Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Say What You Mean

The word "done" is so overused anymore.

I'm done. We're done. This is so done.

I'm done. I'm done. I'm done.

OK, got it - it's done.

The trouble is, the person saying "done" usually isn't thinking long-term. They mean they're "done" in the moment. So, they should really say, "I'm done ...for now."

If you're going to suffer once the trigger is pulled and you've let the word "done" come out, then do yourself a favor and follow it quickly with that caveat, like this:

"I'm so done with you!!!! for now …let's regroup when cooler heads prevail."

You really should only pull "done" out when you're legitimately done. And if you're really done, you probably aren't going to get into an argument that gets so heated you say "done" at all.

When you're really "done" you're usually pretty calm about it, because you know it's the right thing and something in you is actually done with darkness, ready to head toward the light.

Why do I bring this up?

I can't say why without outing myself.

It's like tearing off a band-aid. I have to just say it.

OK. Here it is …are you ready?

I watch Jersey Shore.

Now you know. My dirty secret.

It's a relief, kind of, to share with you my deepest flaw.

O, who are we kidding? We all know that's nowhere near my deepest flaw, but let's just say it is …for now.

My team at work watches too.

When I say we watch, I mean we refer to Thursday at Jersday, and schedule team lunch meetings Fridays so we can discuss the previous evening's episode at leisure.

We're hard core.

One time I missed an episode. That Friday my team referred to me as "the weakest link" all day.

I couldn't disagree with their assessment of my performance. One of my team members was so committed, she'd stayed up and watched it at 11 pm, having missed it at 10.

I have not missed an episode since.

So, because we discuss Jersey Shore a fair amount, we've lately been parsing the meaning of "done."

Let's pretend like you don't watch Jersey Shore too (you know you’re addicted, but let's pretend …for now).

There's this couple, Sammie and Ronnie.

They have a volatile relationship and are constantly breaking up and making up again.

One of the people on my team, let's refer to her as "R," is totally Team Ronnie.

The other person on my team, "J" and I, are Team Sammie. Even though Sammie isn't really deserving of our allegiance most of the time. It's only really by default because the way Ronnie reacts to Sammie is borderline criminal.

So, they had a stupid fight, which ended with Sammie declaring herself "done." Ronnie said he was "done" as well.

Then the word "done" was said by both of them ad nauseum.

After they were done declaring themselves done, they were both miserable and at a loss for what to do with themselves without each other to point to and say, "I'm done," so in a subsequent episode, and to the unending frustration of their tortured roommates, they decide to give it another go.

As you might have guessed, it isn't long before the term "done" is bandied about, yet again.

It's like watching an ice skater at the Olympics. They attempt a triple axel when they aren't fully ready and instead of landing steadily on two feet, they crash to the ground and slip all over the ice and you can see in their face they want to cry and then you want to cry too.

Same with Sammie and Ronnie.

You're watching them negotiate the icy rink of relationship and you want to tell them to move slowly, to complete each step (say each word) safely and mindfully and honestly before attempting the next, but instead they go for a triple axel before they're even close to ready and then the inevitable happens.

The words are spoken.

I'm done!

And misery ensues for all. The heart-shattered Sammie and Ronnie, and their exasperated roommates.

Here is where my team has been parsing "done."

The last time S&R were done, R broke S's glasses, threw her stuff out of their shared room and was generally scary and upsetting. S actually left the show as a result and went home.

We all thought she was really done. Her glasses were broken. She, presumably, forfeited large amounts of money, along with two of her 15 minutes and the financial doors these two minutes can jiggle open.

To me, that's a last and final "done."

Ronnie pined and was generally a mopey idiot over losing this girl he cares so much about he referred to her as "useless," "nothing without him" and other choice phrases (you see now why I'm team Sammie …).

Sammie regretted that it was done and basically was waiting for the day Ronnie would pull it together and apologize and get her back.

Eventually they admit they both want to be back together and decide to give it yet another go. The roommates are now numb to the back and forth and munch popcorn as they watch the absurdist drama unfold.

The latest: They're at a club when Arvin, a friend of the Situation (a roommate), shows up asking for Sammie.

You stop checking Facebook. You look up from your latest e-mail. The air in the room gets still. Your full attention is on what Arvin will say next.

Arvin says Sammie texted him to meet her there. He shows the Situation the texts to prove it.

At this point we feel an inner panic because Ronnie is stupid and unreasonable and he will see Sammie's texting of Arvin as a betrayal, even though the term "done" had been said 20 million times and it was in a period of "done" that Sammie reached out to her old friend, Arv.

News of Arvin's presence reaches Ronnie and Sammie and they are told Arvin is saying that Sammie texted him asking him to meet her at the club.

If Sammie's the ice skater in this scenario, you notice the position of her leg. She's making the first movements toward a triple axel and, you're no ice skating coach, but you suspect she doesn't quite have the footing she'll need to pull it off …

Sammie immediately makes mistake number one. Instead of telling the truth: I planned to come back to the house and we were "done" and I felt pretty sure you'd be smushing other girls and I didn't want to have to get through it alone so I reached out to Arvin. She denies having contacted Arvin for a meeting at da club.

When will people learn the truth sets us free?

One can't really blame Sammie in this scenario. Ronnie is pure momma's boy, ego. He reasoned that because he'd spent the latest "done" time crying over Sammie being gone, while Sammie was texting another guy, Sammie was "a shady person" and deserving of yet another episode of "done." (More reason to be Team Sammie, if only not to be Team Ronnie.)

If only they truly were done ...

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