A couple weeks ago, I had a kind-of-once-was-a friend over for the evening. She’d been having a rough go of things lately and I wanted to show her a fun night away from all the stresses and craziness of life. Seems easy enough, right?
The problem was, every two minutes she was bringing up something that was driving her nuts. She ranted and whined about her sister, and her mom, and her best friend, and the guy she was crushing on, and the guy she was crushing on, and a couple different co-workers, and her sister again, and some old woman at her church who just thought she was so this or that or aaaggghhhh.
And nothing she was raging about was anything that was any of my business. And it wasn’t any of her business either. Looking at her from the outside it was so easy to see why she was so miserable.
I wanted to take her by the shoulders and scream, “get your nose out of the places it doesn’t belong! You’ll be so much happier!” Instead I finally and politely said, “don’t you think that you might be a little less annoyed with everyone if you worried about you and not about the things that really have nothing to do with you?”
Ummm… yeah. That night I learned that people who have their noses completely buried in other people’s businesses, don’t like it very much when people like me tell them to pull out. She looked at me in disbelief, then burst out, “and this is coming from a guy who likes other guys.”
Okay, I lied. That was the G-Rated version of what she blurted.
Maybe I’m a jerk, but I saw no point in carrying on the evening, so I invited her to use the door after that. I’m sure she’s telling others about that half-gay heathen that bla bla bla right about now. Haha. Anyway, the next day I sat down and I wrote this list. Half of it, at least, came from my conversations with her that night. The other half came from either things I’ve caught myself doing, or that have annoyed me in the past.
20 Things That Ain’t None of Your Business
1) Get your nose out of other people’s food choices.
I know. I know. You are the guru of healthy eating. You’ve studied the latest studies which prove a diet of pure chicken feet makes you lose weight. I know you are strong. And healthy. And that you never give into temptation. But sometimes I do. For some reason, the harder I try to get healthy, the more people think they have a say in what I put into my body. When I was fat, nobody said a dang thing. Go figure.
When it might be your business: You may officially question what I put into my body the day you see me start eating pickled pigs feet or mushrooms. I’m telling you right now, that’s when I’ll know I can’t be trusted to make my own food choices.
2) Get your nose out of other people’s wallets.
I know it is really hard to not care how much other people make. We all like to compare our own income to everyone else’s for some reason, and it isn’t healthy. Nobody’s worth is tied to money, even though we all think it is, so let’s stop trying to assign value to it.
When it might be your business: Feel free to care (very much) if your six year old walks in with a fat wad of big bills. You also have my permission to stuff singles down my undies and ask me how much I’ve made off you so far.
3) Get your nose out of other people’s crushes.
We all want love. Hell, we all need it. Of all the human needs, it ranks right up there with hamburgers and M&Ms. But don’t think for even one minute that you’re allowed to tell me who I can and can’t develop crushes on. I know we all think we’re the masters of human interaction, and that we can simply look at any person and know whether they’re right or wrong for each other. But we’re not. And we can’t.
When it might be your business: The day I develop a crush on a first cousin, on someone more than triple my age, or on a socket wrench, you have my permission to make my "crush business" your business.
4) Get your nose out of other people’s sex lives.
If you want to be chained to the bed with your feet tied to the ceiling fan while he puts on a sock puppet show for you, that’s none of my business. Hard to believe, I know. If I want to hook up with someone twenty-three seconds after meeting them, that’s none of your business. It’s also none of your business if I want to wait until we’ve exchanged vows. It’s none of your business who I’ve had sex with, how often I have sex, or how crazy we get with it. Sex is a very personal thing, and everyone’s beliefs surrounding it are different.
When it might be your business: It’s okay to start asking questions when you see someone slip something in my drink. In fact, you’re a jerk if you don’t say something.
5) Get your nose out of other people’s exercise habits.
This kind of goes with the food one. The healthier I get, the more people think they can get all up in my grill about what I’m doing to burn calories. They love to tell me when I’m doing it wrong. They make me tell them if I’m starting to slip or if I decided to stay home for one day (or twenty). If I want your motivation, I’ll ask for it (and sometimes I will). If I don’t ask for it, keep your nose out of it.
When it might be your business: If I ever sit on my couch for so long that my skin becomes part of my couch, you have my permission to hold an intervention.
6) Get your nose out of other people’s success.
Success is like money. When other people have more than we do, we think it defines us. When other people have less than we do, we somehow think it makes us better than they are. When people at work have more success than us, we find ways to let everyone know they didn’t deserve it. Truth is, we all have our failures and our successes, and the only people we can compare ourselves to is ourselves. Who we were and what we were doing yesterday compared to today.
When it might be your business: You may care about my success if I ever find myself measuring it in the following ways: human trafficking, terrorist activities, drug dealing, and puppy euthanizing. Notice I said “and” for each of those, not “or.”
7) Get your nose out of other people’s sicknesses.
Every time I mention that I have a headache, or that I see stars, or that my butt hurts, or that I’m sweating acid, everyone knows exactly what’s wrong with me, and exactly what I need to do to fix it. I know the internet has made everyone experts, but we’re not. Half the time my doctor doesn’t even know and he went to school for twelve years and studied nothing but how to fix my ailments.
When it might be your business: The day you walk in for a job interview at a doctor’s office, and they ask you what your credentials are, and you say, “I know my way around WebMD,” and they say, “welcome aboard doctor!” That’s the day I want your diagnoses and witch cures.