The Obvi Guide to Life for People Who Don’t Get it


April 3, 2014 by Katia

– Hellooooo!

*channeling my positive neighbour Jim, the retiree*

Your turn. Make it your own. Go!

See? It’s pretty simple.

Homework: memorize and implement.

I never understood what the big deal was about responding with a simple “hello” to a child’s greeting. I see my extremely outgoing four-year-old put himself out there in search of interaction and his quest is usually rewarded with conversation, but every once in a while a grownup or another kid won’t so much as acknowledge his “hello” and as his mom and a fellow human being I find myself thinking – shall we go with – NOT COOL! And then I remind myself “chill, IAMTHEMILK, not everybody in this world flushes” and then it all starts making more sense.

Seeing that we live in a world where this is necessary:



I’ve compiled a list with some rules of thumb that you can’t go wrong with. I’ve also categorized them for your convenience. You’re welcome.



1. Miscellaneous: Always flush. Always. There is absolutely no reason to not flush.

2. Transportation: Let people OFF of the train first. It’s easier to charge in when no one is getting in your way. The same goes for the elevator. Really.

3. While you’re on the train you might want to consider giving up your seat for the pregnant lady, elderly person or person with disability.

4. Common Decency: “Guess how old I am” is not a fun thing to play. Not for anyone involved.

5. And while we’re on that topic, please don’t ask me “remember how twenty years ago…” or even put “twenty years ago” anywhere near my name, k? thx.

6. Please do not telemarket.

7. Career: Please do not pair your Uggs with yoga pants and wear for a job interview, but you should also consider not pairing your yoga pants with a blazer. The privilege of that look is reserved for people with a table covering their nether parts, like news anchors.

8. Oh no you didn’t!!!: No drilling, vacuuming, construction work or barking should ever occur while the baby is sleeping.

9. Relationships: Never assume that male + female = the basic fit is there, we can work out the rest.

10. Global News: Please do not assume that if a person sits next to you on public transportation or peruses your cab that means they share your political views.

11. Tragic misunderstandings: Please do not assume that you are the personal entertainment centre of the person sitting next to you on a transatlantic flight.

12. Realism: Dear judges on reality shows not dedicated to exploring outer beauty, please do not use “you looked great, though!!!” and contestants please do not retort with “I HAD A BLAST!!!” We were right here the whole time, remember? Don’t euphemise us.

13. Euphemism: Why you gonna be so condescending? Ban “conscious uncoupling”. #baneuphemism

14. Social media dictatorship: Hi! You know who you are. Pro tip: dictatorship and exploitation only work if you’re sharing a piece of land with your exploitees and everyone I know is moving to Pinterest and Google Plus.

15. Come on now: Always, ALWAYS say hello to a child who greets you.

Your turn! Let me hear it! Comment or link up:


This post was a Finish the Sentence Friday Post on the Topic (selected by me, woohoo!!!) “I never understood what the big deal was about…” and you can still join me and the lovely hosts on this hop:

Stephanie at Mommy, For Real

Kristi at Finding Ninee

Kate at Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine?

Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic




49 thoughts on “The Obvi Guide to Life for People Who Don’t Get it

  1. #3 should definitely be a given and seriously how anyone could not give their seat up to a pregnant woman or an elderly person is beyond me. Just really boggles my mind and has always bothered me. As for saying hello to a child, I truly am not getting how anyone could be this heartless or mean. So, with you on some many of these for sure. Thank you so much Katia for hosting with us tonight and just so happy that you did join us!! 🙂

    • Katia says:

      Me too. I don’t really say to myself “not cool” when people don’t answer my son. I actually implode. Because, HUH???? REALLY? Who is that evil, or insecure?

  2. Sarah Almond says:

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! So many things that simply should not need to be explained… yet people don’t get it! Our personal favorite in this house are advertisements that say “Do not attempt at home.” Or “Professional driver on a closed course, do not try this.” LOL-Why are we having to tell people this again? LOL! Great post Katia!

  3. anolivedaily says:

    I was dying over this post. I just did a post on what you should not say to me because I got married young. To your list I will add: “PSA: Do not ask me if I was pregnant when I tell you I’m married. Or ask how old I am in shock. It’s really hard to think of something to say back to that.”

    • Katia says:

      Oh, I look forward to visiting your blog and reading that post! I can only imagine the gems people come up with including the one you’ve mentioned. Like REALLY???

  4. ‘…you should also consider not pairing your yoga pants with a blazer. The privilege of that look is reserved for people with a table covering their nether parts, like news anchors.’

    Do you know, I have thought the exact same thing about newsreaders. It really is the perfect job for those with challenged fashion sense. You could wear gumboots, a swimsuit or even a hessian sack down there and no one would notice.

    I have sympathy for those who jump onto a train too quickly. Growing up in the country, I was utterly unused to crowds, and when I moved to the city I was astonished to find that skipping down the street would cause a disturbance, and that I might actually have to sit next to someone on the bus.

    • Katia says:

      I agree, reading your comment I have sympathy for them too when it’s as a result of simply being overwhelmed. I totally get how that would happen. Here’s a revised one, though.. How about those people inside the train who stand at the doors, blocking them when you need to get off and they don’t?! That’s a bad one, isn’t it?

  5. Yes to all of these (all important yet simple common courtesy), and especially to the last — although my son won’t back down from anyone who doesn’t say hi to him (“Hey! I said hello to you!”). Yikes. 🙂

    • Katia says:

      I love that your son does that. In fact, this is how I may handle a situation like that in the future. I’ll just teach my son to say that. Why should we feel bad, when it’s the other person’s job? 🙂

  6. Haha, I LOVE talking to kids! People are so afraid to be friendly with other people nowadays, especially kids. It’s sad. I always assume that women who sit next to me on the bus or train think I’m handsome. Is that not correct? Lol.

    • Katia says:

      You assume correctly, Don. See how I’ve left that out of the list? That was intentional. It’s because that’s called “getting life”.

  7. How hard is it to wave back or say hello to a kid. Tsk. People.

  8. Fantastic list that produced many nods here. Numbers 2 and 3 brought back memories. I remember being elbowed in my 8 month pregnant belly by an old lady who spotted the one remaining seat on the bus and decided she was going to get it before I did. I refrained from saying “Age before beauty” as she bounded on to the bus, toppling passengers in her wake, but had the delight of seeing the young man next to her ask her to get up so that he could give me his seat.
    I’d add #11: Never presume that nobody can see you when you pick your nose in your car at the traffic lights. If you’re that hungry, please park up and find yourself something more appealing to eat.

    • Katia says:

      Oh, how nice! I’ve had a few people work very hard to not notice me on the subway as I shoved my belly into their smug i-pad researching face. Love those!

      And I lovingly accept and embrace your #11. How did I not think of that??? 🙂

  9. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    I love it!! It all boils down to common sense, I think. Just use your common sense and do the right thing! That toilet picture cracks me up. I mean, really??? Who needs an illustration???

  10. Like #11 and #12 …there are, in fact, those of us who are not wired into the culture by choice, so when we quietly mention that we have no interest in the latest scandal, celebrity pronouncement or winner of the latest most popular amateur talent contest, we really mean it.

    (btw. speaking of popular culture, which I am only superficially aware of, how did come to be that most TV watching people prefer amateur actors to talented and skilled and experienced Actors? I see the commercials go by on the screen, and even with the sound off, it appears that a near majority of shows have a cast of non-professional actors with bad teeth. odd)

    • Katia says:

      Completely agree with your astute observations, as always, I was referring to a very particular reality show scenario when a judge tells someone who just danced or sang (badly) “you looked great, though!”. 😀 Also agree regarding the amateur actors. Some of the acting I see is just appalling!

  11. rynolexson says:

    LOL, these are great! You should make a book of guidelines like these. Esp. #1, amazing how many people do not feel this is necessary.

    • Katia says:

      Hmmm. Love how you think! Wonder if there’s enough of that going around to compile a book! 😀 Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

  12. Thank you. What is with those folks who ignore? How can they ignore the 4 year old with that flapping hand, that piping voice and that beaming face? I never understood it. Mind you I’ll never forget the time we were walking by our delightful neighbour’s house while she was out gardening. My son – maybe 8 at the time? – piped up “Mom is she a lesbian?” Oh sweet lord. She must have heard. She flashed him a grin, a HUGE grin and kept weeding. Bless her. You can imagine the wee chitty chat my lad and I had upon arrival home.
    Love your list. Have to confess that just recently I broke #2. Somehow I felt I would get to the airport quicker (running more than a tad late) if I charged onto the airport bus RIGHT AWAY. Yes before everyone got off. My son (yes same chap) hissed “We’re not going anywhere until they’re all off. You know better!” Oops. I do.

    • Katia says:

      I love your comment, Kelly! I get airport rush. Heck, I may have done the same at the airport. I’m sure I did!

      Yes, kids say the darndest things don’t they? Four Year Old is full of these gems, like the time he asked a woman in a hijab if she’s a ninja, a guy in a turban if he’s a wizard and a guy in a rabbi’s attire if he’s a rabbi (he was right on the last account)… Sometimes it’s horrifying to discover limitless potential of our embarrassment… It’s also very entertaining.

  13. All. of. this. You really need to write a book on this because sadly a lot of people don’t know these sorts of things. I love the yoga pants comments. I can so see news anchors sporting a pair of those, along w/ bunny slippers! It’s crazy how people have no tact. This post makes me recall a temp job I had. On the first day within 10 mins of me being there, one of my coworkers says “So, are you married?” seriously?

    • Katia says:

      😀 Love it! Your coworker clearly was operating based on the “basic fit” assumption. I love the image of bunny slippers! As a recruiter I did interview both attires I’ve described above but never someone in bunny slippers. That would have been a story to tell!

  14. Michelle says:

    Haha. As I was reading Hellloooooo. My kid was like, “Mom, hellllloooooo.” I was ignoring her to read your blog. LOL. I stopped long enough to find out she’d like to do a shot of Redi-Whip (like her old fat mom) and wanted permission.

  15. themomcafe says:

    HA! Loved these so much… yes to them ALL! And always always always say hello to a child, for God’s sake! May I add that all strangers need not add their opinion on another strangers children/actions/behaviors while out in public? It is not invited/wanted/welcome. Thankyouverymuch.

  16. Natalie DeYoung says:

    NUMBER SIX. Yes.

  17. Jean says:

    I am endlessly upset when people don’t respond to my son’s hello. At the library, he said hi to a family and they all just stared at him. Kids and their mother. One hello does not cause pain unless the person has social anxiety but really, what are the odds that everyone in the family has it so bad they can’t get out one hello? I’m with you.

    • Katia says:

      Me too. I’ve totally downplayed it in the post but my original intention was to do an angry preachy post dedicated to trying to understand this.

  18. haha…I am with ya on many of your logic reasoning, Katia 🙂

    Why! Darn Why!!
    btw, this was a good prompt 🙂


  19. Judah First says:

    This is so AWESOME!! The only one I would add (since I commute 45 minutes to and from work every day):

    “My trunk is full so please stop trying to fit your car in it. I promise that if you give me some room back there, we’ll still arrive at our destination at the same time – and we’ll actually ARRIVE.”

  20. Yes!!! You did yourself proud as a FTSF hostess this week, my friend! This was so funny, and so so sadly true. This list totally made me smile. (And I needed that. And thanks for your gorgeous comment on my post. xoxo)

  21. Tarana Khan says:

    I can’t believe there are people who don’t reply to a child’s hello! And what’s with the yoga pants and blazer? Seriously!

  22. findingninee says:

    YAYAYYY and great job Katia, so glad you co-hosted with us this week. Cheers to not thinking the person sitting next to you on the train shares your political views, the flushing (I lived with a roommate for a while whose motto was “if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” which I get from a water conservation standpoint but GROSS to go into a bathroom and have yellow toilet syndrome!!
    Love your list, Katia!

  23. Kat says:

    The public transportation ones are close to my heart since that’s how I travel. I’ll add one more: dear students with big backpacks, please take the damned thing off and put in on the floor between your feet. Nobody appreciates that thing smacking into them every time you move and, being fourteen, you move a lot!

    I agree, you should always return the greeting of a small child. They are learning about their world and it’s everyone’s job to show them that there are plenty of nice people in that world.

    • Katia says:

      Totally agree with everything you said here. I do not like big backpacks, especially ones that rest on my shoulder while not belonging to me.

      And, yes, thank you, perfectly put about why we should greet children.

  24. Claire says:

    I’m going to be a bit controversial here, which is awkward as I don’t think I’ve commented here before and so might end up with a reputation for troublemaking… which would be entirely deserved. Anyway.

    No 1: don’t flush in the middle of the night when staying in a 500 year old farmhouse with 11 other people if the plumbing of the house is apparently also 500 years old and clanks and screeches for LONG LONG MINUTES after you are back in bed praying no one realised it was you.

    No 3: with you in principle, but as a long term commuter on public transport, sometimes it’s hard to discern between pregnant and big breakfast, and the exact boundary between ‘looking a bit tired’ and proper elderly can be equally fraught… so SOMETIMES erring on the side of caution can be forgiven.

    However, No 12: x a million. If it’s a singing contest and they couldn’t hit a note with a hammer, how they looked and whether or not they enjoyed themselves whilst butchering tens of millions of eardrums is irrelevant.

    • Katia says:

      Thank you for commenting, you’re funny! 😀 Yes, I would agree with your stipulations. I also don’t encourage flushing when it interferes with baby’s sleeping because you know, hold your hands up and step away from the toilet. I don’t want anybody to get hurt.

  25. Dana says:

    What kind of person doesn’t say hello back to a kid? I have one to add: If you are over the age of 21ish, or if your stomach hangs over your waist band, do not wear a shirt that shows your midriff. No one wants to see that. Was that mean? Maybe, but it’s true.

  26. The writing was so energetic; I felt like I had to read faster and faster. Yes people seem more and more afraid to say hello. First it was adults, now its kids, soon it will be babies, but usually they will still greet my dog. Ha!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Between 2014-2015:

BlogHer '13 Voices of the Year Community Keynote Honoree
Scary Mommy
The Epistolarians


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 15,947 other followers

No Instagram images were found.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
Finish the Sentence Friday
%d bloggers like this: