Things that confuse me.

1. Food that is labeled with a "sell by" date but has no "eat by" date, or even a "after having bought on time, don't let sit around for more than..." label. After all, isn't the important thing how long a food sits before you EAT it? Not how long it sits before you buy it? What if I find something in my fridge that has a "sell by" date of long ago. Maybe its just been in the fridge a long time, but assuming I bought it before the "sell by" date, is it therefore good for eternity?

2. People who use rhetorical questions as greetings even though in every other context ever, the question would not be rhetorical. Namely, people who say "How ya doing." as a greeting, and all that they really mean is "hello," they don't actually expect you to tell them how you are doing. Now, I know this is not really that new of a phenomenon, and you'd think I'd have figured out how to cope with it by now. But I haven't. I still get confused. What if it is a person I know, but they are walking past and show no signs of slowing down? I know them, so it would be natural for them to care about how I'm doing, but they look like they're going to cruise by without stopping to chat, so maybe its just a formality. I don't know. I hate these situations. I don't want to be this guy.

3. This one might be peculiar to the south, but a lot of people around here ask "where are you from" an awfully lot. It seems to be the standard question right after "what is your name?" when you meet somebody. Now again, this seems straightforward, but I never now if they are asking "where do you live?" which would be a logical question, I live in Greenwood. Or are they wanting to know where I am originally from? And I hate being asked where I am originally from. Do they want to know where I was born? What a strange thing to ask. I do have 30 years of life history that is slightly more relevant to who I am today than the location of my birth. I think this would be easier if I had spent a majority of my life in one place, but I haven't. I was born in Illinois, if you must know. But I have also spent large church of time in Missouri, Colorado, California(northern and southern), and South Carolina. So I never really feel like telling someone that I am from Illinois tells them anything about me. I think that in a small town in the south people just assume that everyone is from somewhere around here, and they want to know what township within 50 miles of Greenwood am I from.


Ken Shomo said…
1. The rule of thumb here is to avoid using, in a casserole, mayonnaise that has a sell by date of a year ago. I tried this, and eventually had to decide, "Yeah, I guess I better not bring that to the potluck."

2. That's a very funny link.

3. I ask that question of people. Well, actually, I ask, "How long have you lived in the area?" It's a very transient (military) community. I've lived so many other places that I can usually relate to their previous locale, share anecdotes, and basically be that guy at the water cooler...
Anonymous said…
or maybe some top of the head mottos to follow
"If it aint movin start to chewin"
"If it aint moldy eat it boldly"
or hmmm...
I guess Im out..
Alex said…
In the UK, food has (generally) a sell-by date and a use-by date, which is usually 2-3 days after the sell-by date.

I guess we're just clever like that!
Ed said…
Jeff, we generally mean "where do you live?" or "where are you living now?"

I guess you can attribute this question to the more agrarian backgrounds of the south, where "where are you from?" meant "which neck of the woods did you come from to get here today?" It's easy to figure that someone isn't from right down the road, since a lot of folks do live a bit away from where they might find themselves.

Contrast this to larger cities (of which there are few in the south), where chances are that anyone you encounter is also from the city where you are.

Another comparison-- this is akin to saying "we live in U City" or "our house is in Dogtown" in St. Louis. In a sprawling area, it's highly possible that someone doesn't "live" where you do, even though St. Louis is (allegedly) one big city.

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