I Hate the Way You Lay On My Tiger Sunday

Right after we opened my current show, over seven years ago, I took a creative writing class in the city. It was the first time in my adult life that I knew I would be in the same place for the next ten weeks and available every Monday night, so I took advantage of it.

There was a woman in the class who had one of the best short story opening lines ever:

“I hate the way you eat your sandwich.”

It did then and continues to now serve as the basis by which I measure good dialogue in fiction.

Good dialogue in fiction comes from real life- our instructor, author Matt de le Peña taught us that. A statement like the one above can only come from someone stuck in a situation with another person that feels so interminable that they’re either going to kill the other guy, escape in the dead of night, or sell their soul to Satan to make it stop. It immediately sets tension and speaks volumes, with very few words.

When you’re with someone your whole life- or what feels like your whole life- you can fixate on the way they take their socks off, the sound they make before they answer the office phone, how they always move your coffee mug. It can make you crazy.

I hate the way you lay on my tiger. Just to mock me. Not even playing with it.

What do you fixate on? I’m looking for some good lines.

Here are your links.

My favorite description of a first encounter with foie gras: Duck, Duck, Gross on Friday Night Casserole.

A courageous post about mental illness: The Clothespin Theory on Going Round and Round.

I love this. From the about page: Honoring natural selection’s most baffling creations. Go home, evolution, you are drunk. WTF,Evolution?

I dug this post about taking a couple of teenagers to NYC for their first trip, and losing an audition: You Can Learn a Lot From Losing on Running On Wine. 

Heart Disease is the number one killer of women. February is National Heart Month. This is a great post from Darla about her mother: What the Heart Knows on She’s a Maineiac. Please do also watch the really eye-opening and funny video at the end of the post from Go Red For Women.

Happy Sunday.


20 thoughts on “I Hate the Way You Lay On My Tiger Sunday

  1. My mother hums. Incessantly. But they are NOT SONGS. They are just… notes. Kind of. When she’s not humming, she’s doing this soundless skat for which the only audible feature is her tongue clicking against the backs of her front teeth. AAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH.

  2. That IS the perfect opening line, and this is suuuuuch a good question. Peppermeister leaves his travel coffee mug on the built-in bookshelf shelf in the kitchen.

    Every day.

    Two feet from the sink.

  3. Thanks for the links — She’s a Maineac’s post was brilliant but a little too close to home for me. My mom hummed all the time, too. And then she died (after the same operation SAM’s mom had). So basically I’d give anything to have her annoying me with her tuneless humming. xoxoxo B

  4. That line is perfect. Along with the photo caption.

    Reading what Jules said reminded me of my husband, who leaves junk in our kitchen sink. Like trash. Or bits of garlic skin he’s peeled. Leaving me to dig it out. I hate the way you peel your garlic, might be a line that works in this case.

    Thanks for the link to the heart video and story. Something I really wanted women to read.

    1. I loved your post and the video. My husband does that too. He’s an amazing cook. And an amazingly messy cook. I dig out garlic skin, shallot skin, lemon rinds from the sink and I’m thinking: does this sink look like it has a freaking disposal? And then I’m all like, oh, I’m an ass. He totally just made us all dinner. AGAIN. While I was blogging. AGAIN.

      But wet shallot skin gives me the willies. Especially when it has coffee grounds and eggshells on it.

      1. Oh, that gives me the willies, too! What’s bad is, I’m usually the one doing the cooking, he just likes to dump garlic cloves on top of whatever it is I’m making. (shaking head)

  5. Wow, thanks so much for adding my post to your Sunday list! 😀 I hadn’t looked at my email since Saturday or I would have said so sooner. (And thanks even more for saying it is courageous – I don’t think anything I’ve done has ever been called courageous before.)

    I fixate on the fact that people in my family don’t take the caps off plastic bottles and rinse them out before putting them in the recycling, but “I hate the way you don’t take the caps off of or rinse out the bottles before you put them in the recycling,” doesn’t have quite the impact of the sandwich line. Neither does, “I hate the way you never close the K-Cup holder on the Keurig!”

      1. Nah, it’s just easier for me to tap into hate. Your hate is really more of a mild dislike with a strong annoyance. Which is refreshing, really. 🙂

  6. I wish I had something of value to offer, but I’m having trouble focussing these days. My first self-published book simply didn’t emerge according to my vision and while I’ve been blogging more than ever, I still feel lost.
    Sorry to waste your time, my friend.
    Great post, though!

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