If you can’t say something nice, make this face instead

I enjoy a good podcast as much as the next person. I like knowing juuuuust enough about a topic to show well at dinner parties. I like getting lost in the conversation of experts. I like being exposed to new ideas or fantastic innovations. I like listening to Neil de Grasse Tyson quietly, but definitely, demand to be the funniest guy in the Cosmos.

What I’m less keen on is hearing the n-word 6 times in the intro to one of my new favorite ‘casts.

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience, Were you listening to a podcast about race?”

No, of course not. I went as Hedy Lamar for Halloween, not “Insane, Reckless Radical.”

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience, are you sure the song wasn’t about a ninja who was moving dope. Or maybe the song was about spring insects like chiggers, or someone pulling a trigger?”

Nope. I googled to confirm. And then apologized to my work computer for making it display such lyrics.

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience. It’s just a word. Sticks and stones and all that. You sound super uptight.”

Of course, I’m uptight! One does not perfect a canter pirouette (or anything else in life for that matter) if not by being a bit unrelenting  and a fan of behaving obsessively.

I might have been less surprised if the podcast in question was about race or hip hop or drugs or the creative use of linguistics in disenfranchised communities. Or if the hosts had been a minority of some sort.

But no, it was 3 white guys sitting around discussing economics and how much people like to buy coffee and chips who decided that their entrance music would drop half a dozen n-bombs.

I might also have been less reactive had I not had a friend with me and just told them how much I love this podcast.

It’s in these moments that Oreo training really kicks in. The only thing more uncomfortable than a person who’s been threatened by having the word nigger shouted at them while spit flew from that same mouth suddenly hearing it in a context that makes zero sense is the white person next to them hoping desperately that this situation doesn’t mean that they’re racist.

In this situation, you may feel the urge to throw your iPhone across the room (and since it’s a 4s, you might be doing yourself a favor) and never listen to this show again. At the very least, your jaw may drop.

Do not let it

An Oreo must keep calm and poised at all times for the sake of those around her. For those times when you don’t feel so calm and poised, please practice the following look. It will get you much farther than debating or protesting or bringing up well-reasoned arguments ever will. And it will keep the people around you emotionally snug as a bug in a well protected rug.

Heard a needlessly offensive song in what was supposed to be an informative show?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3
Had a friend tell you that this blackfaced Ray Rice costume they saw was totes hilar?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

People tell you they’re shocked when they realize you don’t have a super strong opinion about Dear White People?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3


Trader Joes out of Diet Hansen’s Ginger Ale?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Did a flying lead change when you should have done a canter half-pass?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Realized that you didn’t put your phone in airplane mode for the first 3 days of your trip to London?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Realized that a state in this union passed a law yesterday that forces women to plan for their own rapes and buy rape insurance, otherwise they may not get proper medical care after their trauma?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Comedian feels entitled to make un-requested slavery/rape fantasy “jokes” about a woman he doesn’t know, then gets all butthurt because people ask him not to publicly bring strangers into his demons.

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Smile through the pain. Everyone around you will appreciate it and the pain you experience from forcing your lips into a happy U-shape will soon eclipse the pain of the “injustice” you “felt.”

At the very least, it’s practice to get you out of accidentally making ABL Face. (I think we all know what that stands for… The Royal “We” of course… Oh, we don’t. OK, sorry, I thought we were… anyhoo, check out the meaning behind ABL Face here)


What about you? What’s your “it’s all good” face? Do people buy it? What are you grinning and bearing this week?

If you were going to have entrance music, what would your song be? How uncomfortable would it make people?

Let us know in the comments! 


For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)


  1. I have one small bone of contention with your advice. Turning on the ABL Face is the right course of action, if and when, Trader Joe’s runs out of Hansen’s Diet Ginger Ale. Otherwise I’m in 100% agreement. The stripes were very slimming by the way.

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