This is a question that I get asked a lot. I realize most people are asking this question to be considerate and/or to give me the opportunity to change my response. I rarely need this opportunity. And, it is a very annoying question.
I am a pretty decisive person. On top of that, I am a person of action. I do take time to “think” before I “do”. I would rather act on something and do it wrong than sit around and think it to death. Doing something wrong helps you to learn how to do something right. Right?
“Are you sure” can apply to most any situation. I can understand when someone asks, “are you sure you want you get married?” or “are you sure you want to buy that car?”
Conversely, I get impatient when people ask, “are you sure you want to eat there?” or “are you sure you want to see this movie?” I said yes or no when you asked me to go. Why do you need to know if I am sure?
When asked this question, it makes me feel like the person did not trust my first answer. It is as if I am a dipshit and need to be doubled checked on my decision making. And, it is a waste of my time and brain power.
“Are you sure” makes me feel as if I am not smart enough to know what I want or what I do not want. I feel like someone is talking down to me, as if I did not understand your first question. Do you think I am mentally challenged or unbalanced? (Do not answer that one) Did you think I was not listening the first time? Did you think you used words that were too big for me to understand in the first question? Do you think I am stupid? (Do not answer this one either) “Are you sure” you meant to ask me the first question? (Could not help myself)
I am not trying to be a complete wretch about this, but my “witch wings” have a tendency to unfurl when I am writing. And so it is.
I have a friend, we will call her Debbie. Actually, that is her real name. Just about every time we are making plans to get together, she will ask me if I am sure. This question is met with a litany of sarcastic remarks such as, “no, I am not sure, because I do not like you anymore.” This involves her laughing at me and saying she was sorry for even asking me the question in the first place.
Now days when she slips up and asks, I do not respond at all. From her, this is met with an, “oh Lord, I keep forgetting you do not answer that question.” And then some silly giggles come from both of us. I guess this is a plus for someone you have known for over 20 years!
If you think the person is not going to be sure of their answer, then do not ask the question. This will solve the entire problem! Voila’. I am the solutions master!
Case and point. We had to paint the outside of our house. The house looked so bad, I was sure someone was going to call the county to give us a citation. It was a complete eye sore.
I knew I wanted it to be a kind of sage green, but there were just so many choices and I would get confused. This led to inner frustration, then right on into ticked off. I am used to making lots of decision every day, but this paint thing had me stumped. Painting the house was a commitment to color!
I must have gone to five paint stores or more. You could have wallpapered my kitchen with the number of paint swatches I sampled. I even painted several paint samples to the side of the house to see what each color looked like at different times of day. (Did I mention that I am a bit OCD?)
I even dragged my husband to one paint store to help me look at colors. That was of no use at all. My husband has a hard time making any decisions, big or small. It’s as if he gets caught in a “sub-committee meeting” like he has some politic reputation at stake in choosing a paint color for the house.
I asked him which green swatch he liked. All I got from him was, “I do not really care what color it is.” Ok, let’s paint the house fuchsia pink and see if you still do not care!
So after another week of agonizing over the color, I finally made a choice.
The house got cleaned up and painted a light green. It was nowhere near the sage green I was thinking it would turn out to be.
I disliked it so much that I almost cried! Instead of a beautiful Victorian green color, I had a house that looked like a mint julep threw up all over it. I had no problem with the paint job, just the color.
I saw it one day in bright, sun light and it looked like baby poop yellow. I did cry that day. Even my friends were saying, “it’s not that bad.” Translation, it looks worse than I can tell you or I do not know what to say to make you feel better. I am sure the neighbors were all over social media complaining about that ugly green house down the street.
I tried to convince my husband that the painters did a horrible job. My plan was to get another painter and try again with a new color. My husband did not go for it, not even a little.
I immediately started saving money to paint the house again! I realized that I was stuck with this paint color for several years. I thought about spray painting some graffiti on areas of the house and claim vandals did it to get new paint. I thought better of it though later.
Maybe someone should have asked me “are you sure” about the paint color?
In the long run, I acknowledged that I had indeed made a mistake. So, I sucked it up and have been living with a vomit green house color paint.
On the bright side, the house was cleanly painted, and I did not get a citation from the county. Although, I was expecting some comments from my neighbors about the color.
The moral of the story is that most people are sure when they answer you. Why waste energy on not being sure? You can always change your mind later.
So when you ask someone a question, be sure you are clear in what you are asking! If you have to ask, “are you sure”, you were not clear on the first question! Oh, and if you ask me if I am sure, I will just blankly stare at you like you until you realize that I have no plans to answer that question!