Saturday, December 13, 2008


I'm starting a petition against the SIGH.

You know what I mean. THE SIGH. You're standing in line with three little 'uns and you hear it. That little puff of air. Usually nasal. Slow in, quick out. Oh, you're meant to hear it. But when you turn, they smile at you. It's the equivalent of sending a snarky blog comment as 'anonymous.'

There are several versions to THE SIGH. There's the behind-the-back-I'm-letting-you-know-I'm-in-a-hurry sigh: THE PUFF.  That one is probably on the bottom of the totem pole. Higher up is THE HUFF SIGH. It has a slight 'huh' sound to it, the mouth slightly closing on the exit. Eyebrows raised. A little more aggressive, users may have already tried out The Puff. The daring skip straight to the Huff.

But the glory of the sighs is THE GRUFF. A growl may be interspersed with the common Huff - or a GEEZ or a GALL or even a COME OOOOOON. Eyes roll. Feet tap. Foreheads are held. People are embarrassed.

I do not like sighs. 

To me, it's a cowardly way to voice frustration. It's patronizing. It's belittling. And it's tricky - there's no clear evasive measure or way to fight back. You can't exactly start a brawl over it. "Well, he started it, officer, he SIGHED at me." Won't hold up in court. 

The sigh is meant to advertise displeasure. The sigher is impatient, frustrated, angry. Yet it is not a true communication tool because there is not a clear reciprocal action. You can merely sigh BACK. 

In my experience sighers are rarely defensive vocally. You might turn and sweetly inquire, "is something the matter?" And the answer is almost always, "Oh, no, not at all." 

PUFF PUFF GRUUUUUUUUUUUUFF. It's no wonder Umbridge sighed all over the place. 


Kristina P. said...

VERY passive-aggressive. I prefer name calling, myself.

Carrie Thompson said...

This is one of the best post I have ever read!!!!!!!!! My mom is a "sigher"! Drives me INSANE. I am like okay mom, is there a why would you think that...well you SIGHED!!!!!!!!!!!

and somehow I am in the wrong!

Great post.

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, what Carrie said. My hatred for sighing started with my good ol' mom. Love her. Hate the sighs. I'll say something like, I'm wearing a blue shirt. she'll sigh. What? And sometimes I say "WHAT???" and she's all, "what?" ugh

but the public stranger sigh is SO annoying (I'm getting back to the point)

This is such a great post. You're hilarious!

Brooke said...

I'm with you. I used to get all riled up about it, then I decided to be vengeful and take my sweet time doing what I was doing. It really ticks them off. Plus, you have the same defense they do "well, officer, she took her time. . ."

Erin said...

You would think with three kids and the look of pure frustration and stress on your face that someone would have an ounce of compassion or even pity. Sheesh.