Bunshole uses of “Well, that’s what you get.”

June 24th, 2013 | by TJ |

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have recently clued in to the fact that I have what I have started calling a “maximum two year old.” You can interpret that however you want, I guess, because I haven’t found a way yet to go into detail in a way that won’t end with me being really irritated. She is a top end child. She is up there. My belief in my own absolute averageness is only strengthened by her existence, because it is top of the range people like Penelope, combined with bottom of the range other babies belonging to parents who should just go right to hell with their smug, unbruised faces, that combine to create the average, middle babies, that an average number of people are walking around with. My maximum two year old is what allows for your “kind of in there, somewhere” two year old to just be in there, somewhere.

I don’t even want to talk about it, because I know that someone had somehow had a worse kid even though I haven’t even detailed mine, or that I should JUST WAIT until she’s a teenager, because THAT’S a fine thing to say to someone trying to LAUNCH THEIR CHILD into a fan (I HAVE VAULTED CEILINGS), and I know everyone has a bunch of solutions, which leads to rounds upon rounds of “you can do it my way!,” leaving me as the huge, impossible asshole who isn’t even TRYING.

Look, I will tell you what happens, and I will use Swistle as an example, because she can’t stop me. Yesterday, she tweeted that she was looking for a watch with the following specific qualities: multiple alarms, not huge and terrible, not manly. So I looked for one, and I found a Casio watch that wasn’t very expensive, came in a couple blue colors, kept dual times, and was a noted ladies’ watch. I presented it to Swistle, TAA DAAA. I have solved your problem.

Except no! I hadn’t! Because the watch kept dual time, but didn’t actually have multiple alarms. I pointed that out to Swistle when she was lamenting the loss of a good huff, because I, too, enjoy a good huff and sulk. But! That’s not how it always goes. This is how it could have gone, where I am me, and Swistle is Swistle, except I’m being the type of person who makes things difficult sometimes, and Swistle is playing the me role, except it didn’t actually go this way, so I’m really playing both roles right now, and Swistle is just a placeholder, and you should understand that from this point on, none of this actually happened, so this is really a pretend Swistle, not at all actual Swistle.

Pretend Swistle: Oh, this only has one alarm, and I need three. Oh, well, thanks anyway!
Me, being the problem: Well, you can use the one alarm, then reset it, and then use it again, and then reset it!
Pretend Swistle: I guess I could, but that seems like a lot of trouble when I already have a current three alarm system. I can just keep looking for a multiple alarm watch. Thanks!
Me, being the problem: You could get this watch that I found for you, use the one alarm, and then use two of the current alarms that you are already using!
Pretend Swistle: Well, I’m really looking for a watch with multiple alarms, so that watch with one alarm really won’t work.
Me, being the problem: I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.
Pretend Swistle: … the end to your genetic line.

Look, I’m off track. Let me offer some advice. If your proposed solution to someone’s problem is not sticking, if the person is politely peeling it off each time you stick your tail onto their donkey butt, quit coming back around for a different angle at their rear, no matter how ample it seems and how your tail really seems to perfectly suit it. “Oh, what a lovely tail! I bet that would look really nice on some other donkey! Here, let me gently remove it from my butt and hand it back to you!” That’s a sign that you shouldn’t approach my ass again with the same tail.

Shit! Why does it always go like this? Look, Swistle isn’t a donkey. No one is a donkey. No one has an ass, ample or otherwise. Don’t approach. I mean, if you have the perfect tail, go ahead — NO. NO ONE NEEDS A TAIL. NO ONE NEEDS ASS DECORATION. That was a bad metaphor. You know what I meant. And anyway, of course it was specific people, none of whom are you.

This whole post is bad.

I have a maximum two year old, and I need you to stay away from my ass with anything you might want to pin on it for today. I may turn my ass toward you at another time. For now, I find myself saying, “well, that’s what you get” a lot. As one might expect. Oh, you fell off that teetering pile of foam play form thingers? Well, that’s what you get when you climb on top of a teetering pile of anything. You threw everything you were playing with over the gate and now you’re bewildered that you can’t have it back? Well, that’s what you get when you throw things, all the while bellowing the “NO THROWING!” house rule.

I’m saying, there are a lot of legitimate applications of the phrase, “Well, that’s what you get.” Penelope is probably my main and most valid application. And probably the most apt one for me, as well. “Oh, you had unprotected sex some years ago with the intent of getting pregnant and now you’re struggling with the resulting two year old? Well, that’s what you get.” We wouldn’t be friends anymore after you said such a thing, but it would be a fair, if dicknosey thing to say.

Other legitimate uses:

- Oh, you bought a Groupon for Lasik from a company no one has ever heard of and now you’re blind? Well, that’s kind of what you get.
- Oh, you texted your wedding guest to tell her what a shitty gift she gave you and you ended up being a viral news story? Well, that’s what you get.
- I don’t know, I didn’t think this through. That’s what I get.

But! There are two specific uses of “that’s what you get” that I think are unfair, annoying, and kind of smug and superior: the favor situation and the expectation of service situation.

In the favor situation, basically, you ask someone to do you a favor, and because it’s a favor, and you’re imposing, you basically have no real right to expect it to be done the way you’ve asked it to be done, or the way you need it to be done. If it comes out wrong, well, that’s what you get. You CAN’T expect something to be done right, because it’s a FAVOR. I think this is pretty well illustrated in the comments of one of my own settle this posts here. Since the person needing to be woken up has asked a favor of the other person, they basically HAVE to take what they get in terms of their request being followed to the letter. That’s the tone of many of the comments, anyway.

I don’t agree, though. I think an adult can ask another adult for a favor and have a reasonable expectation that their favor needs will be met, if the fav… ee… favee! agrees. Of course, there are exceptions. If you ask a chronically late person (don’t get me started) to take you to the airport and you miss your flight, well, that’s what you get. If you ask a terrible cook to make all the side dishes for Thanksgiving and everyone spends the next day rotating between the two toilets in the house, well, that’s what you get.

But if one reasonable favor asker asks a reasonable favee to perform a task, and the favee indicates that they can indeed perform said task in the way described and then does NOT perform it in the way described, I don’t think the asker is in ANY way deserving of a “well, that’s what you get.” Just because the favee decided to go all rogue and free form doesn’t mean it should be in any way expected just because it was a favor. In fact, as an adult, agreeing to be a favee does kind of obligate you to perform the task as agreed. Not just willy nilly it because, hey, it’s a favor. No big. I’m doing you a favor.

Of course, as the asker, you cut slack and don’t ask too much, and give thanks as appropriate and, you know, follow all the asker/favee rules of behavior. I’m just saying, the mere fact that something is a favor doesn’t mean that the asker has no right to expect it to be performed the way it was requested. In a favor/favee situation, the use of, “well, that’s what you get,” should not be automatic and is often a BUNSHOLE use of “well, that’s what you get.” Eh? Yes? No? Are you automatically obligated to accept whatever you get from a favee, even if you have taken the time to outline your needs and they were understood and accepted upon the time of asking for the favor? Is a “well, that’s what you get” deserved in ALL cases of favor/favee relations?

Uh, no.

SECOND. Expectation of service. There are certain places that, because they have fallen out of public favor – well, they haven’t, not really, just certain segments of public and their favor – it is best just not to mention it if you don’t receive stellar service when you go there because, well, THAT’S WHAT YOU GET.

For the sake of this post, let’s use Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, because those are the two I’m specifically thinking of at the moment, but I’m sure you could add one or two more two the list. Setting aside all “how could you shop/eat there?” comments for whatever reasons people have for making them, I don’t know what any of those reasons have to do with the idea that someone should be expecting or even, judging by tone, expecting poor service if they choose to go to these places.

Because McDonald’s serves unhealthy food that some people don’t eat and could never possibly wrap their minds around why you would eat it, if you do choose to go there and get poor service in exchange for your money, well, that’s what you get. Because Wal-Mart employs business practices that some people don’t agree with, causing them to make the choice not to shop there, if you have a completely-unrelated-to-business-practices poor experience at Wal-Mart, well, that’s what you get.

I don’t know if this one is especially clear, but it was one that I always came across in the comments on The Consumerist, before it became a completely useless website without comments. An article would be posted about, say, Best Buy. A good article, highlighting some consumer-related issue of general interest to the readers of the website. And without fail, there would be some cocksock in the comments saying, “well, that’s what you get for shopping at Best Buy.” As if the simple act of entering a retail store that someone else doesn’t like and expecting goods and services in exchange for the money you earned makes you some kind of backwoods, dumbass, someone needs to hold your hand before you lose it up your own ass schmuck. No!

No, I refuse to accept that. I want to take my money into any place I want, and I don’t care if other people like the place or don’t like the place, I don’t believe it’s an exercise in predetermined insanity to expect it to just… go smoothly. For a place of BUSINESS to conduct their BUSINESS. It should be a SURPRISE when it doesn’t happen properly, not just… WHAT I GET. What I get, because other people don’t like the place because of some totally unrelated whatevers.

Of course there are exceptions, like the one Carl’s Jr. where all the soda from the fountain tastes like cleaner, or everyone has the one coffee place in their town that never gets it right and everyone KNOWS that, or whatever. But in general, you know, if I get on Twitter and I say, “Holy shit, I was checking out at Wal-Mart and the clerk picked up my box of cake mix and DUMPED IT INTO MY BRA,” and someone is like, “Well, you know. Wal-Mart. That’s what you get.” NO. BUNSHOLE. BUNS. HOLE.


I welcome your thoughts and opinions on other appropriate and/or bunshole uses of “well, that’s what you get,” even if they contradict my own, because I might contradict you back, and, well, that’s what you get.

So. Clearly I’ve been stewing on this for a while. Feels good, man. Feels good.

Unrelated Penelope.



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37 Responses to “Bunshole uses of “Well, that’s what you get.””

  1. By Elizabeth on Jun 24, 2013

    My favorite example of this is that you are never ever ever allowed to complain about someone being a dillhole to you on the internet. You’re the jerk who chose to write about your personal life on the internet! If someone decides to leave you a supremely bitchy comment about how ugly your kids shoes are, well, that’s what you get, you turdface! You write about your life on the internet! Too bad for you, expecting people not to be jerks to you! That’s what you get!


  2. By Jesabes on Jun 24, 2013

    I am VERY pleased with what I got for reading this entire post. A++, would read more.


  3. By Amy on Jun 24, 2013

    Great read — Just remember, Penny is sooooo cute — and that helps :)

    Thanks for linking to that awesome wedding guest story — it was fab!


  4. By Charleen on Jun 24, 2013

    I use that phrase to myself in situations that I would never use it to other people. Both of the “not allowed” examples you give (and pretty much any others you can think of) in a sort of defeatist way… like, “That’s what I get for assuming today wouldn’t suck.” But I’d never say it to someone else, and I’d probably be pissed if someone said it to me. (But of course, that’s what I get for assuming people might not be bunsholes…)


  5. By Melissa on Jun 24, 2013

    Thank you for repeatedly using the word “bunshole”, it made my day. Also yes yes yes to everything you said.


  6. By Gaby on Jun 24, 2013

    Just this past weekend, I’ve run into the asker/askee favor failure, so I’m strongly nodding my head in response to this post. I asked my SIL, who embroiders for a living, if she could create my son’s 3rd birthday t-shirt. I have an embroidery machine of my own, I could create the shirt, but my machine sucks and SIL’s doesn’t, so I asked her. I asked her for a blue shirt with a purple dinosaur that had pink spikes (purple and pink are my son’s favorite colors, and he looks good in blue, so that request was for me). SIL delivers the shirt to me this weekend, and it’s a green shirt with a purple dinosaur and pink/white polkadotted spikes. Not what I asked for, but she did it as a favor, it’s done, she refused my offer to pay for it, I could’ve struggled to make it on my own machine but asked her, so I guess “that’s what I get”? Suck. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but it got under my skin.

    Of course, this is the same SIL who looked at my wedding registry to see the color of towels we registered for, got us similarly-colored but not the same color or even brand FTLOG towels, and proceeded to embroider them with our monogram, so we couldn’t even return them to get the ones we really wanted. I think she suffers a bit from “I know best” syndrome. I guess that’s what I get for marrying into this family and getting her as a SIL! …or something like that.


    Michelle Reply:

    I just have to tell you this – my mom will look at a wedding registry to find out what color towels someone wants, and then without fail, will buy that color in the Kohls brand. Because it doesn’t matter where that person registered, the Kohl’s towels are the best and therefore EVERYONE will get them. WTF?!


  7. By Kara on Jun 24, 2013

    Kids are so fun, aren’t they?

    A favorite saying in our house, via preschool, is “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.”


  8. By brooke on Jun 24, 2013

    This is pretty much the best post ever.


  9. By Jess on Jun 24, 2013

    I follow you in Twitter and basically every Tweet about your maximum two year old has me nodding (vigorously) in solidarity. I have what I refer to as a professional 2 year old (27 months). And FEEL YOUR PAIN! For what it’s worth, mine gets a huge kick out of the vine videos you post!


  10. By Corinne on Jun 24, 2013

    I have a maximum child as well. I had no idea how easy my other ones were until this one showed up. So I know what you mean, and I totally hear you about people solving it for you. As if you had just been loafing along, not trying. They’ll show you how it’s done! My most recent favorite was the cleaning guy that was going to charm my son out of a tantrum. I wish I had thought to say to him afterward “Well, that’s what you get.”


  11. By Jody on Jun 24, 2013

    First of all, good grief your ways with words is awesome. Second, I am always impressed how you can anticipate the diverse ways that anything you might say can be twisted, “but-ed,” and point-missing. My mind works like that too – constantly playing out all the possible outcomes. Third, I am curious to know whether when dealing with a challenging child, does it provide some relief to hear that she is adorable or is it frustrating that her cuteness is acting as a sneaky ninja disguise for her inward mischief?


  12. By Maggie on Jun 24, 2013

    Sometimes when offered unsolicited assvice, I wonder if I the only parent who has ever suffered assvice and, therefore, sworn never to offer same?

    Further, even if I had never been subjected to unsolicited advice, having two kids has convinced me that the things I patted myself on the back for with first – all the ways I must have been such a fab parent – were disproven by my second. In other words, things I thought I caused with first child turned out to just be things about first child, not about my awesome parenting skills. Therefore, I seldom offer advice even if asked because I’m virtually certain that any of it is worth crap when applied to anyone other than one of my specific two children.


  13. By Diane on Jun 24, 2013

    Kelly. Why is your bra in your pants?


    Sister Reply:

    YES. Why indeed.


  14. By Swistle on Jun 24, 2013

    Real Swistle greatly enjoyed this post.

    Also, my GOODNESS but that is a lovely child, and those are exceptionally excellent photographs of said lovely child.


  15. By Katie on Jun 24, 2013

    Honestly, I hate “that’s what you get” in virtually every situation ever. It shames a person for trying to do something that is almost always reasonable and I find that infuriating on every level possible.

    I am sorry you have to navigate maximum 2 year old-ville. According to my parents, I was a maximum 2 year old. I can’t imagine how tough it is (my parents were going to have 3 kids, then they had me…). We grow into passionate adults (and FWIW I was a kickass amazing rule following teenager).


  16. By Lindsay on Jun 24, 2013

    It really is like a game trying to come up with the “but… shit, nevermind, she covered that one” or the “what about?… Nope you idiot, she covered that angle too.” Good game.


  17. By Emily on Jun 24, 2013

    As a mother who survived a maximum two year old (we’re not talking Penny-level maximum, but he was up there), I empathize. I will not try to stick anything to your ass, however, because I also empathize with how obnoxious that is. All I’ve got for you is a hearty “good luck.”


  18. By Faith on Jun 24, 2013

    Oh my lands is Penelope ever adorable – bet she looks even cuter clinging to a ceiling fan!


  19. By Kate on Jun 24, 2013

    My otherwise loveable sister once said to me, in response to some mild child-related complaint, “well, you should have thought about that before you got pregnant.” I was simultaneously annoyed and entertained. My husband and I used that regularly on each other for a couple of years.

    Penny is super-cute.


  20. By Auntie G on Jun 25, 2013

    My almost 2-year old is…decidedly on the right of the bell curve, if not quite “maximum,” and “that’s what you get” is the ONLY reason I have not been committed to a mental institution/DIY sterilized myself and my husband. Danger Baby will not learn any other way, and I would literally do nothing else with my time ever if I were trying to constantly divert him/remove him from danger/reason with him. Girl. I feel your pain. I tell myself that IF HE LIVES THAT LONG, D.B. is going to be a kickass adult – like, “need a bizarre and exhausting favor that a regular person would balk at?” He’s your guy. But we’ve got to survive that long, man. Oy.


  21. By Square Peg on Jun 25, 2013

    It’s one thing to say TWYG to your kid… teaching consequences and all that. But for a grown person to aim TWYG at another grown person? At best, it’s insufferably smug. At worst, it’s petty and insult-laden.

    The not-so-subtle subtext (that’s maybe not even so “sub”) is that you should have known better and you deserve the end result, with the implied “I am better/smarter than you.”

    See, I’m like Otto from A Fish Called Wanda. Don’t call me stupid. Even if you imply it, my vision gets hazy red and I can’t be held responsible for what I do or say for the next 10 minutes. I try to be compassionate towards the twatwaffle spewing their falsely inflated sense of superiority on me, because clearly they’re overcompensating for something… but yeah… I just can’t seem to get there. Makes me wanna kick ‘em in the taint.


    Maggie Reply:

    I just had to say that thanks to you, I will now be incorporating the word “twatwaffle” into my vocabulary. Thank you!


  22. By Tessie on Jun 25, 2013

    Gawd, so much love for this post.


  23. By Therese on Jun 25, 2013

    I think I might also have a maximum two year old. Do you have that term copyrighted or protected in anyway? It’s quite fitting to describe the behavior and I might need to start using it! Like this morning there was screaming because her granola bar was in two pieces instead of one. Well, who do you think broke the granola bar into two pieces? It sure wasn’t me… and the list goes on!


  24. By Erica on Jun 25, 2013

    I just want to say that I work really, really hard to be a Good Huff for you guys.


  25. By Sky on Jun 25, 2013

    I love this! I tell my 2-year old “that’s what you get and you don’t get upset.” She always looks SO thrown by it, as if she is thinking… “WAIT, what do you mean I DON’T get upset???” And when she starts to get upset, I say, “NOPE, you don’t get upset. Remember? We just talked about it! That’s what you get and you don’t get upset.”


  26. By shin ae on Jun 25, 2013

    I had a maximum two year old. I seriously thought I was going to go insane. The amount of screaming I did, oh dear. I was always extremely judgy of people who screamed at kids, but then he came, and he was who he was, and…that’s what I get. That is not to imply that’s what YOU get, of course. No way. Just me.

    Like your other commenter, I pretty much save the “that’s what you get”s for myself.

    I didn’t grow up with “that’s what you get,” though. I grew up with “serves you right.” For that reason, I prefer “that’s what you get” because it lacks the evocative, shudder-inducing power of negative phrases repeated just as they were when I was a child.


  27. By shin ae on Jun 25, 2013

    By the way, most people who knew my kid at two are shocked at how mellow he is now. Those who didn’t are shocked to hear how, um, MAXIMUM he was. Also by the way, I now enjoy him very much (he’s 12).


  28. By Amelia on Jun 26, 2013

    I have a Maximum Four Year Old and an average (except when it comes to climbing things, kid is a gol-danged MONKEY) two year old. And I have been told “that’s what you get” by smug idiots who can apparently look at me and my children and judge that I somehow *deserve* their craziness because I shopped at the Wal-Mart for conceiving children. And now that I’ve written that, I’m a LOT more insulted by that comment than I was before. What ARE these people saying about me?


    Laura Reply:

    “Shopped at the Wal-mart for conceiving children”, bahahaha. :) I am thankful at the memory that grows dim as so many years pass- my boys are 16 and 19– but i think there were days. *days and days and days*. I would not go back except under very strictly delineated time-space continuum circumstances.


  29. By Victoria on Jul 1, 2013

    I too have a maximum two year old. Glad I’m not alone in that. This reminded me of what I’ve been telling her lately.

    “You get what you get and you don’t get upset!”

    I’d really like to end that with GOD DAMMIT sometimes, but like I said, she’s two. Maybe when she’s three I’ll start cussing at her.

    Hey, does your daughter do the two year old thing where she’ll throw a fit for something and then when you give it to her she’ll throw another fit because she doesn’t want it and all of a sudden hates it and thinks it will kill her and she must have something else? That’s what my maximum two year old does. She’s such a diva I call her Mariah Carey.


    TJ Reply:

    You mean, “Give it! Give it! NO! I don’t WIKE IT!”


    Yeah, I know that one. I know that one reeeaaally well.


  30. By Rosie on Jul 3, 2013

    I am ashamed to admit that I had to look up the definition of bunshole. My mind, in its decrepit pre-holiday state, couldn’t make it make sense. I pictured a hole in the ground where bunnies disappear into.


  31. By PattyKay on Jul 11, 2013

    You write fiction so well. I didn’t even realize it was all make believe till I saw the picture at the bottom of your post. That little girl looks like an angel. *

    *sarcasm for those light in the head. Not saying anyone reading this comment is light in the head. But they could be. I can’t rule that out either.


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