I’m not sure when the tide turned for messengers – maybe someone once had a lot of bad news to deliver, was running a little low and had to call a moratorium, “hey, please stop shooting my guys, I’ve still got some more bad news to come and I’m sure as hell not going to deliver it myself considering your poor attitude about messengers.” Personally, I think we should rethink this whole “messenger gets off scot-free” philosophy we’ve adopted and declare it open season on messengers again.
How many times have you received news from someone where they’ve said something like, “I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to go *insert whatever it was you had your heart set on* because Fluffy the cat is insisting we lay around and pet him all day. It’s not my fault, you see. It’s Fluffy!” It’s never, “Hey look, I’m not going because I’d rather develop eye cancer than go out for drinks with you.” The break down of the excuse is always someone is preventing you from doing whatever; otherwise you’d be all over the proposed invitation.
It’s one of the privileges you get from being in a relationship. You no longer have to be the bad guy, you just use someone from your household as the reason you’re being held back. “Sorry, we can’t make it. Beth has been stricken by the dry heaves every time I mention visiting for Christmas.” In fact, I know I’ve encouraged it at home. “Jay, just tell them it’s my fault.” (And today’s word will be “hypocrite”, but that’s ok because I’m not only aware of it, I’m comfortable with it, too.)
What I propose then is that we all shed the messenger mantle and use that brazen word “I”. “We’re not coming, because I think that sounds really lame and have a date with picking at my toes. Jay would like to go, but I’m personally holding him back with my bad attitude. Sorry. Well, I’m not even sorry. I’m going to enjoy the freedom of not being tied down doing something I hate. I may even do a little happy dance.” Let’s try to use “I” more and leave our unsuspecting friends & family (typically cast as the bad guys in the excuse) out of the mix when we offer up our excuses. Otherwise, I think we get to go back to shooting the messenger. “Oh, Michelle didn’t want to come because the bubonic plague unexpectedly broke out at your house and a hazmat team is currently setting up quarantine? Well, bummer for you since you’re delivering the news.”
Disclaimer: I didn’t really want to express this opinion. Jay put me up to it. He’s never been a fan of messengers. True story. Honest. I have no reason to lie.