How do I feel about The Warning? The pre-admittance admittance that an admittance is coming. The: “Well, to be honest…” The: “Okay don’t get offended but…” The: “You may not like this, but…”
The Warning that set this whole post off: “Get ready for a low blow…”
Did the fact that I was warned make the blow any less low? No. So was it any better that I was warned at all?
I have said many times: I am a planner. I like to be prepared for what’s coming. I like to be in control. Is The Warning, in essence, allowing me to plan and prepare, thus putting me in control? Maybe the way that a weather report does. I can plan for the weather – umbrella, check! I can prepare for the weather – sunscreen, check! But I have absolutely no control over it.
Who are you really protecting when you give a warning? Me? No. You are protecting your own ass. How can I get offended by the words that are about to exit your mouth if you warned me beforehand not to get offended? You created a safety net for yourself, a catch-all clause. It would be absurd of me to get offended! You explicitly said, “No offense, but…” So however offensive whatever your following phrase is, you meant no offense! Even if I try to push you over the hypothetical offensive ledge, you have that great safety net to catch your hypothetical fall! All’s fair in love and warnings!
Then there’s the “Well, to be honest…” warning, which is in a subcategory all of its own. Since when did society decide to accept and even expect dishonesty so much so that when someone actually is being honest, they have to make a statement about it beforehand? Is it so expected that we have conversations purely for the sake of hearing each other say what we want to hear that in saying something that may transform into actual realness, an announcement must first be made? I don’t want to be placated. I am not expecting you to tell me what I want to hear. I am expecting you to tell me what you want to say. So when you say, “Well if I’m really being honest…” am I supposed to assume that every other time you speak to me, you’re not being honest? Should I precede every conversation I have with that warning, that what tumbles out of my mouth – sometimes coherently thought out but often just one haphazard word at a time – will be honest?
Back to the original warning that brought these thoughts from my brain to my fingers to my keyboard to this page: “Get ready for a low blow…” Firstly, was it in context? I am all about context. Context makes a world of difference – context is the world, that you’re in, at that time – whatever time it is. I could say yes. It was in the midst of, not quite an argument, but somewhat of a debate. But a personal debate? Not exactly. More of a political one. Was it appropriate to step into the personal realm by delivering the forewarned low blow? That’s a definite gray area. So, to make it appropriate to do so, a warning was given! If you’re warning me you’re about to cross the line, then you’re really blurring the line, you’re practically erasing the line, I can no longer hold that line against you. Then when the blow is delivered, and it would have been a low one, how can I measure it as such? The line of measurement is gone. There is no longer a scale, no longer a ruler; you’ve taken from me my standard of judgment. If you’re going to deliver a low blow, own it. Don’t try to simultaneously give it while relinquishing ownership of it by removing my ability to give it placement. I will take those low blows if I am solid enough to do so. But when you first render my lower self invisible, it’s like a phantom pain; I think there should be something there to feel when it has actually been taken away.
It sounds as if, to answer my original question, I do not like The Warning. But I like the weather report. If I can’t be in control, being able to plan and prepare is a second best. I just think The Warning is used in a dishonest and dishonorable way. It is not used to warn the listener. It is used to protect the speaker. Maybe a pre-pre-admittance should be given: “I am saying this for my sake, not for yours. Now to be completely honest…”
But that’s unreasonable. That’s a waste of breath, and who knows how much suitable oxygen we have to spare? Therefore, I implore you – not beg, because not only do I not condone begging on principle, but because as strongly as I appear to feel about this issue I do not feel strongly enough about it to put in the effort to get down on my knees – to stop. Stop using The Warning. Unless it is one of the rare circumstances in which you are honestly and sincerely warning the recipient of your following comments that they need to plan and they need to prepare themselves for what is coming. Then, warn away.
Should I have put my own warning at the beginning of this post? “Proceed with Caution: Opinionated Venting Follows.” No. Because I would be doing so only for the sake of covering my own butt in the instance that, upon finishing this, you realize it was a waste of your time. Sorry not sorry. All’s fair in love in blogging.