by Liz Alterman
If you cut in front of my kids in line at a water park, I'll probably speak up. If you try to shortchange me by $20 when I'm already coughing up $16 for two Chipwiches at a Rangers game, hell yeah, I;m going to have to tell you what's what. But for the most part, I'm a non-confrontational kind of gal with a tendency to let a lot of things slide because it often seems easier than getting into a big kerfuffle.
Now, after years of sitting on the sidelines like a sap, I'm entering the fray thanks to three little letters that have given me passive-aggressive license to attempt to right some wrongs while still appearing like my good-natured, jovial self.
Let me introduce you to the power of my new fave acronym, which is doing the dirty work for me: LOL (Laugh(ing) Out Loud).
Drop this little gem at end of your emails or texts and let it work its magic. Sit back and revel in imagining your recipients scratching their heads and pondering, "Wait, did this mild-mannered lady just call me out on my bullshit?" (Yes, Honey, she did.)
In case you're wondering when and how to use it, here are some examples:
With deadbeat moms:
Remember when you borrowed $50 from me at the school book fair? Did you have any intention of paying me back? It's been three months already. LOL
To point out a potential health hazard:
I can't believe you invited Bobby over to play and didn't tell me the rest of your family has lice! LOL
If you've inadvertently been suckered:
When you asked me to watch your goldfish, I didn't think you meant for the entire summer and I didn't know they'd make my whole house smell like ass. LOL
I think promoting Francine to project manager would be a colossal mistake. LOL
Around the neighborhood:
Did you know your teen driver just backed into my mini-van? LOL
Your new puppy is adorable! And it's so retro of you to walk him without a bag and let him poop on my lawn. LOL!
On the domestic front:
Hey Hon, any chance you can leave work early and come home? The mailman just fell through the porch. He's conscious but talking about calling a lawyer. Guess I was right about the perils of ignoring those carpenter ants. LOL!
To share a moment in self-deprecation:
Get this: My nephew noticed the mold in our bathroom, told my sister-in-law, and now she's threatening to call CPS. Know a good cleaning lady? LOL
Regarding your social scene:
So sorry Fletcher didn't get a party favor, but maybe you should've RSVP'd to my Evite more than 10 minutes before the designated start time. LOL
I know she's your sister, but I'd prefer it if we didn't include Tanya in our next book club meeting. She usually guzzles all the wine, hoards the very best cheese cubes, and spoiled the ending of The Girl on the Train for the rest of us. Thanks for letting her know! LOL
Should your recipients not respond to your initial message, feel free to follow up with my second favorite acronym: ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) and then resend. Go ahead, steal these ideas and really make them your own. I don't mind a bit... LOL!
Liz Alterman is a writer who's covered a variety of subjects, from personal finance issues for CNBC.com to career advice for The Muse. A mom of three, her hobbies include reading, baking, and failed attempts at gardening. She blogs about the perils of middle-aged unemployment at On the Balls of Our A$$ets.