SPidge Tales

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Don't Be That Guy

Merriam-Webster dictionary just announced the new entries into this year’s edition. Some of the new ones include “chick flicks”, “bikini wax”, and “wi-fi”. As certain phrases become part of the cultural lexicon over a long enough period of time that show realistic staying power, they gain the status of official words, and merit inclusion in the dictionary. This got me to thinking of phrases that I (over?) use, and one that keeps popping to mind is That Guy. We always talk about That Guy, and I am not sure anyone knows exactly whom we are referring to. I use the phrase all the time, and even I am not always sure who I am talking about. The only thing I know for certain, even if I don’t know for certain whom he is, is that I don’t (and you don’t) want to be That Guy.

When we say That Guy, I think we are speaking about an archetype of a certain kind of person, and a certain kind of behavior, that, on the one hand, we don’t want to fall into, but on the other hand, desire, and possibly need, as a reassurance that we are at least treading, if not staying above, water, in whatever the particular endeavor may be. There are variations of, or, better put, categories and lower subdivision of That Guy, such as “you know, That Guy who…”, and on top, on the pantheon, is just That Guy. The one of whom you definitely do not want to be.

That Guy also gives us a reference and comparison point. When a friend tells about That Guy who can’t answer a “How are you doing?” with an “I’m well, yourself?” but instead turns it into a 40 minute story, we give a knowing glance, because we all know someone like that. Or, That Guy who is always drunk, or that Guy who always talks during movies. We don’t want to be That Guy who everyone talks about, but we also appreciate That Guy-ness, because it shows that we are all connected, we are all in this together. Humans may be unique individuals, but we have much in common. We all have similar, if not the same, experiences. These shared annoyances allow us to bond.

We have all, whether we like to admit it or not, been That Guy (or That Girl) at some points in our lives. Whether it is being That Girl who gets annoyingly drunk, or That Guy who doesn’t understand “no” and keeps pursuing the girl who doesn’t want him, we have all been there. That Guy is both a warning and a memory. In college, we even used to hand out That Guy awards to whoever ended up being That Guy at the party.

So, here’s to you, That Guy. Crack open a Bud Light. We salute you.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home