Grumpy Old Ganz
This simple, but rather annoying question, which contains so many variables will usually elicit an instantaneous sarcastic response or another inappropriate comment from me. Sometimes my harsh response will quickly stop a conversation.
If you have kids you are aware this is one of the most commonly used phrases along with the “why?” question once they get old enough to question things. I know they seek knowledge and understanding, and I answered plenty of their questions, but...
Once they have gone through this stage and enter into what I would call the “know better stage” (adulthood) it becomes a never-ending series of “rabbit holes” and this is where my lack of patience and tolerance for the “what if” question ends.
Generally speaking, when those two words are used (when your kid is trying to change the scheme of things) my response may go something like this…“What if grasshoppers had machine guns…the birds wouldn’t mess with them now would they?”
Another phrase that is annoying is “what if this (or that) happens?” You cannot judge or plan a “what if”. My reply...“Let me know later when you find out”...as I walk away.
To actually engage all the possibilities these two words could lead us to is a never-ending quest for confusion and a waste of time.
Starting your sentence with these words instantly makes for an inquiring conversation I’d rather avoid.
I’m not going to “kid” you or myself, I have been known to say those two little words without thinking, but quickly try to rephrase my sentence so I don’t get caught up in this trap.
Before you engage in a conversation, ask a question or speculate on something...I’ll bet I got you thinking about how you will phrase your sentence...