Sidebuster: (noun) An individual who was not invited into a conversation, but feels compelled to interject their own opinion anyway.

Sidebusters make life interesting if only for the fact that they are sometimes entertaining but always annoying and unwanted.

Older relatives are particularly good at being sidebusters.

For example, you could be sitting at a family function talking to a relative whom you haven’t seen for an extended length of time. While you’re in the middle of explaining why you’re no longer married, or why you are still single, that annoying aunt who can dial into any conversation from a mile away like she has satellite reception better than DirecTV will suddenly shout, “Yeah, next time you should pick a Polynesian girl because they love your family!”Uh, how is that relevant in any way to my conversation? And how are you going to give me marriage advice when you have four children from four different trolls?

A sidebuster can often offer themselves up as a sacrificial lamb by admitting to something that no one else really wanted to hear details about. For example, I could be talking to someone about surgical procedures or I could be asking for medical advice when suddenly over your shoulder a guy whom you only just met in the lounge says, “You don’t need both of those. You could go your entire life with only one of them and you’ll be just fine. I am.” Really? Can you live without vocal chords? Because I’m about to step on your throat right now.

Sidebusters can also be very physical in nature. They often like to illustrate how something can be done without your approval. And of course, since they have not been involved in the conversation long enough, they immediately assume that they know what you’re talking about. For example you could be talking to a mechanic about the best way to flush out your cars radiator when behind a bush your uncle jumps out and says, “I get plugged up all the time but if you use a laxative and drink plenty of water it will clean you right out.” And as he’s explaining this he’s acting out the sequence of events. Wow! Thanks for that anatomy lesson uncle. Would you like a cup of grape juice and this plate of shut-the-hell-up before we play an exciting game of “Things I don’t want to know about you”?

I must confess, I have had my sidebuster moments but Super Mom has cured me of that little habit. Every time I’m about to launch my foray as an invited guest to the conversation, she simply gives me the look. Not the look she gives me when I’ve already said too much; not the look she gives when I’m being a jerk to one of our boys. No, she gives me the ‘Cautionary Glare’, it’s subtle but dangerous and it has teeth. Every time Super Mom gives me the ‘Cautionary Glare’ I know it’s time to shut it down and kick rocks because if I get in too deep, she’s going to put a hole in the floatation device and let me sink to my own sidebuster death in the murky waters of self-deprecation.

Sidebuster’s beware. It’s not a fun position to be in so get an invitation before you jump in.

 

 

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