Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gritting my teeth...

The Scots have a very annoying habit. They have to have the last word. No matter the conversation, if there's a last word to be said they have to say it. It's as if you win a prize for having the last word. The one who utters the last word is the ultimate champion. The problem is, they do this with friendly conversations too. I offer up an example...

I was at work the other weekend, when my I bring around a bin for my manager to put her cardboard in.

Me: Here's a cardboard cage for you.
Her: Oh that's nice of you, I was just going to get one. Thank you
Me: Your Welcome.
Her: ahahaa Yes, Thank you.
Me: Anytime, your welcome. (At this point I'm thinking, can I go now, would it be rude to just walk away?)
Her: This makes things much easier, thank you.

At this point I realized, she was a Last Worder and I smiled and walked away. I mean, even I know that in polite conversation the person who gets to say "Your Welcome" is entitled to the last word. It's just plain rude to continue on after that in a vain attempt to reclaim the last word! I have been wondering what Ms. Manners would say about this. I'm sure I did the right thing to just let the other woman have the last word, but really it vexed me to do it.

Today I had this conversation as I was trying to leave the gym with Shorty.

Other Mom: Shorty is such a happy girl, Chloe loves to play with her.

Me: Well she certainly loves the creche. She was hoping Chloe would be in today. She's in most days so I'm sure they'll get to play together more. I'm off now, have a nice afternoon.

OM: That'd be wonderful. Chloe likes to play with Shorty. Ok Bye-bye now.

Me: Bye.

OM: Bye-bye

See...she had to sneak in the last Bye, just couldn't help herself. I'm sure she was pulling out her tally sheet and marking her strikes for that victory. This kind of thing happens all the time - the repeated goodbye. I didn't even ask for the last goodbye, I'm merely echoing the good manners. Did she forget that she's already said goodbye first? How many of us have had this sort of conversation:

Bye now.
Have a good one.
I will, you too.
Sure thing, bye.
See next week?
Yeah, certainly!
Ok, bye, see you later.
Yup, bye.

And I mean soon someone has to quit or it'll look way too obvious that they are both Last Worders in the middle of a tense battle for supremacy. It drives me crazy.

In conversation, I've learned to let the Last Worders have the last word. If it's so important to them, who am I to deny them it? I figure so long as I have fulfilled my manners obligation in the conversation then I can't be considered rude. I will, however be considered a spoil sport for not competing in the Last Word Olympics.

Then again, on my blog, I always get the last word.


Chunks said...

I don't know if I'm a last worder or not. Now you've got me wondering. I will watch myself and see if I am and I will let you know! hahah!

NWJR said...

I won't let anyone in my family read this post. They'd blame my Scottish heritage for my desire to get in the last word.

"Then again, on my blog, I always get the last word."

No you don't!

:::running away fast:::

Maja said...

Oh man that's infuriating. Although maybe it would be fun to just keep on trying to get the last word in to see how long they can go for.

Seems like there's no point saying your welcome to those people, anyway.

Lyvvie said...

The better fun is watching the slight disappointment and frustration as you allow the LWer to have the last word - they're so geared up for a battle, they almost fall over at as easy victory.

NWJR, I knew someone would say that, in fact I was tempted to be a snoot and take comments off for that post. But seeing as I'm not a LWer, I'll shrug and roll my eyes instead. (If you are a true LWer you'll note that a shrug and eye roll counts as a last word.)

Maja I promise you I have, but in the end it just aggravates them and makes you out to be a bully. We must pity them and their need for the last word; it's only a word, just let them have it.

NWJR said...


Seriously, I understand the addiction. When I was in college, we had a work table with posterboard on it, and people would write little comments all over it. I felt compelled to write a comment about everything.

Finally, someone wrote, "**** ******* (my name) cannot resist commenting on whatever is written here."

It was agony--sheer agony--to try and ignore that comment.

At least now I understand why; it's genetic! It's my heritage! I have an exuse! WOO HOO!