Monday, May 25, 2009

The People Ride in a Hole in the Ground.

Consort, being from the New York area, has a few verbal tics. Some are delightful. We shall focus on two I have taken over because they are useful.

As you might know, I am female. Therefore, I have been known to enjoy telling a long and pointless anecdote about people Consort doesn't know. It's taken him years, but Consort no longer bothers to pay any real attention to me. His questions like, "Who is this again?" and "Wait, are we still talking about Thursday's piano lesson?" and "Do I know anyone in this story?" just irritated both of us. I don't care if he listens. He just needs to appear to listen. So now he just waits for the sound in my voice which indicates I'm wrapping up and he says mildly, "Good for him/her/them." This is the New York version of "I couldn't care less had I gotten a PhD in not caring but if these people's being happy doesn't inconvenience me in the slightest, I'm happy for them."

The other New Yorkism is the most versatile conversational button anyone will ever give you besides "I think my water just broke." And really, considering that half the population can't really get away with that one, this is even better. It's "There you go." If you're an optimist, a pessimist, a phlebotomist, or whatever, it works.

A good thing happens to a good person or a bad thing happens to a bad person? "There you go." Which is to say the world is, after all, ultimately just.

A good thing happens to a bad person or a bad thing happens to a good person? "There you go," meaning the world is, after all, ultimately unfair and the dice is rigged.

A true New Yorker believes both of these things at once, in a simultaneously fair and unfair world. It's what allows them to live below someone who seems to have clog-dancing competitions every night without setting fire to their building. The New York sensibility might be periodically aggressive, obscene and hold deeply-held beliefs on pizza, but there's a marvelous Buddhist equanimity in there somewhere.

You know what I say?

Good for them.

12 Comments:

Blogger Sandy said...

There you go. Spot on as always Quinn!

2:16 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

That is hilarious and so true! This is a lot like a discussion we had on another blog about "It is what it is". Some people hate it, some employ it all the time. I'm not sayin' which category I fall into.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Not The Rockefellers said...

Not for nothing, it is what it is and you gotta respect that,

Peace - Rene

4:31 AM  
Blogger M Denise C said...

Another variation of "There you go" that I hear quite often is "And there you have it."

8:29 AM  
Blogger preppyplayer said...

Those deep held beliefs also pertain to bagels, if ya wanna know.
And, if you "come by" my house I'll tell ya more...

Being originally from Seattle, I speak East coast and West coast, there you go!

11:07 AM  
Blogger CameoRoze said...

My husband's favorite is, "Isn't that nice..." It works a lot like "There you go."

Cameo @-->-->---

11:34 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

We Bostonians say "Wicked" which could be wicked pissah (good) or wicked f'ed up (bad) or wicked pretty or wicked ugly. Wicked with a modifier works for every situation!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Skerrib said...

Rats, I thought I made those up myself. My other favorite is "Of course he/she/they/it did."

4:55 PM  
Blogger miss cavendish said...

My bete noir is "it is what it is." A true conversation ender.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your old friend from that brief stint in the North Country loves your blog and is looking forward to the book...

~grant m.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Narya said...

You know what I mean--said as a declarative, rather than an interrogative, sentence--works the same way.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous The Preppy Princess said...

Love this post, it is always educational to learn regional phrases! One used frequently around here is "There you have it."

Of course.
tp

8:20 AM  

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