Don’t be THAT guy!


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Today’s lesson is on the dangers of being “THAT” guy (or girl – no misogyny here!). We all know what I mean. In every office, store, bathroom, Plasma Center, friend group, family, or orgy, there’s one naive soul who violates basic tenets of common decency with absolutely NO hint of irony or awareness. It’d be cute if it weren’t so damn sad. And even then, nothing cute about a grown man that insists on sharing the same stall as me in the bathroom. Not again, anyways. So here are THOSE guys that you’re most likely to run into on a regular basis. Here’s to hoping that none of them are currently reading this.

1). The Self-Invitee

These are the people who mistake their proximity to a particular place or conversation as reason enough to interject their presence into the proceedings. Any fans of The Office can remember the episode where Jim hosts a party for everyone in the office except Michael. As in that case, you don’t hate or even dislike someone per se, you just DON’T like them. Unfortunately, this person often, one way or another, gets wind of a particular event, and if they don’t find a way to beat an invitation out of one of the attendees, they might just show up anyways, just like Michael did, and the dismay of his employees meant that he was second-scariest Michael to ever show up to a party uninvited only because “Myers” comes before “Scott” alphabetically.

But for my money, the worst kind of self-invitee is he or she of the conversational persuasion. My own work experience over these past few years has, unfortunately, lent itself to dealing with MANY a coworker who had no idea how stay out of a conversation. Like, they didn’t know how a regular human being could conceivably pull off such wizardry. I kid you not, I once spent an entire work shift starting convos with coworkers around this particular one guy, just to see if he’d take the bait if given the chance. You ever have someone let you down specifically because they DIDN’T let you down? Yeah, well the next day, I went out of my way NOT to strike up convo with him around, and he still found a way into them all. Different toilet, same shit.

2) Mr. SUPER Bass

No one enjoys listening to music throughout his day to day life more than me. I often complain about how difficult it’s been to enjoy that activity to its full potential because my iPod’s headphone jack shorted out awhile ago. While I can still use the speaker on it if necessary, it’s not the same as having headphones to contain the music to yourself. I REFUSE to not see this tragic fact as anything but a forfeiture of my right to play music as loud as I normally would. Those are the breaks, and I’ve accepted them. Headphones exist specifically to keep everyone else from hearing your music. I get it – who amongst us WOULDN’T enjoy some famous drink called a “Cleveland Steamer?” – but you still need to turn your music down. This applies doubly to those that listen to said music using the speaker on their cellphones. That’s just barbarism, folks.

3. The Over-sharer

This is also a trait that I often run into at work. There’s a particular coworker of mine who has an issue knowing where to draw the line when it comes to sharing behind-the-scenes info. Suddenly, an otherwise-innocuous comment about her scarf turns into this horrific mental image of the hickey she claims to be hiding under said scarf. A discussion on why she’s late turns into a litany of anecdotes about her family’s history of poor health. A thank you for the cookies she baked for everyone begets the oral history of her waking up at 3 the previous morning when the house with its unfortunate AC problems would be the coolest. Cool story, bro, but no one MADE you make the cookies. Leave the God complex at home, sister; we all appreciate the cookies, but we’d rather you served them with a side of milk rather than guilt.

4. Mr. “Me Too” / “Plus One”

These two are brothers (and also first cousins of the Over-sharer and Self-Invitee). They are slightly different, yet resemble each other enough that you can tell they’re related.

Mr. Me-Too is the youngest brother, a representation of the imperfect qualities that are there before said qualities have grown and developed into, for better or worse, what they will be later. This is that guy that can’t stand to hear someone mention something they’ve done or owned without deciding that he wants it too. Naturally, this is often most present in children, as they rarely want something until they see you with it. I know this because not only did I grow up in one, but I now also work at an after-school community center with children. Nothing ever reminds kids how much they LOVED “Flaming Hot” Cheetos or sunflower seeds until another kid came in with them. Not only were you soon subjected to 8 pairs of grubby hands asking you for yours, but you could bet they’d soon go get their own, when they’d just as soon forget your previous generosity. Sometimes, Mr. Me Too strikes in intangible ways, such as doing whatever he has to do to get the attention off of someone and onto themselves. Don’t ever let this person catch you playing a game or joking around with their sibling or close friend, because generally, they will NOT recognize this as a hint for them to cool down, and they WILL get that much more desperate. You’ve been warned.

Mr. Plus One is perhaps the most famous “THAT guy” of all time – the one-upper. A manifestation of an older, more mature (yet immature) version of Mr. Me Too, this guy can’t be stopped. Most kids don’t have the capacity to be this guy yet, but in high school or college and as the stakes in life get higher, you’ll bump into this guy every 3rd step. No feat of anyone else’s is ever as good as it gets as long as he’s around; if you’ve ever been to Europe, he’s been to the moon. If you’ve ever caught a 100-pound fish, he caught Moby Dick. They have no sense of scale or decorum; whatever it takes to have the best story is what they’ll say.

5. Mr. Vulgarity

I’ll preface this by saying that I’m admittedly fairly modest in terms of garnering public attention, so maybe I’m biased. Butsomehow, some way, guys have gotten the idea throughout the years that girls get off on publicly hearing them say childish, vulgar things just for the shock value.While I am not a girl and can’t speak 100% to their sensibilities, I’m fairly certain that this isn’t the case, at least not for mature women. I’m not saying mature women are all uptight and prude, but guys, there’s still good value in a filter for the dark matter roaming around your minds. Example: I once ran into a guy downtown wearing a shirt that said “Higher than aGiraffe’s Pussy,” with a picture of the back underside of a giraffe on the shirt. This, my friends, is why we can’t have nice things. I could just see that guy smirking to himself as he pulled the shirt on that morning – “I’m gonna KILL ’em with this one!” The part about being high is immaterial to the argument here (though again, perhaps my ideologies towards drug usage probably betray my bias), but why is that shirt a thing that is happening? I’d have a hard time ordering that sumbitch online with a straight face, so I couldn’t imagine wearing it in good conscience. There’s no need to use the word “pussy” without context unless you’re trying to prove something. It’s self-consciously naughty, and at that point, you’re just trying too hard.

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6. The Over-eater

A rogue over-eating spree is something that we’ve all seen, experienced, and lived to tell of. This guy is normally the guy that dives, face-first, into the food line for seconds or thirds before his first plate has been fully swallowed. This also usually happens before all of the other guests have arrived or even bothered to eat themselves. Hey, we’ve all been here. You don’t want to be the person in the group eating the most, but part of the appeal, at least while in college, of getting involved in different groups with different people is the promise of free food. You’re likely to show up starving, just watching the clock bleed minutes away until you can get into that pizza, and you can’t help it that everyone else lives on this inane, liberal three-meals-a-day agenda. Still, gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and you’re staring it right in it’s pudgy, greasy, ketchup-stained face.

Sadly, this guy can often end up morphing into his alter-ego, the Toilet-stopper. For unrelated reasons though, I’m sure, but nothing derails a food festivity quicker than a turd in the punchbowl.

7. Debbie Downer 

Also known as a “Bitter Betty,” “Sad Susan,” or “Tragic Tracy,” this guy or gal has never met a mood or story that could escape her personal touch of melancholia. That’s nice that you went out on a nice date the previous weekend; did you know that Ms. Downer doesn’t date because she’s been set up on a blind date with an ACTUAL blind person on more than one occasion? Did you know that she inherited the baldness gene from her grandfather while her brother got her grandmother’s trust fund? Or that when everyone had chickenpox in kindergarten, Debbie managed to avoid it, only to end up repeating because she missed two months with smallpox?

8. The Grammar Nazi Image

Look, we all have a friend that can be an unbelievably pretentious know-it-all. Unknowingly pompous and condescending, this guy has a hard time hiding his disappointment in others. Perhaps this guy carries around a pocket thesaurus. Perhaps this guy uses it to “aggrandize” his vocabulary instead of improving it. This guy will never miss an opportunity to wax poetic about the witty stylings of Oscar Wilde or point out the signs of her reclusive nature in Emily Dickinson’s work. Sadly, this poor schlub will never realize that he should probably abandon his crusade for better grammar throughout his society. Your heart may be in the right place, but you’re wasting your time. Just accept the “universally-lowered standards to which everyone else seems to hold themselves,” you insufferable douche. NO ONE CARES.

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These are just some of the most common of “those” guys that I’ve noticed. There are tons of other ones out there, of course, and they’ll never fail to follow you. You can’t help how other people act, but you CAN make sure that you don’t do these things. Please be aware, folks; it’s for the greater good of society.

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