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"Don't get mad, but..." So began a text from my sister, instantly causing my teeth to grind and my brow to furrow. Talk about sparking the polar opposite of the desired reaction. I wish I had the ability to harness my emotions like she instructed, but I do not. If you told the Dalai Lama "Don't get mad," he'd de-friend you on Facebook.

Once I'd cooled down, I thought of two other directives people off-handedly issue me, each of which indicates an assumption on their part that Jamie Reidy -- alone among humans -- wields complete control of his body and universe.

"Feel better!" I get the flu twice a year, give or take two times. Once stricken, I can depend on friends to cheerfully order me to, "Feel better!" This reflects the speaker's belief that I have opted for the diarrhea, chills and a headache combo meal. Aside from a kid who didn't study for the test, what fucking masochist wants to have the flu? And why would my pal remain friends with me, someone who would allow himself to spend more time sitting on the toilet than the couch? Consequently, Jamie The Self Powerful questions the upside to continuing a friendship with said person. JTSP also wonders why, if I can control all my bodily activities, did I ever let myself go bald?

"Have a good flight!" It's impossible to travel by air and not have somebody -- pal, girlfriend, cabby -- sing, "Have a good flight!"

You know I'm not a pilot, right? I'm not certified to fly this plane or any other? (I will give the cabby a pass for thinking I could be the pilot. Maybe he's some oracle of the odometer who's picking up on my long-repressed dream of attending the Air Force Academy in the hopes of becoming an aviator!) Let's assume that the speaker knows that I will not be manning the stick of the actual air craft. That still leaves innumerable interpretations of the meaning. Maybe, Hope there will be a middle seat open in Coach! Or, Hope you they don't run out of Stax, those Pringles rip offs you buy on United flights even though you'd prefer the real thing! Those are sweet thoughts. But perhaps she sets the bar ever lower. Hope you don't hafta use the barf bag! In that case, I'd agree with her, as I, too, routinely hope I do not have to vomit on a plane (or anywhere else, for that matter). Or maybe he sets the bar a mile high. Hope there's a hot nurse in your aisle with a middle seat open and she blows you! Based on my air travel history, that occurrence is improbable, but I really appreciate those types of well wishes.

Fortunately, I've got a solution for this blight on bonhomie: add "Hope you" to the start of the sentence. "Hope you feel better!" "Hope you have a good flight!"

You know, my girlfriend may not appreciate the earlier hot nurse/fellatio example. I better give her a heads up text about this blog.

"Hope you don't get mad..."