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Which are your favorite comments to tell at parties?
February 13, 2013 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Lots of comments and answers make for good cocktail party stories, bon mots and so on. For instance, this one is a personal favorite of mine to relate when people start talking about Dune. What are your favorite comments that make good telling-stories (and not just reading-stories)?
posted by griphus to MetaFilter-Related at 8:47 AM (116 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite

I heard about the salmon lasagna at a meetup.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:50 AM on February 13, 2013


You know, I was just thinking about this other day. A lot of times when I'm discussing something with friends, we'll be talking about it, and I'll say something to the effect of "Yeah, in the MetaFilter thread on this, someone made the joke blahblahblah".

This happens.....frequently.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:51 AM on February 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


It's not exactly party fodder, but I (typically not one for the sentimental stuff, but someone who is totally in love with her dog) have repeated this a few times for people in the last couple weeks:

Every time I lose a dog, he takes piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. Someday, my heart will be total dog and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving and forgiving.


That said, spec80's comment here is one of my all-time metafilter favorites, and I have related it to others a few times (as I sadly have no sneaking-out-as-a-teenager stories of my own to tell and have to live vicariously thorough others).
posted by phunniemee at 8:54 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've mentioned this comment a number of times IRL when folks are talking about NYC's G train. It's one of my all-time favorite comments, and lends itself well to telling IRL as you slowly let all emotions drop out of your face toward the end of it.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:55 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh hey, speaking of Greg Nog, I quote this all the time. No one ever gets it. I feel that context is unimportant when speaking in Morbo voice.
posted by phunniemee at 9:00 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


How did it not occur to me until right now that Morbo and Lrr have the same voice?
posted by griphus at 9:02 AM on February 13, 2013


I've told three blind mice's story about chess a few times (with attribution, of course).
posted by jedicus at 9:04 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, when talking to other mefites about deletions, I've frequently brought up my favorite deletion reason of all time: pure stunno.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:14 AM on February 13, 2013 [27 favorites]


Cortex has the best deletion reasons.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:17 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm gross and tell that "boy scouts peeing on a huge campfire" story whenever camping comes up.
posted by ifjuly at 9:18 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You have done exactly nothing right" need to be on a MeFi t-shirt.
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM on February 13, 2013 [24 favorites]


Can someone link to the salmon lasagna story? I have the haziest of memories of it. I remember it involved a shirt.
posted by sweetkid at 9:45 AM on February 13, 2013


I also remember it made me feel like a neat freak.
posted by sweetkid at 9:45 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Oops"
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thank you, griphus, for explaining a lot of the questions on AskMe. "I didn't know that salmon lasagna was under a pile of my laundry" is exactly it.
posted by xingcat at 10:10 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


At first, I wish we could favorite deletion reasons, but upon further reflection, I realized that this would lead to stunt deletions, with the young guns trying to out-do the old guard, and posts would get deleted just to flaunt an amazingly bad pun, or use a line recently heard in a movie.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:42 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am a bit chagrined at the number of times I told this one. I suppose if you tell it as a fiction it still makes a nice little story.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:45 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do hope Bow of Bows is still with her boyfriend, because, man those people were made for each other.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:46 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have tried and tried to tell Nattie's great story about her parrot, but I always give up halfway through and say "nah, I can't give it justice, just go ahead and read it."

In terms of what I tell others about Metafilter, it's mostly to back me up when I'm trying to convince someone of something. "The guy's a jerk, and I've seen this situation on Metafilter a million times, so trust me, he's a jerk." (The answer is then usually "well, my situation is unique," or "why are you giving me advice from people you've never met," so what do I know. But I always keep trying.)
posted by Melismata at 10:53 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do hope Bow of Bows is still with her boyfriend, because, man those people were made for each other.

That was my thought, and also the easygoing housemate who wasn't all EVICTION when she found out. I had a housemate who hauled me into the bathroom to yell at me about two streaks she found on the bathroom mirror and said "you call this 'cleaning the bathroom?"
posted by sweetkid at 11:06 AM on February 13, 2013


I had a housemate who hauled me into the bathroom to yell at me about two streaks she found on the bathroom mirror and said "you call this 'cleaning the bathroom?"

I had one with whom I thought I was getting on perfectly fine, until the one day she blew up at me about how she was the only one doing any of the cleaning. Turns out she had been dusting my spices and other things in my personal cupboard in the kitchen, and was counting the fact that I did not dust her spices in return against me.

My reaction was something along the lines of, 1) I had no idea you were dusting my spices and 2) who the fuck dusts spices.
posted by phunniemee at 11:14 AM on February 13, 2013 [29 favorites]


...So yeah, the easygoing housemate stood out for me, too. I'm no spice duster, but I have lived with hoarders, and the sitting and laughing instead of being HORRIFIED is just something that's completely unfathomable to me.
posted by phunniemee at 11:15 AM on February 13, 2013


"I had no idea you were dusting my spices" sounds like the key phrase in a really awesome spy movie.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on February 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


This comment, wherein the poster tells about almost getting murdered by meth king Jason Vorhees, is one of my go-tos. It escalates so well, and it lends itself to the sort of wild gesticulation that's necessary to keep the attention of a bunch of drunk people. Also, I guess I must have a lot of conversations about meth or gravity hills because I feel like I've been able to bring it up in a number of different contexts.
posted by invitapriore at 11:29 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I had a housemate who hauled me into the bathroom to yell at me about two streaks she found on the bathroom mirror and said "you call this 'cleaning the bathroom?"

Anyone else read that as "two steaks she found on the bathroom mirror"?
posted by heyho at 11:36 AM on February 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


I absolutely read it that way, heyho.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:38 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"dusting my spices" is going into the list of things that should be, but are unfortunately not (yet) euphemisms.
posted by eriko at 12:16 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Dusting my spices, making me a grilled cheese sandwich. I like it.
posted by Melismata at 12:20 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had one with whom I thought I was getting on perfectly fine, until the one day she blew up at me about how she was the only one doing any of the cleaning. Turns out she had been dusting my spices and other things in my personal cupboard in the kitchen, and was counting the fact that I did not dust her spices in return against me.


Ah. I have a theory which covers this: The Filth Level Theory

To wit: everyone has their own internal filth level, the point at which they walk in their house and say "holy shit this place is disgusting, I must clean."

For some people the filth level is "empty water glass on the coffee table, upside-down magazine on the couch." For other people it's "a roach just ran across the pizza." Most people are if course somewhere in between.

The difficulty arises in that when people room together, the person with the lower level always ends up cleaning, because the filth level of the apartment becomes intolerable to them before it even starts to bother the other person. And it drives them utterly batshit, and leads to unplumbed depths of resentment. Meanwhile the other person is blissfully inhabiting what is to them an acceptably clean apartment pretty much 100% of the time.

This problem is especially egregious freshman year of college, because within families the house is set to the filth level of the adult with the lowest tolerance, but they have the ability to compell the other members to adhere to that standard. So people may not even realise what their own level is until they get out on their own, and in the absence of compulsion a dorm room/share house will tend to drift toward the filth level of the most tolerant member.
posted by Diablevert at 12:24 PM on February 13, 2013 [56 favorites]


I had a housemate who hauled me into the bathroom to yell at me about two streaks she found on the bathroom mirror and said "you call this 'cleaning the bathroom?"

I once had a roommate who got me out of my room at night to point out a fork I did not wash to his standard of cleanliness.

Fortunately he replaced himself with a young woman who when she moved in told me "I like the kitchen and bathroom to be very clean, so don't bother cleaning them because I'll just have to do it over."
posted by griphus at 12:29 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The difficulty arises in that when people room together, the person with the lower level always ends up cleaning, because the filth level of the apartment becomes intolerable to them before it even starts to bother the other person.

This was one of the longstanding arguments of my first marriage, and one that I hashed out very early when starting to embark upon my second: The person with the higher standards is the one who cleans. The lower-standards person can start cleaning, but the higher-standards person will have to finish it, without saying, "See? This is how it should be," because the lower-standards person honestly doesn't see the difference.
posted by Etrigan at 12:37 PM on February 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Unfortunately that higher vs lower standards in cleaning thingy often seems pretty split along gender lines...
posted by MartinWisse at 12:53 PM on February 13, 2013


Unfortunately that higher vs lower standards in cleaning thingy often seems pretty split along gender lines...

An ex of mine was glass-of-water-upside-down-magazine level fastidious. He'd get so het up about keeping things neat and tidy that he'd actually clean up behind me as I was baking. I'd turn around to pick up the measuring cup I had just put down and it would already be in the dishwasher.
posted by phunniemee at 1:00 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The "how much does my head weigh" question, particularly the "You'd need to suspend yourself head-first in a vat of liquified heads to achieve neutral head buoyancy" solution is a favorite around these parts.
posted by usonian at 1:01 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately that higher vs lower standards in cleaning thingy often seems pretty split along gender lines...

One reason it is split along gender lines is that so often large percentages of the laundry, dishes, childcare, and various other house duties default to the female person....and it embitters you real quick to realize that you will always have to do a giant sink of other people's dishes before you cook the shared meal/clean the kitchen surfaces/etc because everyone else is too "laid back" to worry about a thing like a few dirty dishes. And similarly, when you're the one who has to pick up before relatives arrive, it gets real old real quick when everyone is too laid back to pick up their dirty socks, spare wrenches or whatever else they leave around the common area.

Living with three cis dudes has taught me a great deal about how much pre-work/invisible labor there is in things like cooking dinner and doing laundry, and the reason to keep the fucking place clean is the same as why you need to keep up with your work email - it sucks to have a hundred emails to wade through before you can start a project even if it was fun to ignore them for a while, and it sucks to have to wash the dishes, take out the garbage and fish the decaying vegetables out of the fridge before you can start making your lunches for the week.

It is also frustrating when "please do your dirty dishes and put away your laundry so that I don't have to deal with them/it before I do mine plus the stuff you've forgotten or refused to do" gets read as some kind of keerazy neatnik gender thing.
posted by Frowner at 1:04 PM on February 13, 2013 [24 favorites]


Yeah, but the hopefully the difference when you love someone and want them to be happy is that Party A will take the trouble to remember "oh right, it drives him nuts when I leave the kitchen cabinets open" and Party B will remember "she's good woman and I love her and so I'm not going to throttle her today despite the fact that she has once again left her toenail clippings on the bathroom floor, though I believe the UN has recognised that as a war crime." You can come to a truce.

Whereas with roommates everyone just gets stuck on ahhhshediditagain, christimgoingtokillher.
posted by Diablevert at 1:08 PM on February 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Yeah, but the hopefully the difference when you love someone and want them to be happy is that Party A will take the trouble to remember "oh right, it drives him nuts when I leave the kitchen cabinets open" and Party B will remember "she's good woman and I love her and so I'm not going to throttle her today despite the fact that she has once again left her toenail clippings on the bathroom floor, though I believe the UN has recognised that as a war crime." You can come to a truce.

There's a difference between those things and cleaning. Cleaning is what happens when your brain perceives "The bathroom is now dirty." You then proceed to "I must actively do something to render it clean." Not clipping your nails or closing cabinets is something you can remember to do, but not being able to clean to the same standard is because your brain just doesn't click its "dirty/clean" switch over to "dirty" or it clicks it back over to "clean" much earlier in the cleaning process.
posted by Etrigan at 1:15 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well it's not really one to "tell", but I do find myself saying BLAST HER kind of often.
posted by Katine at 1:21 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh lord that shirt-in-the-salmon story. Nothing like that AskMe to make me feel a little better about some of my own less-than-perfect housekeeping.

As to griphus' original question: I had to go back and look for it in my favourites, but I like this story about a MeFite's experience as a young girl competing to qualify for the National Nintendo Championship in Vancouver.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:43 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


He'd get so het up about keeping things neat and tidy that he'd actually clean up behind me as I was baking.

I am guilty of this. Drives my girlfriend nuts, but in my defense if I'm hanging out in the kitchen with her while she's baking I have to do something, so I'm usually cleaning up.

I have also been known to burn myself trying to clean the stove while I was actively cooking something on it.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:11 PM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's not a specific comment, but I've told the Scott Adams thread as a party anecdote.

(If you missed it, start here.)
posted by postcommunism at 2:31 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


My neatnik ex-boyfriend and I struggled with different cleanliness standards. He found compassion for my less-neat self when a fellow engineer asked him to stow the cookie he'd bought in the trunk of the car because otherwise it would "stink up the car, and I just cleaned it".
posted by ldthomps at 2:32 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have told friends the basic story behind Ode To A Buttered Cat and emailed several the poem. I'm thinking I may read it at Burns Night next year.
posted by maryr at 2:36 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've told the Scott Adams thread as a party anecdote.

Damn, I forgot how fast StrikeTheViol was with that reveal! Fucking jawsome. Man, what a great time.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:37 PM on February 13, 2013


I don't really understand how people are making these into party anecdotes though. Do you say..." hey, here's something I read on Metafilter?" Or do you say it happened to you? If I started telling a story about something that happened to this one guy in California with some ghost kids and a meth dealer, they would be like...uh sweetkid? Why are you telling this story that happened to someone else?

The only time I've ever discussed Metafilter at a party is when Sara C is also there because we know each other in the reals.
posted by sweetkid at 3:00 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand how people are making these into party anecdotes though.

I'm a little socially awkward when I actually think about the words coming out of my mouth tactically, so gushingly relating an anecdote works pretty well for me at a party (as does having a couple of drinks). And the way that usually works is I lurk in a conversation and maybe make a joke here and there and then someone says "blah blah blah cat" and at an appropriate lacuna I go "oh shit there was this story this lady told this time about buttering her cat and..." and there we go.

Or someone says "Dilbert" and I'm like "motherfuck Scott Adams, let me tell you about Scott Adams..."

Basically I do sort of a free-association Metafilter Comment Wikipedia Story Time thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:07 PM on February 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Or someone says "Dilbert" and I'm like "motherfuck Scott Adams, let me tell you about Scott Adams..."


This is pretty much my same input->output there verbatim. And I used to kind of like Dilbert.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:11 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually spent an hour at a party last weekend telling Metafilter anecdotes (which happens often - because of my schedule when I am at a party I am also usually at work, which I try to explain to people so they don't think I'm just That Asshole On Her Phone.) As I recall I covered the "sit or stand" question, the over vs. under toilet paper wars, the lady whose husband wouldn't shower ever, and whatever ridiculousness that had prompted me to yell "fuck" into the middle of an otherwise civil conversation. But there are always lots of options.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:16 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't really understand how people are making these into party anecdotes though. Do you say..." hey, here's something I read on Metafilter?" Or do you say it happened to you?

My friends basically all know about Metafilter by now and know that it's going to be a part of my conversation one way or another. If I'm talking to relative strangers I might say "a friend of mine" or "someone I know online..."
posted by Navelgazer at 3:21 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aah... so you guys are like REAL nerds (kidding! I'm kidding).
posted by sweetkid at 3:22 PM on February 13, 2013


I use air quotes.

This one person I "know" had a cat who peed into a hot toaster! More than once!

One of my "friends" had an idea to glue little googly eyes all over his wife's veggies in the garden while she was away.

I hear tell that some "people" stand up to wipe after using the... *shudder*
posted by heyho at 3:26 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know we've talked about this before, but whenever I try to explain Metafilter to people they look at me like I'm nuts. Reddit they're fine with. Who knows.
posted by sweetkid at 3:32 PM on February 13, 2013


I just refer to either "this dude/lady I know" or "someone from a forum I'm on" depending on how much explaining I would have to do for the latter.
posted by griphus at 3:44 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm a little socially awkward when I actually think about the words coming out of my mouth tactically,

Having met you twice, I say this with all adoring love and affection: YOU SIR ARE A LIAR.
posted by scody at 3:58 PM on February 13, 2013


Metafilter: motherfuck Scott Adams, let me tell you about Scott Adams...
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:59 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I tell this joke about statues in the park (from the Dirty Jokes for Grandma thread) ALL THE TIME.
posted by carsonb at 4:01 PM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


YOU SIR ARE A LIAR.

About the "awkward" or the "little"?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:03 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, don't get me wrong: I can forget myself pretty well and just be a bouncy happy dingus around people I know and/or trust, and I'm happy to say that mefites are collectively by far the biggest group of people in my life for whom that is automatically the case. With mefites, even in the slow early "we're all still quite sober, aren't we" mumbleshuffle bits of a get-together there's a nice sense of all being in the same dorky boat that makes it not weird, for me at least.

But that's a big part of why I love meetups: because they don't feel like going to a party at a friend's place where it's the friend who invited me, a bunch of his friends that I don't really know, and me torn between wanting to dominate my friend's time because I actually know him and not wanting to be that guy who keeps following the host around and listening to his conversations.

Basically I warm up real good but I'm terrible at breaking the ice. Being able to crack out a weird story about this one thing that one time without having to be able to relate it specifically to a shared experience or understanding with the relative stranger I'm talking to is as handy of a workaround as I've got and can sort of lead into a "oh, my job, it is weird" followup too.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:09 PM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Diablevert, Miss Manners subscribes to your theory, and decrees that the higher standard of clean must be adhered to by the one with the more extreme Filth Level.
posted by theora55 at 4:38 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I re-tell a story from MeFi, like the excellent hotel soap story from herrdoktor, I just say it's somebody I know. People on MeFi are as real as the rest of the lovable weirdos in my life. It's boring to explain the Internet, to say nothing of MeFi, to civilians.
posted by theora55 at 4:52 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I tend to just quote my own brilliant comments and then say I read them on the internet somewhere, which isn't a complete lie.
posted by philip-random at 5:39 PM on February 13, 2013


I tell the lonely whale story just so I can repeat (with attribution) Greg Nog's incredible "unbearable sadness" meme. In order to link to it, I had to look it up and read it again. It's still pretty great.

And yeah, I usually just say "My friend once..." or "This guy/girl I know..." or whatever. On occasion, someone will ask me, "Wait, who do *you* know who's an ex-carnie nuclear physicist with world records in yo-yoing and snail racing?" and then I have to say, "Well, internet friend. Anyway, so they're approaching the fabled drowned city of Atlantis, right?"
posted by Errant at 6:16 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are a couple of people here who are SO F'ING FUNNY to me that I can barely repeat their hilarious comments to others without losing it and having to pause to cackle. A few of my favorites:

ND¢, and why I like to exclaim, "Damn you, cake-ruining lady!!!" just... whenever.

Greg Nog: geese are assholes. Bonus: my favorite Greg Nog comment ever, which I look at now and again when I feel like choking on my own breath.

These comments from the Ikea monkey-in-a-coat thread helped me through the holiday season.

elizardbits only writes amusing things, but now that I've had my reproductive system removed, I share her advice for period-hacking instead of my own.

And, ohmygod, the banjo. There's the set-up and then some of the absolute jewels in reply. Perfection.
posted by houseofdanie at 6:56 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


The queue jumping story is one of my favourites and goes well as a story involving an "acquaintance" of mine, told in situations where some altruistic punishment would be particularly sweet.
posted by mosessis at 7:26 PM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not at a party. But a few years ago, a friend asked me if her friend could stay on my couch for a week or so for, y'know, reasons. The two of us got along well and went to a play in the park. While we were waiting for it to start, we were hanging out, swapping stories of travel and childhood and all that jazz that new acquaintances do.

And as luck would have it, earlier in the week I had memorized kenko's masterpiece of a shaggy-dog pun. Pulled it off without a hitch. Got a minute of blnak stare followed by "I cannot believe you spent so long telling a pun."

Thanks, Kenko! Friendship secured!
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:37 PM on February 13, 2013


Hey! Thanks!

I have written many shaggy-dog puns (of which this is the latest, but I assume you meant this guy from MeTa?
posted by kenko at 8:33 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


bouncy happy dingus has been stuck in my head for hours
posted by sweetkid at 8:37 PM on February 13, 2013


I'm a little socially awkward when I actually think about the words coming out of my mouth tactically,

Having met you twice, I say this with all adoring love and affection: YOU SIR ARE A LIAR


No, it's true and actually quite cute! Cortex In Real Life is a sweet nerd who deep down doesn't get that he's, you know, famous. And the thing that's funny, is that even a casual Mefite has enough Cortex fluency to engage him and he opens right up.

I used really great scotch.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:48 PM on February 13, 2013


I have also been known to burn myself trying to clean the stove while I was actively cooking something on it.

I am so glad I'm not the only one. I'm not a clean-freak by any stretch of the imagination (there has to be actual sewage in the bathroom before I will clean it), but something about kitchen messes gives me the twitches.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:18 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


something about kitchen messes gives me the twitches.

Early on in my bachelor life, I realized that if your kitchen and bathroom are in good shape, guests will forgive anything else. I did my best to stick to this, and a later girlfriend once marvelled that she had "never met a straight guy with a kitchen this clean."

I totally endorse diablevert's filth level idea, but I think there may be a couple of different axes here (axes as in plural of axis, not plural of axe; that would be a different thing): there is mere disorder -- your magazine upside-down on the couch -- and actual filth -- your salmon lasagna under the bed for a week. I have a relatively high tolerance for disorder, but a low one for biohazards. The last dozen books I read are still strewn about my bedroom, I have clean and folded laundry sitting in hampers for weeks at a time waiting to be hung up (or more often, just worn again), but food left unattended for more than an hour or three sets off alarm bells in my head.

I have really only actively cut ties with one person in my adult life: this was someone I knew with serious emotional problems, notions of interpersonal relationships formed by the later work of Robert A Heinlein, and a filth level surpassing that of anyone I know.

Twenty-five years ago when I knew him, the clutter of his apartment was a thing of legend among his circle of friends. To sit on the couch, you would have to shift stuff aside, and to reach the couch, you would walk across a floor ankle-deep in computer magazines, VHS boxes empty of their tapes, food wrappers, and orphaned floppy disks.

Two instances of his housekeeping stand out for me: once, he had invited another friend and me over to watch some movie. I can even tell you what day of the year this was, because I recall that the day before I had been at my mother's birthday dinner. I had ordered a cake for my mom, but when I turned up to pick up the cake, I learned that the bakery closed an hour before I had thought they did and I found myself peering into a locked, darkened storefront. I went off and grabbed a cake from the supermarket in its place, and all was well. The following day when two of us were en route to the third guy's place, I remembered that this cake was still paid for and awaiting me; I figured I might as well pick it up and we would order a pizza or something and have cake afterwards. I did so, we had pizza and later some cake and watched our movie. This was a full cake and there were only three of us, so at least half of it was left over. I left the cake there for him to have more as best suited him.

My mom's birthday is around Christmas. The following October, the dusty cake was still sitting there in the guy's apartment, balanced atop a shelf. For me, even as a young bachelor, leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight was pushing it. Leaving food rotting in your living room for a year was beyond the pale.

The second incident was when I was visiting this guy's house once and needed to borrow his phone. He had lost the cordless phone in the clutter somewhere so he directed me to the corded phone in his shambles of a bedroom. The only clear spot was the bed, and it seemed evident that his girlfriend had stayed recently when her period had arrived unexpectedly, to judge from the sheets. I stood to make my call.

Three months later, I once again needed to use his phone. The sheets were still unchanged.

Anyway, dude is now shacked up with someone, I hear. I assume that either she has elevated his housekeeping or else she is just as tolerant of it as he. Either way, good on him.

---

Anyway, as regards the original question: I have told more than one person Nattie's story of Bongo. And although I fear I cannot do it justice, I have mentioned dancestoblue's death by heart attack. And I only wish I had more occasions to quote anastasiav's "I'm trying to imagine a way that a single cow could become a threat, or somehow dishonor you," in the Man Vs Cow askme.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:29 AM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


I totally endorse diablevert's filth level idea, but I think there may be a couple of different axes here (axes as in plural of axis, not plural of axe; that would be a different thing): there is mere disorder -- your magazine upside-down on the couch -- and actual filth -- your salmon lasagna under the bed for a week.

I totally agree with this. I am distressingly tolerant of filth, for whatever reason, but if you move any of my books I will end you.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:47 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


These are my favorite MeTa threads because I always find new and interesting things to read I never saw before. Keep being awesome, you guys.
posted by jillithd at 9:48 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am still looking forward to the day I can use the phrase "NOW WE'RE MOVIEMAKING!"
posted by griphus at 9:50 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"oh right, it drives him nuts when I leave the kitchen cabinets open"

I need this explained to me please. WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN. You open it, you take something out, why don't you close it? I mean, YOU'RE RIGHT THERE. I'm not obsessive about cleaning but boy does this drive me batshit.
posted by young sister beacon at 10:21 AM on February 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN.

There's lots of reasons, most of them involving "WHY DOES IT BUG YOU SO MUCH."

But for reals, here's reasons I have left them open in the past (and been yelled at):
I'm going to put the cereal back as soon as I pour it in the bowl.
I did, but it doesn't shut all the way every time (and/or it bounces back open like half an inch) and I don't feel like turning back around after I've started walking across the kitchen.
It's not in anyone's way, so I don't see any particular reason that one has to be shut.
To remind me that I need to run the dishwasher because we're out of bowls.

Also, it's one of those things that some people genuinely don't notice. Is there a good reason that those people should train themselves to notice it, as opposed to people that it drives batshit training themselves not to be driven batshit about it?
posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on February 14, 2013


There's lots of reasons, most of them involving "WHY DOES IT BUG YOU SO MUCH."

Cats, spiders, small children and other tiny creatures man. You fish one deadly spider out of your coffee cup, you get a bit tetchy about this.
posted by Jilder at 10:40 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cats and children I can see. Do you really think that shutting a cabinet door will keep out a spider? Or, for that matter, any sort of vermin? If it were that easy, they wouldn't be able to get into the house.
posted by Etrigan at 10:45 AM on February 14, 2013


Do you really think that shutting a cabinet door will keep out a spider?

lol spiders can't open doors they have no thumbs duh.


Here's why I don't close cabinet doors:

My dad is a woodworker-for-hobby guy, and build most of the shelving and cabinets in our house. Any time he'd hear a door slam (he had super hearing for this, and could be up in his bathroom taking a bath and STILL hear it all the way downstairs) he'd yell at us to be more gentle with the doors, we didn't make the doors, we didn't buy the doors, we have no respect, one day it's just going to break and then where will we be, etc. So my brother and I got in the habit of closing cabinet doors with juuuuust enough oomph to not-quite-close them. Door doesn't close? Door doesn't slam.

Our cabinet hinges were (as you can imagine) kept in tip-top shape, so it didn't take much. Other cabinet doors are not so lucky. My muscle-memory oomph only goes so far. Hence the open cabinet doors.

I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY, DAD.
posted by phunniemee at 11:14 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


the lady whose husband wouldn't shower ever

I request a link. Or an Oliver Sacks book.
posted by brainwane at 11:18 AM on February 14, 2013


There's this one and I seem to recall another where the husband's hygeine was causing actual health problems for his wife (such that the answers were "tell him he is not allowed to touch you until he scrubs that thing") but I can't find it right offhand.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:22 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN.

I'm blanking out on this one. What is the unit of human movements? Like if it takes 7 DISCREET movements to take a sip of coffee (locate mug, clasp mug in hand, move mug to lips, sip, put down mug, unclasp hand, move hand away)... It has a name and I'm blanking on it.

Anyway, that's why when I build a house it's not going to have cabinets at all and it will be so beautiful.

Bonus points because the open/closed thing becomes moot.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:24 AM on February 14, 2013


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN.

If I did this, my cats would be like YAY IT IS A PARTY IN THE KITCHEN. I WILL OPEN THE CRACKERS AND OATMEAL, YOU KNOCK DOWN ALL THE SPICES KAY? I AM OLDER THAN YOU SO I CAN SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THE SPICES WILL ROLL AROUND MOST PLEASINGLY.
posted by sweetkid at 11:28 AM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN.

Oooh! I know this one!

It is because they've never cracked their skull on an open cabinet door. Only takes one time to become an habitual cabinet-door-closer.
posted by trinity8-director at 11:35 AM on February 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


There's the smelly junk thread, of course.
posted by Melismata at 11:37 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN

Because the goal of the task I was completing was not to open and shut the cabinet but to fetch something from the cabinet. Having accomplished that task, the cabinet door - which I may have only noticed in passing, if at all - becomes invisible to me, along with it's open or shut status.

Next you're going to ask me why I slammed the cabinet door/drawer shut. And to that I answer, "Did I?"

Yes, I do tend to focus on the task at hand. Why do you ask?
posted by jillithd at 11:38 AM on February 14, 2013


Oh yes, and my cat opens the cabinet doors all by herself. It's the funniest thing to watch. She sits up on her haunches, puts one paw in the handle and the other paw on the opening edge of the door and leans back. She is notorious for not closing cabinet doors behind her. Sometimes we don't even notice until we go in the bathroom and try to close the door only to find the cabinet door is open and in the way.

The cat is obviously very proud of her skills.
posted by jillithd at 11:40 AM on February 14, 2013


I tell people about the horrible relationship questions often. For example, when I had a friend complaining about her boyfriend doing something pretty minor and not that bad, I was all "Dude, just be glad you don't have the problem of him being really unclean and always leaving skid marks on his underpants."

yeah... The green is the best source of "Your boyfriend/girlfriend isn't that bad so quit yer bellyachin' already" material.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:57 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN.

There's lots of reasons, most of them involving "WHY DOES IT BUG YOU SO MUCH."


You say that as if you have two functioning eyes. It bugs me when people leave cupboards open because F*CKING OUCH! MY HEAD/FACE!"
posted by heyho at 12:17 PM on February 14, 2013


There are a lot of housekeeping details that some people genuinely don't notice. I am by no means a clean person and grew up with dogs that were always being let in and out of the house - I genuinely do not notice how dirty our floors are most of the time. That said, my roommate regularly sweeps out her room, but I cannot get her to stop spitting toothpaste on our bathroom tap. I presume she just never notices the dried toothpaste bits just sitting there in plain view oh my lord just wipe it down! because she never comments when I clean. Similarly, she cleans dishes more promptly than I do (in my defense, I rinse and soak!), but she doesn't clean them very well (blue soap still on dish in drying rack, for example). I know she doesn't notice this because she puts them away like that and then uses them again.

My roommate and I generally get on very well - she knew I was cluttered when she moved in and neither of us have guests over very often. Our level of filth-toleration matches up very well. I wished it overlapped less sometimes because I often have little motivation to, say, remove my 4 pairs of boots (that's 8 boots) from the living room until I've tripped over them. But we both have clear holes that we both mostly keep quiet about. I just keep cleaning the bathroom sink. She keeps sweeping. It works out.
posted by maryr at 12:49 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


(That said, god help me if I fall for a fussy man. That relationship is doomed.)
posted by maryr at 12:51 PM on February 14, 2013


WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE THE KITCHEN CABINETS OPEN.

My dad shrugs and says, "If you close them, you just have to open them again."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:29 PM on February 14, 2013


ugh, I didn't know there were so many open cabinet people out there.
posted by sweetkid at 1:37 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Boundaries Are False Constructs And The Ultimate Nature Of Kitchen Is Permeability
posted by Greg Nog at 1:39 PM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


There's the smelly junk thread, of course.

Yes! That was totally the other one I was thinking of.

My cabinets are often randomly open because my younger cat figured out how to open them. She never closes them behind her, of course. (I do close them when I see them, though. My place is too small to leave them if I want to do things like get to the toilet or the kitchen sink.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:54 PM on February 14, 2013


I feel like an askme about how to keep cats from opening cabinets is not far off. If it turns out I'm right then let's make it a good one!
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:57 PM on February 14, 2013


just can none of your cats teach my cats this please
posted by sweetkid at 1:58 PM on February 14, 2013


My cat can't even teach my other cat how to do it. I think you're probably safe.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:59 PM on February 14, 2013


My dad shrugs and says, "If you close them, you just have to open them again."

This is why I don't make my bed or untie my shoes. Your dad is a wise man.
posted by phunniemee at 2:00 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


just can none of your cats teach my cats this please

Your cat should hang out with my dog for the afternoon. Doors are so abstract a concept to him that he regularly runs into them.

Oh yeah also a couple weekends ago he got trapped in a relatively wide-open space because my friend put her purse down near him and he couldn't figure out how to get around it. I only noticed because he was yelping and whining for no apparent reason. Moved the purse and he happily trotted away.

He's dumb.
posted by phunniemee at 2:03 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


My dad shrugs and says, "If you close them, you just have to open them again."

This is why I don't make my bed or untie my shoes. Your dad is a wise man.


Don't know if snark or serious but my granny once told me (wisely I must add) that she realized that folding up her glasses when she went to bed each night was unnecessary and probably the main cause of wear and tear on the hinges. I haven't folded mine up for bed since....*

*Before you respond in disagreement, please remember: My Granny can do no WRONG! You have been warned.
posted by RolandOfEld at 2:07 PM on February 14, 2013


Oh! Regarding the original topic of this post, I can be deeply at odds with the Tao in the ways that I will try to manipulate a conversation into a state that makes it appropriate to introduce the idea of song prequels, of which "Boy I'm Glad I Finally Got All Those Dogs Inside" is and will remain the best example.
posted by invitapriore at 2:32 PM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is why I don't make my bed or untie my shoes. Your dad is a wise man.

Don't know if snark or serious but my granny once told me (wisely I must add) that she realized that folding up her glasses when she went to bed each night was unnecessary and probably the main cause of wear and tear on the hinges. I haven't folded mine up for bed since....*


Well, as mentioned way upthread, I have a fair tolerance for low-level entropy around the house. I don't make my bed, unless there is company likely to get the grand tour, or when I have just changed the sheets. What would be the point, precisely? I have known people (more to the point, women) who have a vast array of decorative pillows and throws and stuffed animals that they faithfully take off the bed every night and then carefully replace each morning, 365 times a year and evidently plan to do this until someone shovels the dirt on them.

And yes, I have worn specs for thirty years and have never folded them up at night. What would be gained, precisely, by doing this?

Anyway, the combination of tolerance for some disorder and vast, epic laziness leads me to be at odds with many people around me. I have relatives who have since forever had a small shelf unit in the front hall where people leave their shoes when they enter (yes, people do this in Canada). From the dawn of time until two years ago this was an open shelf, but after some renovations it is now enclosed with swinging cabinet doors. Only thing is there are a half-dozen small items which are kept near the front door in front of the shelf. These used to be stored on the floor in front of the open shelf and now they are stored in front of the doors, which mean that every time anyone enters or leaves, these half dozen items have to get transferred somewhere else. And then faithfully transferred back. These things are ever used that I can see, but everyone carefully spends many hours moving them back and forth.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:12 PM on February 14, 2013


Only thing is there are a half-dozen small items which are kept near the front door in front of the shelf.

Stop right there. Putting things in front of frequently operated doors should be a violation of the Geneva Convention.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:29 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, making the bed to any extent beyond just making sure that the covers are not in a sub-optimally knotted arrangement might as well be Victorian to me in its unjustifiable adherence to a rigid code with no discernable metaphysical backing.
posted by invitapriore at 6:36 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's lots of reasons, most of them involving "WHY DOES IT BUG YOU SO MUCH."

Because my roommate opened the cabinet when my back was turned, left it open as usual and when I turned around I walked straight into a space that should normally be empty, banged my head on the cabinet door hard enough to knock me backwards onto my ass and goddamn near knocked myself out.

Don't know if that counts as a good enough reason for you now but I bet it will the first time you crack your head open on a cabinet door.
posted by young sister beacon at 7:01 PM on February 14, 2013


Don't know if that counts as a good enough reason for you now but I bet it will the first time you crack your head open on a cabinet door.

I walk into things all the time, but I don't blame other people for not being anal-retentive about keeping my surroundings consistent enough that I don't have to look where I'm going.
posted by Etrigan at 7:10 PM on February 14, 2013


Keeping kitchen cabinets closed is anal retentive? Man I always thought I was basically a slob but this is a whole new level.
posted by sweetkid at 7:13 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I walk into things all the time, but I don't blame other people for not being anal-retentive about keeping my surroundings consistent enough that I don't have to look where I'm going.

Duder. I have been known to absentmindedly leave a cabinet door or two open in my time, but I've never blamed the victim of a door banging for their pain. Unless your kitchen is so vast you can walk around while maintaining three feet of space between you and the counters at all times, not leaving pointy things in the places where heads go is common courtesy.

If someone were to step on a Lego barefoot in your house, do you blame them for not turning on all the lights clearing a path with a push broom before heading for the bathroom in the middle of the night?
posted by Diablevert at 7:36 PM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Late entry: the time Adam Savage told someone how to pick the lock on their boss' house is perfectly illustrative of the amazingosity of this place to strangers at a cocktail party.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:00 PM on February 14, 2013


Why would cabinets even have doors on them if they were meant to be open to the world, with all their junk hanging out there in the wind?
posted by misha at 1:59 PM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's just the sort of argument I'd expect from a footsoldier of the pantsriarchy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:12 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]



My cat can't even teach my other cat how to do it. I think you're probably safe.


Cats make terrible mentors.
posted by maryr at 9:44 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, yeah, I haven't been sure whether to say this, but I am Bows of Bow's housemate. I agree that it is a hilarious story (it still makes me laugh now), but I do want to counter the perception that I am a long-suffering saint. BoB and her boyfriend are two of my best friends in the world, and although their lives have been difficult and sad in many ways, they have been incredibly kind and caring towards me in ways that have taken my breath away. I've written a bit about Boyfriend here and about our setup here. BoB is a compassionate, loving person who's taught me a great deal about emotional openness and honesty. She works with people who have complex and severe mental health problems, and the fact that she can empathise with a lot of what they go through and not judge them is absolutely pivotal to her work. She and boyfriend absolutely deserve each other, because they're both wonderful, caring people with big hearts. Living with them has meant lowering my expectations for a clean home, but also raising my expectations for love and warmth and compassion. I don't want to stop the lulz, but before you judge them, please remember that there is more to a person's life than one plate of mouldy salmon.
posted by Acheman at 10:50 AM on February 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


Well! That is wonderful to hear, and makes me like them even more than I did due to the question (which I already found hella endearing, as leaving a plate of salmon lasagna on the floor is mos def a thing I would do)

(though in my case, the cats would probably consume it before it had had a chance to accrue mold)
posted by Greg Nog at 1:58 PM on February 16, 2013


I removed the doors on the dish cabinet a year ago. Couple of screws, easier dish replacement, no head banging, no roommate commentary. Actually quite aesthetically pleasing, get to display my kombucha brewing rotation on the top shelf.
posted by burntbook at 9:42 AM on February 18, 2013


My girlfriend still occasionally makes the mistake of asking me what I'm thinking.
posted by whuppy at 10:12 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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