Posted by: GeekHiker | April 17, 2008

Statements That Last

There was a discussion at work today about things that had been said to us that we’ve never forgotten. You know, when someone says something to you that they themselves didn’t think were consequential, but impacted you in a way that you never forgot.

For most of us, we remembered things that don’t really influence us anymore, but at the time were so profound that they seared their way into our memories forever.

For me, I came up with two:

“I don’t want to call you stupid, so I’m just going to call you lazy.”

This was said, believe it or not, to me by a professor in college.

I was taking a computer programming class and, even though the programming was relatively straightforward, I just wasn’t getting the swing of it. My Dad was a programmer, and he can think in that kind of logical, ordered way. I just can’t, which I think helps me in my current position where sometimes being able to think a little “outside the box” is a good thing.

The result was a lot of time in the professor’s office during his open-office hours, trying to understand this bizarre thing called Modula-2. He no doubt said it out of sheer frustration with the fact that I. Just. Wasn’t. Getting. It.

I mean, it didn’t have a lasting effect and I know I’m not stupid (well, not in that area, at least). Still, I’ve certainly never forgotten it.

The irony? Today I run a computer network. And I still can’t program worth shit. 🙂

* * *

“It’s not like I was looking for a male model, but…”

This was said to me by a girl who dumped me years and years ago, during “that conversation”. Interestingly, that was the whole statement, the sentence just kind of faded out. Now whether she just didn’t know what to say after that or she consciously realized that she was saying something that would be like driving a proverbial knife into my self-esteem, who can say?

On the whole, I don’t have a problem with the idea: if a woman doesn’t find me attractive well, yeah, sure, fine, whatever. But you gotta love that delivery.

On the plus side, it did teach me a very important lesson: always exchange pictures first and avoid blind dates.

And learning is good.

Feel free to share, if ya like…



  1. Did your prof apologize for that???? Time for retirement me thinks.

    Male models are often bubble heads and I’d choose your looks AND brains over that any day.
    *cheek pinch*

    I can’t share the things that stuck with me.

  2. Well, at least you can REMEMBER what people say….

  3. I have a sad story and it was the other way around. It was something that *I* had said that was carried by the other party.

    One day in college my sister and I were getting drunk and putting on eyeliner…because that was what we did when we were drunk — we gathered next to a mirror and put on lots of beautiful, black eyeliner. Sometimes our lines were a little more steady that others…depending on the drinks. 🙂

    Anyway, one day we were eyelinering it up and all of a sudden my sister threw down her arms and exclaimed, “Awww! I’m fat! Just like you and Jay always said I was!!!!”

    Jay would be my brother. And the statements she was referring to was nearly 15 years earlier… when we were all three just children.

    And I don’t think my sister ever was fat! My brother and I were both extremely skinny as children and we were both blond. My sister had a healthier weight and brunette hair, so we used to pick on her because of those differences. “Haha– you’re adopted!” was another one (she wasn’t).

    Anyway, it’s now been 15 years from the eyeliner revelation and I still feel horrible for those things that I said as a stupid, little, thoughtless kid, that my sister ended up carrying into adulthood.

    How could you ever apologize enough for that?

  4. My family has a tendency to go, “oh cripkitty (insert real name there)”. In that sigh, Sarah Bernhardt type way. I have always had a flare for the dramatic. Every time (and it still happens to this day) that they say that now…I’m like…”Look, I’m sensitive, get over it.”


    Second…more work related, like you. I had a professor in college that said to me, “You know, there’s no point in you thinking about going to graduate school. People like you (loved that) don’t go to grad school and run labs, they become techs, and just enjoy a mediocre lifestyle.”

    Mediocre my butt. So, about a year ago, I was at my alma mater (my bf is a phd candidate there) and there she was. “Oh, how are you?” She exclaimed, and I said…

    “Fantastic, I’m a 2nd year toxicology GRADUATE student.”

    That was enough for her to get the point.

  5. Or the proverbial “think before you speak.”

  6. Kids have a great way of saying things that stick. When I was in my late teens or early twenties, a little girl told me that I had “a tall nose.” I haven’t looked at my schnoz the same since.

  7. – My dad, in all seriousness, calling me Weird. I wasn’t very happy about it and our relationship never was the same. Of course now I’m proud to be called weird.

    – When pointing out a mid-term test grading error, my English teacher asked me if I’d changed my answer. He was suggesting that I cheated. After that I redoubled my efforts and by then end of the year I was impressing him … hey?!? I bet he said that to get me to work harder! Dang, I hate to be manipulated like that.

  8. Well, this has certainly generated some really fascinating responses!

    Just A Girl – nope. He was in his late fifties at the time, so I assume he’s retired by now (this was… oh, never mind how many years ago). Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    S E E Quine – First, welcome to the site! True, but oddly, my short-term memory sucks!

    Tgaw – Oh, my dear. Do you still offer apologies to her? Does she still think about it? I hope you’re able to resolve your feelings about it all someday. Thanks for sharing.

    Cripkitty – Did she remember what she had said and feel suitably embarrassed? Thanks for sharing too.

    A-Ron – True, though your comment made me think about the fact that I’ve probably done the same thing to someone else at some point in my life. I wonder what it was…

    Mel Heth – Oh, kids can be just evil sometimes, can’t they? Truth is, I like variety, and there’s very few noses I don’t think are interesting. And yours is lovely.

    Homer-Dog – You weirdo. 😉 LOL, I hate when teachers do that to you!

  9. @geekhiker – Actually after I posted my comment, I emailed my sister. It sounds like I have been forgiven. 🙂

  10. tgaw – Very cool! I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂

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