I am an expert procrastinator. I have four articles due on Thursday and another four due next week. So how did I spend my weekend? Watching “Shit X Say” videos on YouTube.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of these. The meme started with the classic “@shitmydadsays,” a Twitter feed that delivered exactly what it promised: the funny, off-the-wall utterances of the account owner’s 75-year-old father. It went viral very quickly and led to a book of the same name, as well as a short-lived sitcom (technically called “$#*! My Dad Says”) starring William Shatner. (I saw it once. Meh.)
In late 2011, the video “Shit Girls Say” popped up on YouTube, and the Internet went nuts. The impulse to parody certain groups — from suburban moms to yogis, and everyone in between — proved to be irresistible: there are dozens of these videos out there, and they’re multiplying by the hour. They’re addictive, too: watching them is kind of like eating potato chips: you plan to have just a couple and end up scarfing back the whole bag. (Trust me; I know whereof I speak.)
My YouTube weekend marathon was inspired by the newest kid on the block: “Shit Expat Women Say.” Created by Margarita Gokun Silver, a certified Expatriate and Cross-Cultural Coach and founder of the Global Coach Center, it pokes lighthearted fun at, well, expat women.
“I did the video just for fun,” she told me in an email. “I thought it would be hilarious to do a video for expat women and men. (The expat men video is in editing now.) It was a spur-of-the-moment thought and inspiration really … I wrote the script in about 10 minutes. The statements came from my own experiences of saying some of those things, hearing what expat women say, and from reading what they say in various forums on the Internet.”
Margarita, who helps expat assignees and spouses make the most of their expatriate experience, had two goals in mind when she created the video. “I was hoping to put a bit of humor into what can be seen as a stressful experience and to give people an opportunity to laugh at themselves,” she says. “Stress and frustration can often be dealt with easier if we find humor in each situation. My other goal was to get people to come to my website and download a free workbook/guide of A to Z of Successful Expatriation™ so that if they are having difficult times as expats, this guide can help them.”
The original “Girls” video generated a lot of controversy, and I wondered if Margarita was getting any grief after posting the “Expat Women” clip on her blog. Not really, she says. “I only got one response that was not ‘thrilled’ about the message. Otherwise I haven’t received any negative reactions after posting it on my Facebook and also seeing it shared on Facebook and Twitter. Most people just laughed.”
I smiled when I watched it, because I’ve said a few of those things myself and I’ve definitely heard the rest. (In fact, I can think of a few that Margarita missed.) I recognize myself in it — that’s what makes it fun.
What do you think?