Ever say the words….“I’m rubber, you’re glue. Everything bounces off me and sticks to you” ….
Or what about “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”?
The clever replies to an insults or criticisms we used as kids are referred to as a riposte. We used them most often when someone called us a name. They were tools we learned from each other to help us ward off insults from the other kids. In a way they also helped keep us from becoming too sensitive. There was a lot of power in those lines… who knew we were such warriors with words ???
“I’m Rubber” was a way of ensuring that insults would not stick or hurt us. In fact, by proclaiming that you were rubber was a way of saying, I am resilient! I will “bounce back” I am protected because I have a positive self image. Believing in yourself was the ultimate defense for any kid growing up (unless you had a bunch of tough older brothers or sisters).
Conversely, by saying “you are glue” you were proclaiming in defense that….What you have said to me will bounce off me and stick to you. The rude things others chose to say about us… became a reflection of who they really were as a person. I was rubber they were the glue. Simple and sweet… case closed…. sometimes I’d have to repeat it a hundred times over and over again to drown out the verbal assaults. Like the moves use in fencing….which coincidently also has a Riposte….
- Lunge — the basic attacking move. … “You Stink”
- Parry — a defensive action where the fencer blocks the opponent’s lunge. … “I’M RUBBER“
- Riposte — a counterattack by the fencer who has blocked the opponent with a parry. “Your Glue“
Photo Credit : Tell Tima Miroshnichenko
I’m wondering if there are adult versions of the Rubber and Glue or the Sticks and Stones riposte’s that we could use effectively when we are feeling attacked… Saying “well your just a stupid head” really doesn’t have that stand your ground and proclaim your resilience ring to it… I would really appreciate a few clever Riposte’s or witty comebacks to offer for my defense… I read once that the best retorts are comebacks that are witty, take the higher moral ground, are appropriate and most importantly, positive. Recently, I was making a purchase and the clerk asked for my home phone number. For an instant I couldn’t recall it but went to my cell phone address book to get it. While browsing my phone the clerk commented that he must be getting older because he forgets stuff all the time… To which I replied, I remember stuff all right…..and I forget stuff too. I can’t remember the last time I could get up from a chair without making noises. And it’s been a while I’ll tell ya.
Got any witty comebacks or riposte’s?? Let’s hear them…that’s if you can remember them! I always remember great comebacks after walking away… I should have said to the clerk …who me OLD! I know you are but what am I????