I notice that these days, when people speak, location seems important to them—it’s one location in particular: ‘there’. They say such things as ‘don’t go there’, ‘been there, done that’, and ‘you were never there for me’. They don’t say much about ‘here’. If they do mention ‘here’, they usually say ‘I’m outta here’, which is really an indirect way of saying ‘there’, because if they’re out of ‘here’ then they must be going ‘there’, even though they were specifically warned not to. It seems to me that ‘here’ and ‘there’ present an important problem because when you get right down to it, those are the only two places we have… which of course is really neither ‘here’ nor ‘there’.
SO… lets first talk about ‘don’t go there’. As we all know, painfully by now, when you mention something someone thinks you shouldn’t go into any further, they say ‘don’t go there’. What they fail to realise of course is that technically, by the time they told you not to go there, it’s too late. You’re already there. Because you already mentioned what it is they are uncomfortable with. At a time like that, what they should be saying is ‘don’t stay there’, or at the very least ‘please hurry back’… sort of like ‘wish you were here’. The only time I would tell somebody ‘don’t go there’ is if they told me they were planning a trip to Iraq.
By the way, when one of those TV news men on MSNBC recently tried to get his co-anchor lady to react to some juicy celebrity rumour, she said to him ‘I am so not going there’, and I thought to myself ‘why am I allowing someone like this to bring me the news?’.
Another phrase I don’t care for is ‘been there, done that’. I personally am not so cocky. I prefer the modest approach. Instead of ‘been there, done that’, I would usually say ‘been nearby, done something similar’. And by the way, most people don’t seem to know the full expression. I heard Drew Barrymore say it on the Tonight show: ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’. It’s a little smarter, and hasn’t been overused yet. Staying with this subject of location, when someone is ending a long term relationship, quite often they’d tell the other party ‘you were never there for me’. Again, what they may be forgetting that possibly some time in the past, they had told that very same person ‘don’t go there’. So how can they blame the person for not being there, when they themselves issued specific instructions not to go there In the first place? It seems unfair.
Additionally, many people who are ending relationships use another bothersome phrase: ‘moving on’. They’ll say ‘I found Steven in bed with a carnival worker and they were doing unpleasant things to a chipmunk, so I’m moving on’. And I think to myself, it actually sounds more like Steven is the one who’s moving on. Occasionally I get impatient with these people. When they tell me they’re moving on, I look at my watch and say ‘well isn’t it about time you got started? No sense standing around here talking to me when you could be out there moving on’. I don’t know. I guess it works out... cause when I run into the same person a few months later, they usually say ‘I’m in a whole different place now.’