January 24, 2013

"The guy said they were sitting at that same table three years ago and some stranger paid for their meal and made them think about kindness and love..."

"... and they’ve been talking about it ever since. They’ve incorporated it into their lives and said there was no other place he could have proposed, it was their most impactful memory."

I think this CafeMom post would have gotten more play if only she hadn't said impactful.

She's all "Has anyone ever anonymously bought you a meal at a restaurant? Have you ever purchased one for someone else?"

But I'm all... have you ever felt enthused about something and then one word killed it?

ADDED: And you're all... enthused....

AND: You're all... you're all....

54 comments:

McTriumph said...

"have you ever felt enthused about something and then one word killed it?"

The word was "condom"

Dante said...

I was once in a bar playing pool, and a very attractive young lady bought me a drink, by way of the cocktail waitress. I was informed by the cocktail waitress that she was with her boyfriend, a real jerk, who she was trying to get away from. So yes, that one word "boyfriend" killed it for me.

Being semi-paranoid, I was wondering if she was the "Please, fight over me type," or "Please, help me I'm in an abusive relationship." So I stopped going to that bar, because I'm a coward, and also I view women as men's personal property.

And vice-versa, at least when there is a relationship going on.

virgil xenophon said...

How about four words? True story, circa 1960/61.
A sort of geeky son of very rich parents from New Orleans was nevertheless (despite his nerd factor) allowed to pledge my fraternity (turned out to be a great guy and a Fed judge in New Orleans) and in appreciation for "taking in" her son of obtuse (then) social graces she appeared one day in her limo at the curb in front of the fraternity house and stepped out with a check in hand for $10,000 in appreciation as a donation. As she was walking up the steps some yahoo on the front porch eyed her diamond rock of a MUY karat ring, pointed to it, and exclaimed: "Wow! Is that thing real?" At which point she stopped dead in her tracks, tore up the check, turned around without a word, got back in her limo and returned to New Orleans. LOL!

traditionalguy said...

I believe "impactful" has something to do with wisdom teeth. And who doesn't like hearing about proverbial wisdom.

ricpic said...

That kindness and love crap lasts for two days, tops, then it's back to reality. Sound harsh? Not really. Our souls are rubber bands that naturally snap back into place after being pulled out of shape. Souls too hoity toity? Selfs then.

creeley23 said...

Ann: You have some very particular -- I would even say peculiar -- turn-offs and turn-ons when it comes to the written word. I'd beware of generalizing your responses to others.

Maybe "impactful" is a dealbreaker for many people. However, in this instance, I suspect it's not one word but the whole heartwarming, "Random Acts of Kindness" scenario that turns off many in our age of cynicism and irony.

I had a friend who liked Leo Buscaglia, a motivational speaker AKA Dr. Love, back when Buscaglia was somewhat well-known. My friend would bring up Buscaglia at parties in LA and it was one of the fastest ways, short of witnessing to Jesus Christ, to kill conversation in his vicinity.

bagoh20 said...

But the guy didn't tip the waitress, and the couple stiffed her too. That's a beautiful story.

MadisonMan said...

It took him 3 years to propose after that?

seeker10 said...

Does it matter that the author of the post was quoting 'impactful'?

Emil Blatz said...

That would be "impacted" and it has to do with your colon. Well, if you eat at the right restaurants.

Erika said...

If the person is using the word 'equality' I probably don't want to hear what he or she has to say. Really, I've heard it all before, and he or she is probably smug and pompous.

Methadras said...

When I lived and worked in Norcal there was a place I loved to go eat at almost every day. It was a small hole in the wall place called Giant Chef. They had the best chicken fried steak I've ever had anywhere. The food was good and the people that worked there were terrific. On the weekends I didn't fly back to san diego, I would go and hang out there and enjoy a saturday eating and enjoying the regulars. From time to time there would be an elderly couple that would come in and sit down to eat. The waitress that I was friends with knew all of them, but I didn't, so I'd ask her about them and she would tell me their respective stories. After a while, I'd ask her that I wanted to pay for their meal and not tell them. I did this every saturday I was there. Sometimes they would figure out it was me and the next time they were there they would reciprocate, but other times she would tell me of how surprisingly shocked they were that someone picked up their tab. I enjoyed doing it cause when I saw that elderly couple come in, I envisioned my wife and I being in that same spot ourselves when we get there.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Sometimes you reach for a word and it just isn't there, so you come up with what you can to describe the situation.

You have an excellent command of the language, but you shouldn't be a word snob because not everybody does.

The Blonde loves to use the word, "flustrate", usually in place of, "frustrate", but sometimes flustrate seems more fitting. I don't use it, but I don't roll my eyes (inwardly, of course) any more when she does it.

She also uses, "expotential", instead of, "exponential", and has a verb, "potentiate", when something kicks the effect of a medicine. I know what she means, it's OK.

She also spells potato with an "e" at the end.

So there.

Icepick said...

Holy crap, that's what I get for trying to type with the cat sitting on one forearm and my daughter tugging at the other.

"Has anyone ever anonymously bought you a meal at a restaurant? Have you ever purchased one for someone else?"

Two thoughts. First, someone eating in a restaurant can probably afford the meal. If you want to be kind go buy a Big Mac combo meal and give it to a homeless guy. THAT would be a random act of kindness that would do some good.

Second, wouldn't it be more fun to anomalously buy someone a meal? Buy that Big Mac meal and deliver it to the chef of a fancy restaurant while he's on duty. Buy some hideous meal from the Cheesecake Factory and give it to someone that's fasting. Give a Subway sub to someone randomly on the street. (Give it to someone that's chubby and you can turn the random act of anomaly into a public shaming: "Eat fewer calories like Jared!"*)

* These product placements paid for by no one, damn it.

madAsHell said...

I think 99% of the stories at CafeMom are bullshit.

The only thing they forgot is the "Name and address withheld by request" at the end of the story.

bagoh20 said...

"Has anyone ever anonymously bought you a meal at a restaurant? Have you ever purchased one for someone else?"

Does your date not knowing your real name count for anonymous?

leslyn said...

"madAsHell." Fits the cynicism.

So does using one word to destroy the impact of a story.

Writ Small said...

"Impactful" is one of those business jargon words that hasn't quite run its course.

The word use that is now rubbing me the wrong way is "socialize" as in, "I will socialize your idea with the rest of my team to see if they agree it will be impactful."

Craig Howard said...

The first time I read that, oh, say, "the disc drive accesses the data", I felt the earth move underneath me. Data wasn't accessed, it was gained access to.

Sad to say that, several decades later, the phrase doesn't jar.

"Impactful" is the new access. Ugly, but, unfortunately, despite our resistance, it will become the new access.

madAsHell said...

Fits the cynicism.

Cynicism has never let me down!!

traditionalguy said...

We all better hope the new female front line Jarheads are impactful.

Mary Beth said...

The sweetest "it happened in a restaurant" story I've read lately is one where a mom and her son who has down syndrome were out to eat and a family seated nearby asked to be moved, saying, "Special needs kids should be kept in special places." When their waiter heard that, he told the man that he was not going to be able to serve him.

Chip Ahoy said...

I madAsHell said...
I think 99% of the stories at CafeMom are bullshit.


I told my brother my gas tank was siphoned from the truck that had a locking gas tank cap. James has an interest, he told me to take the truck. Here's his Christian empathetic response:

Shot frog once! Two of them actually...with one shot. Ricocheted off a dragon fly..that was stuck on a frogs tongue. Not my two friend frogs that I killed, this was a third frog. Kinda cute really, 'cept it had bad breath. Actually the breath might be pretty good if your a girl bug. Which reminds me of the time I caught my car on fire.
Late at night and fuckin' cold. so cold my tongue stuck to the windshield when I slipped on the ice. Good thing my tongue stopped my fall because I nearly banged my head on frozen bear poop. Just a little fire though right on top of the engine, not enough to get warm with so I drove home. then when I got home it was big enough though, so I pulled it into the garage and closed the door to get a better look. The end

It's almost like James didn't even respond directly to my tank being surreptitiously emptied. Now where would he pick up behavior like that?

kentuckyliz said...

Around the holidays, I'll eat at the Mexican immigrant restaurant, and leave a $20 tip on an $11 dinner check.

Feliz Navidad.

elkh1 said...

It's a waste of money and kindness on people who could afford to pay for their own meals. Why not treat a homeless to a meal instead?

Methadras said...

Icepick said...

Holy crap, that's what I get for trying to type with the cat sitting on one forearm and my daughter tugging at the other.

"Has anyone ever anonymously bought you a meal at a restaurant? Have you ever purchased one for someone else?"

Two thoughts. First, someone eating in a restaurant can probably afford the meal. If you want to be kind go buy a Big Mac combo meal and give it to a homeless guy. THAT would be a random act of kindness that would do some good.

Second, wouldn't it be more fun to anomalously buy someone a meal? Buy that Big Mac meal and deliver it to the chef of a fancy restaurant while he's on duty. Buy some hideous meal from the Cheesecake Factory and give it to someone that's fasting. Give a Subway sub to someone randomly on the street. (Give it to someone that's chubby and you can turn the random act of anomaly into a public shaming: "Eat fewer calories like Jared!"*)

* These product placements paid for by no one, damn it


Without question, I pick up the tab of a serviceman or servicewoman. I don't even think twice about that. I've had the pleasure on many occasions of giving up my seat to serviceman or serviceman on a plane so they could get to their destination before me if it was overbooked or depending on the flight would pay for their luggage or upgrade. It's the least I could do. I've pretty much given up on the homeless. They are just human refuse and a waste of time at this point. Cold, yup, but since a vast majority of them want to live this way, why should I oblige them further.

Methadras said...

Writ Small said...

"Impactful" is one of those business jargon words that hasn't quite run its course.

The word use that is now rubbing me the wrong way is "socialize" as in, "I will socialize your idea with the rest of my team to see if they agree it will be impactful."


Like the word, Paradigm?

Patrick said...

My wife, who grew up near Boston would drive into NH for work. On occasion, she and her friends would pay their toll, and pay for whomever happened to be behind them.

Once a toll worker got real pissy about it, so she stopped.

Chip Ahoy said...

Most significant, important, biggest, largest Marge-est, like blamo, had the most impact, but impactful? I agree it signals douchbaggery wahwahwaaaaaaaah sliding trombone fail sound.

julia brown said...

If you think Jennifer`s story is unimaginable..., won weak-ago my cousins step mom also got paid $4263 workin a fourty hour month from there house and their co-worker's aunt`s neighbour was doing this for 6 months and actually earned over $4263 part-time at their pc. apply the guide from this address.... http://BIT40.com

DADvocate said...

During high school, three of us skipped school, jumped into my friend's VW Bug and headed for the Smoky Mountains about 40 miles away. It was drizzling rain and the Bug had bald tires. Although we were only going 25 mph at the time, we spun out and went off the side of the mountain backwards.

Fortunately, we got pinned between two trees near the top of the drop. I was sitting in the middle of the back seat which wrapped around me like a horseshoe due to the force of the sudden stop. We all walked away with nothing more than sore ribs. I've driven by that spot dozens of times since. Every time I think of it I thank the Lord I survived. That's an impactful memory.

Methadras said...

elkh1 said...

It's a waste of money and kindness on people who could afford to pay for their own meals. Why not treat a homeless to a meal instead?


My money...

DADvocate said...

It's a waste of money and kindness on people who could afford to pay for their own meals. Why not treat a homeless to a meal instead

Everyone deserves to receive an act of kindness, homeless or not. I could go on about this, but you need to examine your perceptions, value judgements and prejudices.

kentuckyliz - good for you. I give larger tips during Christmas times, but not quite that large per $11. A couple of Thanksgivings ago, I gave double the regular tip to our waitress who seemed to be having a hard time in a very busy restaurant on that day. Others (liberal siblings mostly) at may table complained and wrote a complaint on the ticket. I felt truly sorry for her. She was probably working her way through college. The next day I called the restaurant and told the manager the waitress did a great job.

bagoh20 said...

Oh yea? I do shit too. I gave my Mom a quarter once to call a cab.

pm317 said...

I was driving back with my husband and his parents after visiting his brother in OH. We stopped at a restaurant on the way and sat at the bar for a snack and it was pumpkin pie (thanksgiving time). There was a single woman around 50s sitting next to me and I exchanged pleasantries with her briefly. When it came time to pay the bill, we found out that woman had paid for us. Then we come out to the car and find a smiley face on the rear window.

pm317 said...

Then there was this what I call Buddha moments. In College Park, there is warehouse kind of cheap clothing store. I am sucker for bargains and would walk in there during lunch time now and then. One day, there is this woman standing in line behind me -- I have seen her around. She was mentally ill, perhaps homeless and would hang around that strip mall. Anyway, on that day she is standing behind me with a swimsuit in her hand. I went ahead and paid for it along what I had in my hand. When she found out, in the midst of all her insanity she had the presence of mind to say thank you to me, with feeling. I went back to my car, and cried, more like sobbed.

Kelly said...

I have an Uncle that is an obnoxious jerk, he's always fighting with almost everyone in the family. As a kid I was terrified of him (and I still am if truth be told). He was one of those adults that is condescending to kids and you could sense that he had no use for you. We basically steered clear of him. He's been married six times, no way could anyone put up with him till death do they part.

When my husband was getting ready to deploy to Iraq, my uncle arranged for a limo to pick us up and sent us out to an expensive restaurant and I hadn't seen or spoken to him for years. He had champagne and flowers waiting for us and paid for the entire meal. He had a friend living near us who called and checked on me and the kids while my husband was gone.

Eventually he made his way to Texas and took me and my girls out to eat and shopping. He's the type that when he walks in a store, he begins barking orders that sends the sales people scurrying even thought they have no idea why. It was embarrassing and endearing all at the same time.

Eventually I made him mad, I think I didn't return a phone call or something, one I had no knowledge of! But for a time It was kind of cool to be treated like that by someone I didn't know had a heart.

David said...

Every Friday several hundred Marine recruits graduate from Parris Island basic training and fan out into our town with their families to have a meal. I buy those meals every chance I get. About 20 a year, I would guess.

Pogo said...

If I hear the word "Obama" in any context, it's a dealbreaker.

It's like saying "infectious colitis." No appropriate conversation can arise.

Lem said...

Nice story Methadras @6:44.

Pogo said...

Three teachers from my son's high school sat down across from us, and waved. They were his favorites. We finished up, and I went to their waitress and paid their meal.

I felt embarrassed by the inadequate gesture.

MadisonMan said...

I've cracked the code. edutcher's blonde is none other than Dan Quayle.

Bow down before the powers of my deduction!!

BTW -- I would never pay the toll of the person behind me. The toll taker would keep the money, I'm sure of it.

William said...

"Impactful". That why Fitzgerald makes the big bucks. If someone has learned how to be a kind and appreciative human being that's a far greater achievement than a graceful phrase. Fitzgerald wasn't such a great human being. He'd be far more likely to palm the waitress's tip than pick up the tab........I've absorbed quite a few random acts of cruelty. I hope I haven't repaid the world in kind, but who knows. It would be great if God existed so that at the end of the day, He could add up the ledger and say whether or not you had a positive balance.

Robert Cook said...

"The word use that is now rubbing me the wrong way is 'socialize' as in, 'I will socialize your idea with the rest of my team to see if they agree it will be impactful.'"

I've never heard "socialize" used in this manner; it's terrible.

So are "enthused" and "impactful" (or "impact" used as a verb).

EMD said...

Impactful is a shit non-word.

In advertising, it is used and over-used rampantly.

I hate it.

The Madam needs to visit unsuck-it:

Tank said...

A few years back I read a book by Lev Raphael, "My Germany." It's about how he, as a gay, Jewish American goes to Germany and how his thoughts about it change. A very good, and interesting book.

Then, at the very last page or so, totally out of the blue, is a wholly unrelated-to-anything cheap shot at Bush and Cheney. It was so bizarre that it is my main impression of the book, that a highly intelligent, highly educated writer was so imature that he could not resist a cheap one liner which, not only did not add to the book, but was not related in any way.

Ruined a good book in about five words.

MadisonMan said...

I will socialize your idea with the rest of my team to see if they agree it will be impactful.

OH Dear God. How do you hear something like that and not burst out in laughter?

prairie wind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prairie wind said...

OH Dear God. How do you hear something like that and not burst out in laughter?

For awhile, I fought against the use of "issue" when the word needed was "problem." The client has an issue with our product. Do you have an issue with your co-workers? I have an issue to report... Issue does not mean problem, except that it has been in general usage (thank you Dilbert-world) for so long that now it does mean problem.

Auntie Ann said...

Oh, how I hate the word "impact," and how I loathe beyond measure the word "impactful."

One of the big-3 auto companies brought out an electric car years ago, which called it the "Impact". Jay Leno wondered why they didn't just call it the "flaming ball of death."

Remember the old resume advice of using "power words"? Impact was the big one. But it's now so overused, I'm waiting for people to go back to thinking "affect" is stronger. (Especially, because you can show you know the difference between affect and effect.)

Lonetown said...

Ointment!

That usually cures enthusiasm.

Eric said...

Has anyone ever anonymously bought you a meal at a restaurant?

Yes! When I were a little tyke of about six years old or so, my family piled into the station wagon and drove cross country to visit relatives. Six of us, including mom and dad. Along the way we stopped at some diner for breakfast.

Now, my dad was pretty strict. Table manners, no whining, "may I be excused?" and all that. Not quite Baron von Trapp, but we weren't allowed to do our own thing at mealtime.

So the four children (all under 8) sat and ate without bothering anyone. Probably didn't hurt that it was something like six AM. When we got up to leave the waitress said someone had picked up the check anonymously because the children were so well-behaved.

دردشة ومنتديات عراقنا said...

thanks man very nice

ابراج يوم الاحد