Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Dalek on January 07, 2013, 11:50:31 AM

Title: Please stop it
Post by: Dalek on January 07, 2013, 11:50:31 AM
My sis recently started watching Star Wars movies. She's now a mega fan. Except now, she manages to work SW references into every conversation, email, text, etc.

For example, Sunday we were in Home Depot and someone was getting arrested for shoplifting. She yells out while doing her Jedi motion" That is not the criminal you are looking for!"  :-[

We went out to lunch afterwards and she told the waitress " Our meal is free." She had to explain to the poor confused waitress the joke.

I have explained to her that it really isn't funny. Her BF has told her it's embarrassing. She refuses to believe it's not funny. Her coworkers have stopped going out to lunch with her. She says she's being "clever" and we're just "wet blankets".

I honestly wouldn't mind if it was a reference thrown in here and there. But it's all the time. I feel so bad for her when people are rolling their eyes and laughing at her behind her back. ( I haven't told her in order to spare her feelings).

Any etiquette approved ideas on how to ask her to stop without hurting her feelings?
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Betelnut on January 07, 2013, 11:53:24 AM
I don't know but I think I would respond with complete silence and bean-dipping.  Don't acknowledge the "jokes" or comments in any way.  Perhaps total non-response will get her to quit.

Maybe telling her that people are laughing will help too.  Nobody likes to be a laughingstock.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: peach2play on January 07, 2013, 12:05:56 PM
She thinks it's hilarious and in her head it is. I have the same problem.  There is a running joke in my head that I think is absolutely funny, but to other people it can be stupid, offensive or even hurtful (as I found out today and yes I am working on fixing it).  My best friend will just look at me with no expression on his face and say, "Not funny."  I learn and do my best to not make that joke again.  Don't give any emotional feedback.  She wants you to share in the laughter and when you don't, she'll learn.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: rose red on January 07, 2013, 12:11:06 PM
Since you already told her it's not funny, her friends are avoiding her, and her own boyfriend told her that she's embarrassing, I don't think any more words will get through to her.  I'd just go with a blank expression.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: misha412 on January 07, 2013, 12:12:31 PM
So, her sister, boyfriend, and co-workers find it annoying to the point where some do not want to be seen in public with her (co-workers refusing to go out to lunch). Yet she thinks she is clever and everyone who doesn't agree with her is a "wet blanket."

At this point, there are a few options:

1. Break it to her gently that people are laughing at her behind her back. Not a pleasant realization for her but may dampen the activity.

2. Have a sit-down face-to-face discussion on the topic. This may do no good, but she needs to understand your point of view.

3. Each time she does it, get up and walk away. In a restaurant, ask for your portion of the check, pay and leave. If you are in a store, walk out. If you are at a relative's house, thank your host for the hospitality and leave.

4. If nothing else works, spend far less time with her.

It may take her facing consequences for her to see what is actually funny and what is not.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Moray on January 07, 2013, 12:13:49 PM
That's so annoying. I do think you'd be okay telling her (kindly) that she comes off as nonsensical or a little "out of it" and that she makes people uncomfortable sometimes.

A blank look, followed by "You're doing it again." might be a good response for future incidents.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: amylouky on January 07, 2013, 12:37:16 PM
Can you tell her that 1977 called, and wants its movie reference back?   >:D  Just kidding, I suppose that's not e-hell approved. Honestly, I'd just roll my eyes and keep quiet when she does it, she's only making herself look silly.

Nerd confession, I do occasionally try to pull the "jedi mind trick" on DH now and then. But, that's because I know he is a big SW fan and has seen all of the movies at least 10 times. I wouldn't do it to a waitress or a stranger in a store, though.

Bit of a threadjack, but it's a pet peeve of mine when someone "discovers" a band, movie, or other pop culture thing that's been around for years, and can't quit talking about it. I had a cousin who decided a couple years ago that the Beach Boys were the best band ever. He'd tell you, "You have to hear this song!" and it would be like, 'Little Deuce Coupe', or something. I'm thinking, um, yeah, it was great like, 30 years ago..
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: bopper on January 07, 2013, 12:40:43 PM
Can you tell her that 1977 called, and wants its movie reference back?   

that is what evilBopper was going to say!

Bopper says:  "Friend, you and I get that reference, but really no one else does and it is kind of embarrassing when you do it?  How about you keep those to me or boyfriend who will actually get it!"

Reminds me of my FIL who while we were living in Germany would try to kid around with the waiters at the restaurant in English who mostly, you know, spoke German.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Elisabunny on January 07, 2013, 12:54:06 PM
Explain to her the concept of "know your audience."  Off-hand SW references among friends, who all like the movie?  Sure, probably at least mildly funny.  Loud comments to the universe or employees who are just trying to do their jobs?  Not so much.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: DragonKitty on January 07, 2013, 12:55:50 PM
I know I would hate to have to tell her, but if you can, mention that it is sad that she is soooo behind the times, that the joke was funny several years ago, but that people now think it is pathetic to be so late with that joke, so that until/unless a new Star Wars movie comes out, she really should not do that, except at science fiction conventions.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 07, 2013, 12:56:58 PM
Start calling her Jar-Jar since she's being as annoying as that character was?  And I think he was infamous for making comments he thought were hilarious and everyone else just rolled their eyes.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Morticia on January 07, 2013, 01:30:32 PM
Wave your hand. "This is not the joke you think it is."  >:D

Perhaps not.  I think the blank look is good.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 07, 2013, 01:33:34 PM
Start calling her Jar-Jar since she's being as annoying as that character was?  And I think he was infamous for making comments he thought were hilarious and everyone else just rolled their eyes.

I think this would be the best torture response of all. :P

That said I do think Star Wars is still pretty relevant, seeing as they're going to be making another movie and the franchise is constantly pumping out products.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: msulinski on January 07, 2013, 01:33:42 PM
Am I the only one who doesn't get the "Our lunch is free" joke?
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Morticia on January 07, 2013, 01:35:51 PM
^ from "These are not the droids you're looking for." Jedi mind trick to get free lunch.

ETA, it's not funny.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: gorplady on January 07, 2013, 01:41:34 PM
Wave your hand. "This is not the joke you think it is."  >:D

Perhaps not.  I think the blank look is good.

I think this is awesome, but so would not help the situation.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: WillyNilly on January 07, 2013, 01:55:10 PM
Stupid you sound, old references you are making, funny your joke is not.

Ok that would just add to it.  But maybe what your sister needs is a safe outlet for a little bit of the humor.  She's probably not going to completely stop, at least not anytime soon.  But as with all things, moderation is key.  Star Wars jokes all day everyday is old. And, well, pathetic.  But once in a while a well timed witty joke is hilarious.  Sure its stupid to do the Jedi wave every time you go through motion senor doors, but once in a blue moon?  Very amusing.  Yoda speak is annoying as all heck as is "these are not the droids you are looking for" references, but when you are in the cell phone store looking for a new case, one crack about "these are not the 'Droid soft cases you are looking for" is witty and fun.

So maybe the best thing to do is explain to your sister its not that everyone is a wet blanket - Star Wars jokes can be very very topical and funny - its that she is over playing the joke and isn't being witty enough.  Gently break it to her that in humor, a little bit can go a long way and that timing is everything, as well as the ability to 'read' one's audience.

I think if you acknowledge that some jokes can be funny and will be laughed at just not all of them all the time, she might receive the info more graciously.  Because right now telling her its never funny, isn't accurate and she knows that, so she's not hearing the real message, which is that its too much too often from her, and at the wrong times and places.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: MrTango on January 07, 2013, 02:27:21 PM
I'd be very tempted to call her "highly illogical" just to see how long her head hurt over the mixed references.

Seriously, though, if you really want her to stop, just ignore any SW reference she makes unless it's directly addressed to you.  If it's directly addressed to you, just respond with a flat "no."
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: kitchcat on January 07, 2013, 04:19:49 PM
Things like this bother me mostly because of the intense second-hand embarrassment they cause.

I've take a leaf from a friend's book. Whenever something like that happens, rather than letting it slide 100% or confronting the person, she just goes, "Anyway..." and continues on as if it hadn't happened. It seems to be a subtle way of distancing yourself from the "joke" and letting them know you didn't find it amusing.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 07, 2013, 04:33:19 PM
Sorry, but I'm picturing the things you describe and I think they're hilarious... not in the way Sister thinks they are, but in a sort of cringe-worthy sitcom scene way. Where I am definitely laughing at the character and not with them.

Sometimes my dad makes embarrassing comments in public. Like trying to speak in a certain language at an ethnic restaurant. When he has nothing to do with that ethnicity, knows nothing more than the one word he said, and has no reason to think the person he's talking to knows it, either. Even better when it's the wrong language for the restaurant. :P

I usually either roll my eyes and move on, or sometimes I say, "Dad!!!" in that sort of put-upon daughter tone. I do these things in an obvious way, especially the latter, if the comment is goofy enough that I'm afraid people will worry that he's some weird old guy out wandering the town by himself. Sorry, folks, I'm trying to supervise him, but it's tough, is the message I'm trying to send.

If your sister is making confusing comments to, say, a waitress, I think it's okay and even important for you to step in, because the waitress is kind of a "captive audience" whose job is basically to keep you happy, and it's rude to toy with that, I think. Maybe something like, "Oh, don't mind her. What's your soup of the day?" If your sister complains, maybe you could say that it's rude to take up the waitress's time/strangers' time with jokes (which is also true).

As for the police thing, IMO anyone who tries to joke with/about the police while they're actively arresting someone is on their own and I would probably just walk away from them--I respect the police and I'm not going to distract or antagonize them when they're doing their job. (I'm assuming Sister spoke loud enough that the police officers could hear her, or at least knew she was talking about them.)
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Iris on January 07, 2013, 06:49:18 PM

I usually either roll my eyes and move on, or sometimes I say, "Dad!!!" in that sort of put-upon daughter tone.

Shouldn't that be Da-aaad?  ;)

Wave your hand. "This is not the joke you think it is."  >:D

Perhaps not.  I think the blank look is good.

EvilIris loves this, but I agree that it might not help.

Honestly, I would just go with a totally blank deadpan look every time, with any comments made in a completely emotionless voice. "Don't worry about her, she thinks she's making a joke" to the waitress; or "I'm not a wet blanket. You're not funny." as necessary. Then just disengage. Act as though the stupid comment never happened.

Or you could try and out-geek her by saying "You keep using that word, funny. I do not think it means what you think it means."  ;D
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: DottyG on January 07, 2013, 06:51:34 PM
Quote
Or you could try and out-geek her by saying "You keep using that word, funny. I do not think it means what you think it means."

:D  I love that!

Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: cabbageweevil on January 07, 2013, 07:15:24 PM
Not wanting to sound like Yoda; but, obsessed people will be obsessed by what obsesses them, and will tend to go on and on about it.  I can be bad that way myself (though not about Star Wars). If the person has a relatively thin skin / a modicum of awareness of others, they can be (with some gentleness) hinted to / shamed one way or another, into "throttling it back". If not -- well, it can be difficult, within the boundaries of politeness; and overstepping those may make things nasty, not just short-term. Can be a hard one.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 07, 2013, 07:55:15 PM
A well timed joke is rather funny. One of my favorite lines from "Sorcerer's Apprentice" with Nick Cage,Jay Baruchel and Alfred Molina is when Molina and his apprentice are in the college looking for where they could find Jay's character.

Molina waves his staff and tells the kid at the information desk "You do not need to see our identification." His apprentice waves his hand saying "These are not the droids you are looking for." Granted that's a movie but it always makes me giggle at the reference.

And in college there were times when roleplaying with friends that people would work in a SW quote and we'd laugh our heinies off.

Out of context, like it was used on the waitress would confuse me too, and if it was used constantly and not even funny it would annoy me.  I'm constantly trying to get my 10 year old to realize that just because we laugh at his joke the first time doesn't mean we'll do it the next 20 times.  Sounds like your sis could use this lesson too.

Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: poundcake on January 08, 2013, 12:51:07 AM
So a deadpan "Laugh it up, Fuzzball" would also not be an approved response?
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: MariaE on January 08, 2013, 01:49:28 AM
Ooooh boy. My mother used to do that, although with slang rather than movie jokes. We got into the habit of watching "Flying Doctors" and picked up a lot of Australian slang that way which crept its way into our everyday language (we spoke both English and Danish at home after returning from New Zealand). The problem was Mum would copy it to "be cool with her children" (that's our theory anyway), but she didn't really understand it and therefore simply did not use it right. It drove us crazy.

It all came to a head one morning my oldest sister and I were walking to the bus to go to school. Mum called out after us, "Can we have a bit of hush?" This means "Quiet down, please", but as my sister and I weren't talking I have no clue what she thought it meant. Sis and I just shared a Look(TM) and walked on, ignoring her. She never did it again.

15 years later, part of me feels bad for embarrassing her like that. The other part of me knows that complete silence was a lot more polite than what I probably would have said.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Ceallach on January 08, 2013, 06:06:39 AM
I love a good SW joke, in fact any "silly" movie reference jokes really - but what your sister is doing just sounds really, really pathetic and not remotely amusing.  Seriously lame!   I would be embarassed to be with her when she makes a fool of herself in front of shop staff etc.   If we were by ourselves I'd just ignore a stupid comment, but the public ones are a little harder. 

But I also can't think of much else you can say, short of staging a full-on intervention.   If she's ignored all of the comments so far it may just be a lesson that takes time to sink in.   Hopefully over time she'll realise that nobody  is finding it funny and the novelty will wear off.   (Or you could show her this thread?   Embarassing, but a bit of majority opinion?)
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: oceanus on January 09, 2013, 04:38:00 PM
Oh my.
I thought of this thread recently when I noticed a relative (in her 50s) does the Psy “Gangnum Style” moves when she’s around younger nieces and nephews AND their friends.  I see lots of  ::) ::) , blank looks, and a few pursed lips trying not to laugh AT her.

OP, I think you need to gently tell her that people aren't amused.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: nuit93 on January 09, 2013, 05:00:07 PM
"Funny, your joke is not."
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: CookieChica on January 09, 2013, 07:03:38 PM
Ugh. I'm pretty sarcastic so I would be tempted to say "6 movies and you only know one joke? At least throw in an "It's a trap!" once in awhile."
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Raintree on January 09, 2013, 11:25:02 PM
My mother makes the same joke (not about a movie, more like an imitation of a personality she sees on the news) and I never actually did think it was funny, even when it was new for her. I've tried everything: ignoring and bean-dipping, carrying on with, "yeah, well anyways....", confronting her with "That's getting old", "That really never was all that funny..." and "Yes, you said before....bean dip." Nothing works, she keeps doing it, thinks it's funny, and gets offended when I tell her it's not. So I've concluded there is nothing you can do.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: afbluebelle on January 09, 2013, 11:58:20 PM
Oh my.
I thought of this thread recently when I noticed a relative (in her 50s) does the Psy “Gangnum Style” moves when she’s around younger nieces and nephews AND their friends.  I see lots of  ::) ::) , blank looks, and a few pursed lips trying not to laugh AT her.



I have to confess, I chased my husband around a mall in Springfield doing this dance when the song came over the PA system. He walked faster... I chased faster. People were laughing, and that's all I was going for. I also have a picture of a train running me over at that mall. It was a good trip =)
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: EnoughAlready22 on January 10, 2013, 07:43:00 AM
Oh my.
I thought of this thread recently when I noticed a relative (in her 50s) does the Psy “Gangnum Style” moves when she’s around younger nieces and nephews AND their friends.  I see lots of  ::) ::) , blank looks, and a few pursed lips trying not to laugh AT her.



I have to confess, I chased my husband around a mall in Springfield doing this dance when the song came over the PA system. He walked faster... I chased faster. People were laughing, and that's all I was going for. I also have a picture of a train running me over at that mall. It was a good trip =)

Now that is hilarious!  I would love to go shopping with you! :)
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 10, 2013, 08:20:42 AM
LOL! I would do that to my DH too!

And it is kind of sad that there are 6 movies and she's stuck on that one joke.  She could at least throw in a good Wookie joke now and then. 
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 10, 2013, 08:55:09 AM
Eh, see, my dad used to try and embarrass me in public sometimes--not just by being himself and doing something natural that embarrassed me (oh, the teen years) but actively drawing attention to us, like by bursting into song or something. That made me really angry. And of course, telling him it made me angry didn't help. Once he was waiting for me somewhere, and when he saw me he started singing, loudly. And I just walked right on by and went to my destination without even looking at him. I felt horrible afterward, but like it had to be done. And I have to say, that was the last time he pulled that stunt.

I'm not sure if you feel your sister's jokes are quite on that same level or not. But walking away like you don't know her, or alternatively a complete and utter non-reaction, not even looking at her, might take some of the fun out of it for her. And really, it seems like she's had her fun, and is now just moving on to embarrassing herself and whoever she's with, and making life a touch more difficult for total strangers (like the waitress).
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Take2 on January 10, 2013, 09:34:40 AM
It sounds like this sister has multiple problems. One is that she is stuck on one joke from one movie, which is driving her co-workers and family and boyfriend insane. Because that is annoying, not funny.

But the other is that she has NO idea about appropriate context for joking in general. Yelling ANY joke at a police officer in the middle of an arrest is horrible timing, even if the joke is extremely funny. Trying to rope a waitress into a joke about the personal interests of her total stranger customer is rude, no matter what the topic.

It makes me wonder, really. Is inappropriate behavior new for this sister? I know the Star Wars obsession is new, but did she interact appropriately before this obsession? Because this level of missing social cues, I have not run across adults who have this much trouble except for a couple of people I know who are on the autism spectrum. 
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: rose red on January 10, 2013, 11:40:01 AM
LOL! I would do that to my DH too!

And it is kind of sad that there are 6 movies and she's stuck on that one joke.  She could at least throw in a good Wookie joke now and then.

Is she just doing one joke?  I thought she was making many references from all the movies. ???  If it's just one joke, I can't decide if that's more annoying or less.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 10, 2013, 12:29:28 PM
DH has a habit of vocalizing any random craziness that happens to pop into his brain.  It surfaces at the most inopportune moments.  I will either walk away from him (if we're in public) or give him a flat expression followed by a simple "Hmmm."  It seems to pull him back to reality.  Your sister seems to like getting a reaction, from either you or anyone else.  Don't give her what she wants and she may back off.
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Dalek on January 11, 2013, 03:10:51 PM
Thanks for the advice guys!!!! I get she really loves Star Wars and is not doing it out of malice. I'm a Doctor Who fan myself and rarely use quotes from the show with the exception of my profile name.  ;)
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 11, 2013, 03:19:45 PM
Thanks for the advice guys!!!! I get she really loves Star Wars and is not doing it out of malice. I'm a Doctor Who fan myself and rarely use quotes from the show with the exception of my profile name.  ;)

Hah! Your Who-isms are always welcome with us in the Dr. Who thread!!
Title: Re: Please stop it
Post by: Yankeegal77 on January 12, 2013, 12:17:36 PM
Personally, I LOVE a good esoteric movie reference and am 100% guilty of it myself. In addition to constant Office Space references, I like to toss in a few zingers from Real Genius. But the key is to know your audience.

While Star Wars has been around for over 30 years and everyone knows the title, not everyone is going to have seen the movies or get it. I really think that a gentle conversation with your sister about *why* it's annoying, including that a lot of strangers might now get the jokes.

And I'm not kidding when I say this could be done intervention-style. It sounds that bad. You had me cringing with the cop part. Gahhh...

I guarantee she will grow out of this or at least make less frequent references. So, at your conversation/intervention (still not kidding!) I would make the following steam vent suggestions:

1. That she make Facebook memes. There are already a million of them, but she might have fun with it!
2. Silk screen some shirts with these memes.
3. Start a Facebook group or join an online forum for fans.

Or...find a more current franchise she can become obsessed with. Since Dr. Who has a pretty large current fan base, at least any references would have more of a chance to be understood.

When she makes comments, walk away, change the subject, anything to...feed not maker of quotes. ;)

I hope this works out for you!