Do you sneak the cheeky buzzword “cheers” into conversations that aren’t happening at a bar? Well, you sound like a hilarious, breezy kite of a person—I imagine we would get along swimmingly in a social interaction.
However, it’s important to learn where to “draw the line” with your apparent addiction to saying “cheers” at any given opportunity. I found that out the hard way: let me help you avoid these common mistakes.
1. Do not say “cheers” when your sports team wins and everyone is cheering.
At this point in time, it is culturally acceptable to emit a cheer (rather like a hideous screech, which seems like a curious way to indicate a celebratory mood, but it is indeed the expected response).
2. Do not say “cheers” when a waiter asks you how you are doing.
This, unfortunately, is a prompt that they are required to ask of all restaurant patrons. If they saw you outside their place of work, they would neither look you in the eye nor feign the slightest interest in the vintage, hand-crafted ping pong table in your basement.
3. Do not say “cheers” when you are alone in your abode and hear strange foot patterns outside.
You don’t want to indicate that there’s a party going on when all you have in your liquor cabinet is a $3 bottle of wine that doesn’t look like the sort to get better with age.
4. Do not say “cheers” when your friend admits his cripplingly-inappropriate crush on his S.O.’s sister.
In this scenario, you should be highly concerned about your proximity to this friend. If he feels cozy enough to start spilling eerie secrets, what’s to stop him from inviting you to his nephew’s dance recital or asking you to help him move out of his apartment?
5. Do not say “cheers” when a Girl Scout rings your doorbell and you pretend like you’re not home but then sneeze audibly.
Not only is “cheers” the incorrect response to a sneeze, but speaking human words really outs you. Sneezing alone is not too big of a mistake because a dog or a rat could have done the sneeze; however, if you say “cheers”, the G. Scout will have zero tolerance for your lies and treachery.
6. Do not say “cheers” when a telemarketer asks for your social security number.
While you may utilize sarcastic vocal features to indicate your complete displeasure with the conversation, to others “cheers” may be synonymous with “yes” or “please proceed indefinitely” or “I cannot wait to buy whatever oddity you have for sale.”
7. Do not say “cheers” when you are watching the characters on Mad Men imbibe.
The thing is, Donny D. & Co. are drinking in their own world: your comments and thoughts have no effect on what they experience. It might make you personally feel connected to them, but at the end of the day you have to learn to recognize a one-way street when you see one.
8. Do not say “cheers” when you are offered a bowl of Cheerios in any context.
It’s just tacky.
9. Do not say “cheers” when a raven is mysteriously perched on the gate outside your apartment.
The bird, with its harrowing expression, is at best an omen of terrible luck. Do not engage with the creature, other than to avert your eyes quickly and permanently from its face.
10. Do not say “cheers” when someone buys a poisonous coffee.
It doesn’t land well, and also, what happened to that poor coffee?
11. Do not say “cheers” when you are staring despondently at a grey-blue horizon and contemplating what your life would look like now if you had just kissed that billionaire a bit more convincingly two New Years’ ago.
Don’t torture yourself that way.