I'm interrupting the second half of my Open Heart story to tell you something exciting.
I had my first Twitter fight.
For those of you not familiar with Twitter, it's just another social virtual world where you can say anything from the ridiculous to the magniloquent, all in 140 characters or less. Twitter leans more towards the ridiculous.
I run hot and cold when it comes to Twitter. Somedays I don't even glance at my Twitterdeck and other days I just can't get enough of it.
On Sunday, when I heard the World Cup had gone into overtime, I thought the game might just be worth a look.
And I think that statement exemplifies how seriously I take soccer.
Which would be, not at all.
Two of my girls play soccer.
And if Coach Julia is reading this, she will hang her head in shame at me, but after all these years, I still have no idea about offsides. I just take everyone else's word for it. Pretty much all I know about soccer is that if you kick the ball into the net, it's a goal. As long as you're not offsides. And for that, I look to others to tell me if we've scored. If they're jumping up and down like crazy town, I know we've scored.
I also know this about soccer: Every year, my girls are going to insist that nothing from the year before will work. Not the balls. Not the shin guards. Not the bags or water bottles. Not the socks. Although, my one daughter wore the same shoes forever because she claimed she'd molded them in. Molded a horrific smell into them is more like it.
So that's about it for me and soccer.
(This is how we do soccer. And no, I am not intoxicated . . . yet.)
My kids are always complaining that every time they look over during a game, I'm not watching them because I'm too busy talking to someone.
And that might just be the truth.
But I watch at the important times, like right after a goal is scored and we all get to cheer or if a player is down or if by any infinitesimal chance a coach we may know gets red carded. (Usually, at least once a season.) Hi Coach Bill!
Or, most importantly, when the end of the game is near because that's just a countdown to concession stand french fries. Which are delicious.
And I'm also very non-competitive. When someone on the other team, makes a goal, I'm always, "Yay for you and your great kick!"
Which totally drives the other parents batty.
But back to my story. I turned on the television to watch the end of the game. My daughter, the only other person home at the time, was already watching it upstairs.
And I truly was on pins and needles as we went to penalty kicks.
And then we lost. And it was sad.
But I thought to myself: Hey Self, at least we lost to a country who could use a little pick-me-up like a World Cup trophy with all the horrific stuff they've had happen to them this year. Poor Japan.
And so I got on Twitter, to reiterate that thought in a more eloquent way.
But as I put my fingers to the keys, one of my dogs started making that retching noise that means you should jump up and squeal at the dog in your highest voice and hope the poor retching dog can make it outside instead of running to your favorite carpet.
I always feel a little sorry for dogs when they're vomiting. I mean, it's bad enough when I'm vomiting. I couldn't imagine everyone yelling at me to get outside and vomit.
Anyway, I was in the middle of composing my eloquent congratulations to Japan while my dog was retching and so I was yelling at the top of my lungs while typing, "JULIA, THE DOG IS PUKING. HELP ME! THE DOG IS PUKING!" I didn't want to add, "I CAN'T HELP THE BARFING DOG BECAUSE I'M TWEETING."
Because my family teases me enough about the Twitter.
And so my point is, the dog was retching and I was yelling, so I was a mite distracted while composing my Tweet.
Here's what I came up with:
joannmannix joann mannix
That was it.
I thought it was nice.
And apparently so did some of my wonderful Twitter friends who retweeted my words of congratulations.
I guess my tweet reached a dude in England.
I know, right?
Uhhhh-Ohhhh is exactly it.
Those folks across the pond take their soccer or football as they call it, very seriously.
As in riot serious.
And I guess they have the right to, because God love those Steak and Kidney Pie folk, they gave us David Beckham.
And that mister, is one fabulous gift to the world.
So this English dude tweeted me back with: how patronising!
I'm not going to copy his tweets because I really don't want him to have some Google alert on his name and find my blog and then we've got the smackdown all over again. Because I don't feel like putting on my Badass cap, a second time.
See, here's the thing about me.
I am a complete coward in real life. Confrontation makes me cower in the corner, unless it has to do with my kids, that is.
But on paper? I am Gloria Allred and I will go down to Chinatown on your ass.
So . . .
I wanted to tweet back and tell him if he was going to call me patronizing, at least he could learn to spell it correctly.
But then I realized, he was probably spelling it correctly in the King's English.
And since I didn't want to look like an ignoramus, I was all:
Whatever, dude. I believe in kindness, sorry you don't. Wasn't being patronizing in the least. Don't hate.
Because there's nothing English people love more, than being called Dude.
And honestly? I wasn't really sure what he found so patroniSing about my tweet. So I went over to his Twitter and was happy to discover other folks were calling him out for being so uncool to me.
It didn't phase him one bit.
He tweeted back to me, telling me that Japan had earned their win by playing better. That America didn't GIVE Japan the win. He then when on to say, accrediting their win to their recent disaster was patroniSing.
At this point, not only did I realize I was tweet warring with a dude who takes his football way too seriously, but I had a feeling he might have been one of those, "Americans are the smuggest people on the planet" types.
It was also apparent that I was sparring with a dude who had a limited vocabulary of name calling.
I wanted to tweet something like: "I am not one of those, 'Mericuh is a hella lot better than yur turd country. We've got hot dogs,' types."
I mean, I love the U.S.A. But I am never, ever smug about it. I love the beautiful vast and varying differences of the countries that make up this world.
Well, except for North Korea and Sudan and Somalia and Afghanistan and all of the other places in the world mired in hate.
But I couldn't define that in 140 characters, so I settled on this:
I wasn't being literal when I used the word give. Simply put, if we were to lose the World Cup and lose we did w/a very poor showing at the end, glad it was to Japan.
I then followed that one up with a tweet saying, I wasn't accrediting their win to their horrific past year, just saying it was a badly needed bright spot for this nation.
Once again, he tweeted back that he was sticking to his guns, that my statement was patroniSing, and then he said something about waffles. I think he might have been calling me a waffle and not in a yo-yo vacillating kind of way. I'm really not sure what kind of waffle he was referring to, but I have a feeling it wasn't a yummy Belgian one. It's tough scrapping with someone who has a completely different name-calling vernacular.
And then. Then! THEN!
He finished up his tweet by advising me I should have just said to Japan, well done and congratulations.
I don't know if he knows this, but this is America.
And in America, we don't tell each other what to say and how to say it.
Cause in Mericuh,
We have a little thing called Freedom of Speech and we wrote those words because the Steak and Kidney Pie folks were trying to tell us exactly what to say and how to say it and tax us for it.
Besides . . .
No one ever tells me what to do. Ever. It is the red cape to my bull.
My hubs always says if the Taliban ever tried to abduct me and force me into a life of burqas and imprisonment and the banning of high heels *gasp*, he would just bust a gut and say to them, "Good luck with that" and then just sit back and watch. He claims it wouldn't be a suicide bombing, more like a nuclear explosion.
And I can only agree.
There were many things I wanted to tweet back to Mr. Way-Too-Serious, Get-A-Life, Limited-Word-Insulter English Dude, but I composed myself and tweeted:
You say it one way. Doesn't mean I have to subscribe to the same. My intention was good. It's a shame you took exception to that.
I wanted to add: And if you ever come over to my Twitter again, MoFo, and try to tell me how to say something, I will hunt your Limey ass down and wash your patroniSing mouth out with some fine English soap. MoFo: Look it up, Waffle Boy.
But I didn't. So that was it.
He didn't tweet me back.
Probably because he went to my Twitter profile and read this:
Aspiring writer/Blogger/Shoe Shopper/Bono Lover/Profanity Linguist. House Vixen who hates domestic crap but loves bonbons and wine. I used to drive a Pinto.
And realized he was no match for that kind of awesomeness.
So there you have it, the thrilling story of my first Twitter fight.
And for the record, I think it would have enraged him even more if he'd seen me right after the final kick, when I was all, "We lost, right? Cause Japan's going crazy and our girls look sad, so I think that means we lost."
In the midst of my feud, I emailed my sisters to tell them I was, at that moment, involved in a Twitter fight with an English dude over soccer.
My sister, the lawyer, emailed me back with,
"As your attorney, I would advise you to stick to subjects you are familiar with, but good luck!"
My soccer knowledge is the stuff of legends.
I promise the second half of my story is coming. Hang on. It's summer, you know.
Today's Definite Download: Don McLean's "American Pie" which is one brilliant song, as it is.
But for today, it's a dedication to my English friend who loves to throw around the word patroniSing. How'd you like your taste of this American Pie, bloke?
I like to think I'm a pecan pie, sweet and nutty and just all around delicious, topped of course with gobs of whipped cream. Nothing like your steak and kidney pie, English boy. Which by the way? That's about the grossest thing I could ever imagine.
No offense. God save your crabby old queen.
Posted by Joann Mannix at 2:11 PM