Sunday, April 25, 2010

coulda, woulda, shoulda, oughta

I have two dear friends who are currently on the outs. One offered the other some unsolicited advice (regarding her weight) and the other responded with some of her own (regarding performance of an impossible sex act.) It's easy to understand, because none of us likes to get advice, whether we need it or not.

When someone tells me what I should do or ought to do, my hackles rise. It matters not if the advice is good, bad, or excellent, my resistance is the same. The very thought that someone thinks they know better than I about me. They are not my parent, my teacher, my boss. I even had "obey" deleted from our wedding vows 52 years ago, so CJ knew I was not one to tell what to do. I even view traffic signs as mere suggestions. Right lane MUST turn right. HAH!

Every parent knows the difference in advice, suggestions, and orders. Ever tell a muddy kid that he should take a bath? That he ought to go to bed? Doesn't work, does it? Invites a response like my friend gave the other, but not out loud. Gets a response in the "I could, but," or "I would, but." Could and would are excuses. I could lose 20 pounds, but then I would get wrinkles.

Of course, I may not like getting advice, but I love giving it. No wonder people hate lawyers. We not only give people advice, but we do it for a living. They have to pay to be insulted. Now, you really should get up from that computer, take a brisk walk, wash the dog, start dinner, and call your mother.