see you've gained some weight." Answer: "Yes, but I've lost my marbles so I guess it's a wash."

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  42. Wow. I'm sorry that happened to you, but the way you told it was really funny. By the time I got to "Just you wait till I get my notes out" I busted out laughing.

    The next time you run into her, try staring at her and asking if she stopped coloring her hair. Because you never noticed how black/grey her roots were before.

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  43. Gym Hag is the greatest insult ever. I also don't understand why she works out THREE flippity hours a day. How ridiculous. And then to have you watch her kid so that she can do this? For the love.

    I hate when people insult me and all I can do is fume, when I want to kick. Hi, you gained weight. Who in the hell says that? Some evil, evil gym hag. Cultivating a personality seems much better than obsessive working out.

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  44. As a former, chronic Seinfeld-watcher...I am reminded of the episode where George thought of the perfect comeback to a rude remark long after the comment.

    He just kept taunting the person who insulted him...hoping to get another chance at using his perfect comeback!

    Hmmmm... You might have to start showing up at Skank Whore's gym...until you get your chance! Then, we are all countin' on ya! Kick that wrinkled gym hag ass!

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  45. ROFL...those note cards are SO analog.

    You need the new all digital Insult-o-Matic!

    I just invented it right now, especially for you. You pre-record insults into it and you just press a button when you're verbally attacked or insulted.

    A perfect, all-occasion insult blurts out in your own voice, rendering your nemesis speechless in the face of your snappy and timely comeback.

    Cool, eh?

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  46. Oh my god! I can completely relate! Those people are the WORST.

    I find some comfort in knowing how miserable such jerks must feel in their own lives, but that only goes so far. You definitely need a pre-planned slam. And it should be above the belt, as you will then show yourself to be not only a person of great confidence and wit - but also a person of much more class than the insulter.

    I have a standard line, not reserved for insults but stored away for times when someone is trying to push on my boundaries in some general way. So it's nowhere near as powerful as I would want your slam to the gym hag to be, but the point is that it really works to have it planned out in your head before you are hit with something you do not want. I have pulled mine out with record speed when needed.

    Mine is, "That's not OK with me." Boring, but again, this is for just your garden variety boundary-pushing. You need a real zinger (but above the belt) for iron-heart ... oops, I mean iron-abs.

    Please share what you come up with!

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  47. By the way, I forgot to mention ... I think your comment was pretty good! Nowhere near the zinger that you will have next time, but the "I think" at the end of your statement gave it that element of, "You suck, lady." Hey - I think I just composed your new comeback!

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  48. You've gained weight?! I'm just gobsmacked that someone would start a conversation like that if they aren't related to you!

    Ugh! I hate the post-incident comeback analysis.

    You could always turn the table and tell her she's looking a little drawn, pinched and haggard, poor dear and has she considered injectibles like Restaylne, and Botox since she'll need to compete with all those 20 year olds when she starts dating again? Then ask if she's considered gaining a few pounds because as Catherine Deanuve (sp?) said that once a woman reaches a certain age you choose between your ass and your face and you can always sit on your ass to hide it....

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  49. just tell her that she can take off a few pounds right away if she would just pick that large booger out of her left nostril.

    and then call her a skank whore :)

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  50. Rude bitch. Next time...

    "Why no I haven't gained weight, but you've certainly lost weight!Have you been tested lately for AIDS? You look like you're in the final stages. Maybe your husband brought home a 'present' for you and he should be tested too? Just a thought."

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  51. Ooooh, I second Christina_the_wench's comeback.

    I can't believe anyone would say that EVER. I don't care if I've gained 200 pounds...SHUT IT. I am aware of my weight, fuck you very much.

    Family is usually this type of culprit but just some asshat? Yikes. If you need someone to practice with for the quick and cutting comebacks, let me know! I need the help too.

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  52. I loved this post. You are too funny! Oh and I hate when things like that happen. I never have the right thing to say and it's usually too late by the time I've thought of it. You could try working on a really nasty glare - this way you don't have to say anything at all!

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  53. Tee hee hee. I think most of us can relate to that post.

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  54. One time I was doing stand-up comedy and a guy was heckling me. I hadn't been heckled in a very very long time so I had absolutely no retort until I finally responded with calling him "Pigfucker" to no response. That's what people pay the big admission price for folks. Pig fucker!

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  55. That's really horrible, you should have said, "And you need cosmetic surgery!"

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  56. Biiiitch!! Whatever, she must be really unhappy with her life. Damn bitch!

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  57. Oooh, ok! How 'bout this? (yes, I also had to think a while before coming up with anything)

    "Care to repeat that?" (cool stare)

    If she repeats it: Wow, you're rude! (big smile)

    If she does not repeat: Didn't think so! (big smile)

    I think people like that will torture themselves over any encounter if you end on a smile. :)

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  58. I think this woman means well, but if it were me I would stear clear of her as much as possible.

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  59. Great story! I'm not good with comeback lines that quick either. It all comes to me way too late.

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  60. I have a standard come-back line for stuff like that.

    "Wow. That was rude."

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  61. You could say, "Wow, I didn't know women get receeding hairlines. Hey did you know that they have hair plugs now?" That was too funny!

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  62. Oh my god! What a bitch! Unfortunately, there are women out there who enjoy victimizing other women for their own selfish purposes. Say no and keep on saying it. I hope you are able to find an opportunity to dazzle her with you rapier wit. The woman needs to be slammed in the worst way.

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  63. What a b*tch.

    Women like here are like legion where I live.

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  64. I'm weighing Skank ass ho bag vs. self-absorbed barbie. Can't decide which I like better.

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  65. LOL, I'm sorry I'm not laughing AT you but it was a great story. I have the slowest wit in the world! I am starting to write down the comebacks as I think of them and carry them on an index card in my purse. Yeah that'll shut them up, me reading from a cue card.

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  66. Mankind has battled with this problem since the dawn of time, but then they didn't have the insult-o-matic.

    I have the problem that sometimes I come out with a great comeback and regret it afterwards and other times I have your problem of coming up with the goods too late.

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  67. Bobita is right on - I immediately thought of the Seinfeld, "jerk store!" episode, so we know this is a problem as old as humanity as Rick28 has just pointed out. I once had a very classy co-worked who would say to rude comments (and it really is a "one-size-fits-all" comeback), "Wow. You must be really, really unhappy with yourself." And then walk away.

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  68. It was the perfect comeback. Deflective and reflexive. You did a good job thinking on your feet. She won't bother with the insults if you are unwilling to play that way. Very cool!
    And you have this wonderful blog to vent it all.

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  69. Besides, NOW you get even. You blog it..and say now what you couldn't say then. But you were a good model for your daughter...don't play her candy-ass games. Mean people are so not cool.

    How annoying.

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  70. I've got it..you look closely at her and say, "Oh, I see you had some work done! It makes you look so much [pause] bet- er- younger!"

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  71. If you wanted to take the high road, you could say "And I see you've lost any sense of social decorum or decency." But I think "Bite me, skank whore" is much better.

    Clearly this wenchbag has deep, deep problems and really we should all just feel sorry for her. But it's hard when someone acts like such a raging asshole!

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  72. Congrats of the perfect post award. I can see why you were honored with it.
    Wow, the gym-mom is a real gem. I'm glad you'll be prepared for your next encounter.

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  73. I find a simple, "What did you say?" and then if they have the balls to repeat it, a slightly wounded look and a "Wow. That's the rudest thing anyone's said to me in as long as I can remember!" works wonders...

    Congrats on your perfect post award! You deserve it!

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  74. Oh, how I love this post! I'm going to read it again after I vote for the "Bite me, skank whore" line. If you practice it enough, it will come out like butta. Maybe you could learn it in Spanish so you wouldn't feel rude but avenged for damn sure.

    Congrats on the Perfect Post Award. I fI would have read this, I would have awarded you myself!

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  75. Congrats on your well deserved award!

    I think this woman offered the worst insult that anyone could ever say to her because she was caught off guard when you called her out for her previous faux pas.

    She is not worth your time of day.

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  76. It totally reminds me of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes where George comes up with the perfect comeback and then tries to reorchestrate the scene so he can use it. "Oh yeah? Well the jerk store called and they're all out of you!" Hysterical!

    I do the same thing, and think of one after. It drives me nuts. I think saying something like, "And I see you're still a really tactless impolite gym-obsessed freak. Good day!"

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  77. Ho ass bitch. Sounds like she has the conversational skills of wet paper. I guess that's why she has to work out 3 hours a day, so she has SOMETHING to discuss. Skanky-skank-skankidee-skank-ho-skank-whore.

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  78. I am sorry this happened but I do love the way you tell it.

    My plan - Get a business car for a plastic surgeon. Next time you see her act all excited and say "Oh hi! I was hoping I would see you because I wanted to give you this card. From what I hear this doctor is great. With all the years the divorce has put on you, it cant hurt right?" *wink wink* "By the way - how's dating again at your age? Must be a bitch, huh? I am SOOOO glad my marriage didnt fall apart."

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  79. "...but I see you still haven't gained any tact. I'd be happy to give you a few pounds of mine, do you think you could manage not to burn them off this time?" Would have been mine.

    I generally am very uncouth in this situation and I say things like, "well, that was rude. why would you ever say something like that?"

    When wit fails due to absoulute horror, always fall back on honesty or pose a question.

    REMEMBER THIS.

    You can always say, "What do you mean?" while buying time. It puts people on the spot and makes them explain their rudeness.

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  80. paula preggers6/22/2006 10:01 AM

    The next time you see this woman, just look at her stomach or thighs with an almost amazed, disgusted look like they are growing in front of your eyes. Be pleasant. But even do a double take to "gawk" at a certain part of her body. Obviously she has issues and you staring at her like that will have her sleepless for days and she will remember the look on your face for years while she is in the gym beating herself up. She sounds like a real bitch. Be sweet to her but mess with her mind.

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  81. Dave Barry once wrote a great column on the problems of not having a great comeback ready. And I can really relate, although I do have a lot of fun telling my friends the rude comment WITH my brilliant comeback included after the fact. But you know, here in Mauritania (desert country where I live) to be told you've gained weight is actually one of the greatest compliments. No really. So live it up! Beam at her, tell her thanks, you've been trying to. Although I like a lot of the other options people have come up with...

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  82. I know this is an old post but a nice resounding bitch slap would have been sweet. Not to mention appropriately named.

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  83. How about, "You know, usually people that are as unattractive as you try to make up for it with personality."?

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