Often my mom would reply to someone’s statement, “Don’t give it a second thought.” I recall this from my formative years when my language skills were not sufficient enough to dissect such comments. Now, however, this is just one of many common utterances which I categorize as “thoughtless”.
I was not particularly attentive to the situations which prompted Mom to utter such advice, yet I suspect it was when someone offered her an apology. Despite my mother’s intentions to always be positive in her remarks, my skeptical tendencies wonder if she subconsciously meant, “I’ll give your offense plenty of thoughts for the both of us.” Also, within the sentence is a presumption that this is the first time the apologetic person has given it a thought. That’s highly doubtful.
Another highly doubtful situation is refusal to accept someone’s appended “…Okay?” to what otherwise is a directive. And, yes, typically the voice inflection of “Okay” does infer it is a question begging for an answer.
Regardless of what “Okay?” sounds like, there really is no viable option. What child is going to say “NO” when his mom says, “It’s time for bed. Pick up your toys, …okay?” I guess you know I only did that once.
Even between adults, why is any directive appended with “…Okay?” It really doesn’t take a second thought to know what happens if it’s not “Okay”.
“Please sign here, …okay.”
“What if it’s not okay?”
“Then you fasted and took a fleet enema for nothing. Get dressed and go home…No colonoscopy for you today.”
Another thoughtless “…Okay?” frequently occurs when ordering a beverage at a restaurant. I most often request “Coke, please.” At times the server will respond, “Is Pepsi okay?”
No, it’s not okay…Pepsi fizzes up my nose…besides, I have stock in Coca-Cola Corp…go next door and get my coke…I’ll wait.
It would seem more reasonable for the waiter to simply advise me of the products they do offer, rather than the trite “Okay?” to amending my order. Of course, it is equally reasonable that his second thoughts are that I’m not smart enough to check on the menu for my options before ordering. But that’s me. I actually requested a Dew when I knew they served Coke products.
One last thoughtless comment to mention. It is often spoken as someone opens a gift. The giver will say many things—most of which should not be thought of the first time, yet might give the recipient second thoughts.
“I hope you like it.”
Seriously? Is anything is less exciting to a recipient as they unwrap a gift than the possibility exists in the giver’s mind that they might not like it? In that same regard, “You can take it back” always baffles me. Really? Without such verbalized permission I’m stuck with this lousy tie forever.
And even worse… “If it doesn’t fit, they will exchange it for the right size? You’ve got to be kidding me, right? Size isn’t the issue. Paisley hasn’t fit me since the mid-60s. Trust me—I won’t give it a second thought as I put it in the back of my closet.