I’m Right, You’re Wrong!

by Marinka on May 25, 2011

Welcome back to I’m Right, You’re Wrong, where I present a situation and ask you to weigh in.

To preserve the integrity of the responses, I don’t reveal which side I’m on, due to the ego-maniacal and delusional belief that everyone would rush to agree with me.

Situation leading to the disagreement:

A few months I was peeling an orange and a co-worker said “ooh! An orange! I love oranges!” so because I’m not a savage, I offered her a few sections and she happily accepted. The next time I was peeling an orange, I offered her some again and she said “no thanks.” But then the third time she accepted. The next few times were a “no” followed by a sudden “yes”. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to her orange acceptance/rejection. I’m guessing it’s diabolically based on whether she “feels like” having an orange.

Dilemma: Am I obligated to offer this person orange sections for the rest of my life? Should I be eating oranges in the bathroom so no one can see? When does orange season end, anyway, so that I can transition to non-sectioned, unsuitable for sharing fruit?

Disagreers: Marinka and a friend.

Position One: Once the pattern of offering has started, there’s no way to stop it without it being some kind of a statement. So until the last orange has been eaten, keep offering sections!

Position Two: This is insanity. She’s probably accepting because she feels pressured to. Stop offering. The scurvy epidemic is over.

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One year ago ...

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

amanda May 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

First instinct: stop offering. Second instinct: if you must, maybe stop offering by tapering off… offer every THIRD orange, then every once in a while orange, then only if she comments that she would really love some of your orange today.


kristi May 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

Stop offering the orange! 🙂


May 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

meh – screw’em. if they’re too wishy washy to know whether or not they enjoy oranges on a consistent basis, no need to offer. and plus, how many sections of orange are there total? I count on clementines and it’s usually about 9-11. (I’ve got clementine centric OCD). so if you’re dishing out even 2-3 sections per accepted offer, you’re dealing out over 20% of your snack for someone who may, or may not, actually appreciate it!


Wendi May 25, 2011 at 9:52 am

You’ve never offered me an orange.


Sophie@Fabrications May 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm

You should start actively asking for some, Wendi. She’ll be to embarrassed to say no.


May 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

Stop eating oranges. Change jobs.


Eevie May 25, 2011 at 10:06 am

I would personally be pressured to accept once in a while, because it’s rude to say no! So, if she is a neurotic person like I am, this is how the thought process would go:

M: Would you like a piece of the orange?
Me: Sure, thank you!

M2: Would you like a piece of my orange?
Me: [thinking: oh, no, I hope she doesn’t think that I am some kind of homeless person with no access to oranges. What if she thinks that I was looking at her like I want an orange but don’t have one of my own? But if I say yes, it’ll look like I need orange charity.] No, thanks!

M3: Would you like a piece of my orange?
Me: [thinking: what if she likes sharing the orange because she doesn’t want all the orange-calories? What if we’re now friends and I’m trapped forever in a relationship of orange-sharing and if I say no, she’ll hate me forever!” Okay, sure!

So anyway, I would say that you stop offering. You can’t keep her supplied in oranges for the rest of your life, what are you, Florida?


noelle May 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm

“What are you, Florida?”
Best comment ever.
And there have been some good ones on here!


calliope May 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

I would say, she’s not accepting every time, so why should you worry about offering every time?
If you feel like sharing, offer.
If not, don’t.

That way the cycle of irregular orange offerance/acceptance is reciprocal.


awesome dude May 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

Grand Pa Freud said once: Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar.

Do not offer anything to anybody and you will be safe.

Sorry, I did not teach you that 40 years ago


CoftheU May 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

Stop offering. If she ever says, “You never offer me oranges anymore” you can blame it on Papa and say, “I’m sorry. My dad won’t let me.” That’s what my dad always told me to do if anyone ever offered me drugs. Blame it on him.


KG May 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if you brought in a cut up apple. And if perhaps this situation is exactly how the phrase “it’s apples and oranges” originated.


the mama bird diaries
May 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

Eat it really fast when she runs out for coffee. And then tell her that sweet nectar scent in the office is your new body mist.


Jodi F. May 25, 2011 at 10:51 am

Position two.

If she stares at your orange and salivates, offer. If not, don’t.

If she is a good enough friend to accept orange segments that you’ve touched, she shouldn’t be shy about asking when she wants a bit.


Marinka May 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm

What?! I wash my hands and everything. I didn’t think that accepting an orange that I’ve touched involved heroism on her parent. Although to be fair, she’s no Howie Mandell.


Megan May 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

Why in the world would you be obligated to give her part of your orange? It’s your orange. If she wants an orange, she’s a big girl and can buy her own damn oranges.

You are very generous to keep offering, but it is in no way an obligation.


Tanya B May 25, 2011 at 11:03 am

I side w/Position Two — she is probably regretting she ever said she LOVES oranges.


Kelly May 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

I love how I’ve been reading this blog for like 2 years and my first comment is on the orange debate.

I just know something about it because I work in a tiny office with only one co-worker so basically anytime we eat or drink, the sharing/not sharing thing comes up.

My view is since it’s brought from home, offering to share means the person isn’t hungry enough to finish it or for some reason has extra, so they are sharing.

When it comes to purchased meals, that’s different. If you usually buy coffee for your co-worker, and then one day come back with only coffee for yourself, *that* feels insulting.


May 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

I once bought an Almond Joy in the presence of another comic. She knew, and I knew, and everyone knows that the Almond Joy has 2 pieces. So she asks me if she can one of the pieces.

I said no.

Get Almond Joys and I guarantee you won’t offer or if she asks, you’ll say no. Unless, of course, you hate Almond Joys and then we can’t be friends.


A Mommy in the City
May 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I say just stop offering the orange!


May 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Once you started it… Then again I am plagued by this sharing buissnes in my son’s life so I am ingrained to say so.
How about you bring two oranges. Maybe the ‘I buy lunch, you buy lunch’ insanity replaces continuous partial sharing of an orange you put your labour into peeling as well. See, taking turns. Now I feel like I am talking to my son. Signing out, before this turns into a lecture.


Loukia May 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I just don’t share food. Especially popcorn. I give the best death stares if you so much as try to take ONE itty bitty piece of popcorn from me at the movies. I also don’t share my fries, or ice cream. I hate when people say: “No, I’m not going to get my own, I”ll just have some of yours.” NO YOU WILL NOT, DAMN IT!


May 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Is anyone else really hungry for oranges?

I would start asking her for part of her lunch.


Sophie@Fabrications May 25, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I’m with opinion 2, mostly because I seem to be feeding apples to 5 kids in junior’s kindergarten. Daily. Because kids just ask. Have you any idea how much apples cost here?


Marinka May 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Not 1967 prices, are they?


Sophie@Fabrications May 26, 2011 at 7:40 am



Melissa T May 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Stop offering. Obviously she is capable of broad hint-dropping when she really wants part of your snack.


May 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Maybe say something like— “I have a blog. You should read it today.”

Important note: I have no friends in my office.


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac
May 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm

The thought of you taking your oranges into the bathroom is sounding off my OCD alarms. Don’t do it! Worlds colliding!!


May 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm

My guess? The first time, she was really hungry or really sun-deprived. Both of which make the smell of oranges wafting through the air irresistible. So she basically asked for some in the most polite way possible by noticing their goodness and hoping you’d offer. After that, you just kept offering and because she is not a savage and doesn’t want you to think she doesn’t like you or like your oranges, she occasionally accepts out of politeness. Stop offering. She will be relieved.

(PS No guarantee that this also works with chocolate.)


May 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I was going to say, it’s polite to offer and you should never eat anything in front of someone else if you can’t / won’t share. (You can thank my mother for that one.) However, having read the other comments I think I am going to be more balanced and say, only if she seems to be focusing in it and looks like she really wants it, otherwise it is your lunch, enjoy it.


May 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I have to go with position two…mostly because I like the word scurvy.


Roxanne May 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Stop offering.

My ex-co-worker used to ask me for a piece of my orange every.single.time I ate one. I actually found it *really* annoying. But she kept asking, so I kept giving her some. I mean, really? You want oranges so bad, just go buy yourself one. She used to joke that I should bring 2 oranges to work so she could have one. I wanted to beat her in the face with a bag of oranges.

Not really the same situation, but it’s about oranges so I felt it was necessary.


Miss Britt
May 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Side two makes no sense because you indicated that she has sometimes declined your offer. Obviously she’s not afraid to say no! So! It’s the secretary with the candlestick in the library!

*check mate*

I love this game.


May 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

There are two kinds of people in the world.

Those that offer their oranges…

and those that don’t.

Choose wisely.


b a seagull
May 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Has she ever offered you anything? That’s what I thought.


kimberly May 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Switch to bananas.


Lex May 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Stop offering, like everyone else said. She’s obviously comfortable enough to ask when she wants some! So why are you taking upon yourself to offer?


gina May 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I blame George Bush


May 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Position 2 – the first time, she was making conversation and didn’t want to turn down an offer. Now, she’s probably sort of uncomfortable with the whole thing and is praying you don’t bring in an orange again. Which brings to mind, “Orange you glad I’m bringing bananas instead?”


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
May 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Diabolical, ha.

I say switch to a fruit that would be just awkward and bizarre to share, like a banana. When you offer it, while chewing a bite, she’ll ask HR to move her office.

Or just stop offering.


anna see May 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

I am a youngest child. I don’t share. Except w/ my dog, b/c every time I peel a stinking banana, she can hear me and she comes running, giving one of those, well, puppy dog faces.


May 26, 2011 at 1:56 am

I’d stop offering, but then I’d be worried that she felt like I was snubbing her and flaunting my oranges. Then I’d be really uncomfortable about passing her in the hallway or running into her at the coffee pot. Then I’d start hiding the oranges under my desk until people started asking questions, at which point I’d likely switch to something entirely unlike oranges. Like cough drops.

On a side note, my husband had a roommate once that had scurvy. Ahh university.


Becky Rice
May 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

Start eating bananas.


May 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

Stop the MADNESS! You are in no way obligated to keep this woman’s Vitamin C at recommended levels. The first time you were being nice and polite, which is fab. But damn, if she loves oranges so much, you’d think she’d bring in a few herself, no? So stop it. Please. Running into the bathroom to eat food is something that should be reserved for parenthood situations only.


Wombat Central
May 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

Lick all the sections in her presence before offering them one more time. You’ll have your oranges all to yourself from that day forward. No guilt, no wondering.


Twinisms May 26, 2011 at 11:18 am

Stop eating oranges. Switch to other sectioned fruit like grapefruit or limes. If she still corners you and says she likes them, you’ll know you have a citrus stalker on your hands.


joeinvegas May 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Stop offering. If she wants she can ask, or get her own.


May 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Scurvy epidemic is over, stop asking! 🙂


The Flying Chalupa
May 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Position #2 – without a doubt. If and when she ever wants one again, she can ask. Or start bringing apples.


Zina May 27, 2011 at 1:38 am

What I noticed is that there were a whole bunch of comments that never once mentioned bananas, and then a whole bunch of banana comments right in a row. It seemed a little suspicious–like the Chiquita lobby swarmed your comment thread.


May 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Okay, I would feel ridiculous offering every single time. Like “do you want an orange today? How about now? NOW DO YOU WANT ONE??”

But also, I would feel rude and greedy to never offer again. So what I would do is the next time I have an orange, I would offer her a section. No matter if she said “yes” OR if she said “no”, I would follow it up with “okay, so I feel silly asking you this all the time – just know that I never mind sharing my orange, and if you ever see me with one and want a section of it, just say so.”

Now you’ve made it clear that the offer stands, but that you’re not going to keep asking.


Mwa (Lost in Translation) May 28, 2011 at 7:00 am

Maybe you should secretly eat your orange in the toilet. Because that wouldn’t make you weird and insanitary at all. Or maybe you should take an extra orange next time, to make a point of now wanting your whole orange to yourself. It’s time to wean her. Really.


Merideth May 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

My understanding is that oranges are a gateway fruit. If you don’t stop offering now, where will the insanity end?!


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