You know what I can't stand? When I'm on the phone and the other person says:
"Well, I'm going to let you go."
I'm not that much of a phone person, so I don't hear it often, and I certainly don't know a lot of people who say it. But when they do say it, they always say it the same way. And it sounds like this:
"Well, I sure am tired of talking to you. I don't actually need to do anything right now, have nowhere to be, nothing is boiling over on the stove, my kids are not trying to kill each other, no cop is giving me the stink eye because I forgot my Blu-Tooth, but...the fact remains that this call is done for me. So...I'm going to go and make it look like I'm doing you a favor. Just out of the goodness of my heart. That way, it's a win-win. I get to stop having this boring conversation, and you think I'm keenly aware of your needs, so much so that I can sense them without you saying a word."
And are people really thinking/implying all that when they use those seven (eight if you don't want a contraction) little words? I don't know. But that's what it always seems like to me. Interestingly, the people who say this are never the ones I've been gabbing with for an hour. No, we've just had a three-minute exchange that involved some sort of time and place negotiation, and a couple pleasantries about the family. Now we are finished, apparently.
So what's my problem? It kinda hurts my feelings. Because it feels so disingenuous. It makes me feel like we don't really know each other very well. Because if we did, I think they would say:
"I gotta go. I really need to go watch Gossip Girl and eat Halloween candy. Talk to you soon. By the way? You're the best."
Now that's more like it.
Readers, how about you? Which little turns of phrase, posing as social niceties (or not!) drive you batty?