Sunday, March 30, 2014

You Don't Know What You're Missing...or do you?

Why do people insist on using the expression, "you don't know what you're missing"? I do not like it. In fact, I tried researching the expression and even "Google" didn't have much to contribute. I found no origins and no real use for this saying. There were no jokes, no posters and only this one cartoon which I might add, I don't understand. There is a George Strait song announcing "You don't know what you're missing until it's gone". The song meaning to me is something different from the expression which is the source of my current ire.

Here's my complaint. Recently, when I went to the gym to use the equipment, I was told to join the tail end of an exercise class which I had been, for various good reasons, trying to avoid. After responding with "No thanks, I'll just wait," I received the "you don't know what you're missing" response. It annoyed me. How on earth did this instructor know this about me? First of all, I could see exactly what I was missing and, had I thought I was in fact missing anything, I would have joined in. Secondly, I have been to more exercise classes than she could possibly imagine including cardio, zumba, body pump, aqua fit and spinning. If you've done it before and opt not to participate on this particular occasion, don't you already know what you're missing?

To me, "you don't know what you're missing" sounds like something a parent would say to try to trick or entice a child into doing something they don't want  to do.

Mom :   "Amy, try some of this delicious ***squid ink pasta."
Amy:     "Yuck, yuck, pooey."
Mom:    (using a cheerful melodic tone) "You don't know what you're misssssinnnnggg."

Methinks that Amy might know exactly what she's missing.

Besides, had mom been more wise, she would have merely called it "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" spaghetti. Kids understand weird coloured items associated with Dr. Seuss.

I also can't help but think about Tom Sawyer. If he had asked his friend Ben to whitewash the fence by saying "you don't know what you're missing", would he have suffered the ridicule he feared? Instead, by making the chore seem fun and special, he was able to get help completing the task.

It's fine to have a desire to introduce something to someone who has doubts about trying  it. If that is the case, then there are certainly different ways of approaching the task. Saying "you don't know what you're missing" simply embarrasses and puts an individual on the defensive. It's insulting.

One could simply ask, "Have you tried it before?"

Or...they could empathize. "I didn't really think I'd like it at first".

Talking about benefits or advantages or enjoyment of a certain food, task, chore, or activity might give someone more information and a different perspective.

So I'm wondering how many people have this expression in their vocabulary. I haven't heard it often and I certainly hope it doesn't creep back into common usage.


***I was trying to come up with something absurd and thought I invented this particular food item....wrong! Note that squid ink comes from the butt of a squid and that you can learn how to harvest this delicacy on youtube! You can learn anything on youtube.

I also found this at a local store recently.

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