Saturday, March 7, 2009


Have you noticed all the "qualifiers"? They are all around us: in politics, in finances, in job security, in relationships, etc. Everyone wants to qualify their statements. It makes everyone sound like an expert, but at the same time, leaves them an "out" if things do not go as predicted. A politician makes wild promises, but many of his qualifiers are "unspoken". It is a lot like religious people who offer up prayers with "unspoken requests". That one has always confused me. Might as well make the whole prayer, unspoken.

What about the qualifiers in security? The supervisor tells the employees that their jobs are secure, if ... Or the boy tells the girl that he will love her forever, unless ... (he changes his mind).

But, the main thing that got me thinking about qualifiers was a statement; no, it was even more than that, a compliment; made by my wife to me this morning. I find myself adding more qualifiers to my statements and noticing more of them from those around me. When I ask my parents, how are they doing? They tell me, "OK, for my age." When I am asked, how is work? I answer, "Pretty busy, for the economic circumstances." Or, when asked about my latest race, my reply, "I did not quite reach my time goal; but, it wasn't bad for my age."

But, when compliments have qualifiers, it makes me wonder what they are really thinking. You know me, I would never do that. I am so sensitive to the feelings of others. But when my wife tells me, "You look sexy,... for your age." What was she really trying to say? FOR MY AGE! I am pushing 60. I have seen other 59-60 year olds. There was nothing sexy about them. That level of achievement is not saying much. Did she mean that I still have 90% of the gusto, or did she mean, 5-10%? Any level would not be bad, FOR MY AGE.


  1. I think you do look good for your age, when I am at least a hundred yards away and you are being elongated by a piece of warped glass between us and your back is turned and my contacts are out. (:

  2. WOW!

    Good thing that I am self-confident, to go along with brilliant and sexy. If I were not, I might take that personally.