Ever gain the confidence level of one of those terrible singers on televised talent shows when in a dispute with someone thinking that you’re absolutely, 100%, without a doubt right, then somewhere along the way, the other person in the argument drops the “first of all” line?
In that moment, I advise you to grab your suitcase from the attic, pack up and flee to Montenegro… 9/10 times, you’re entirely wrong and the other person has prepared a 27 slide PowerPoint presentation with evidence illustrating why you’re wrong, when you first entered the land of wrong (population: 1) and how you can now proceed to live in your wrongness. When you hear “first of all”, the laser pen is pointing at the data and there are pie charts ready to be distributed.
The dramatic “first of all” opening is especially popular among the females. This usually follows on from a male counterpart making unprecedented accusations.
A not so friendly friend spilt tea on how her boyfriend violated her privacy when he skipped his way into her Twitter account, trespassing in her DMs…. It didn’t end too well.
I’ll paraphrase what she told me:
For the purpose of this illustration, I will be changing her name to….Becky. So, Becky left the comfort of her L-shaped sofa to make a brew for her and her boyfriend….we’ll go with John. John, now, took the opportunity to bypass the security of her iPhone 6 when she left her phone unlocked. Pause. Was Becky too trusting, leaving her phone unaccompanied? I think not. After all, it was her boyfriend. John scanned through both recent and not so recent DMs in Becky’s Twitter account and fell upon a 3 week old message from, Tim. Mistake #1. How is he scrolling with confidence as though the O2 direct debit is in his name? The message read “was gud seein u lastnight.” I don’t know what annoyed me the most – his application of slang (it honestly doesn’t take that long to type “good” “seeing” or “you”, Tim) or his display picture (a race car. Big man like Tim… A race car.) Becky came back from the kitchen with two poorly made tea’s and an attitude. And no, I wasn’t present whilst this was occurring but I know for a fact that Becky is beyond crap at making a decent cup of tea… She never did master the milk/water ratio correct. John asked, “who is @_ManLikeTim_?” Oh, John. Mistake #2. Becky didn’t respond. “Is this the same Tim?” John continued, “You’re brave to even be thinking of cheating on me.” Or something along those lines. Becky said nothing. The whole time, I’m sitting with my legs crossed and hands holding my chin up like an excited child during storytime, waiting to hear what happened next. John maintained his line of questioning, throwing in the occasional wild allegation here and there… “I knew you’ve been going behind me back! You’ve been acting strange for weeks…” And all that jazz. He eventually piped down and the silence grew louder. My girl Becky put down her now lukewarm tea and began, “are you done?” Those three words ALONE would reduce me to tears. You know you’ve already lost. 1-0 to Becky. “First of all…” She stopped. “You know what, you can actually go home cos I cba.”
Loooooooooooooooooool, do you understand how funny that is? John left and according to Becky, called back 9 times once he realised Tim was her estranged cousin who she recently reconnected with. Laugh with please.
How cheeky is it to go through someone else’s personal belongings then proceed to question them about it? That’s rhetorical. It’s extremely cheeky. What could you possibly say to justify you actions? “I was going through your phone and I came across…” Nope. Doesn’t pan out. What is it that you are looking for? You’ve spent the last, however long, playing Sherlock Holmes in someone’s private property and you come with 21 questions and a sense of entitlement? Again, loooooooooooooool.
It’s easy to misinterpret messages, situations and events. It’s easy to be wrong, even when you’re right. It’s easy to fall victim to “first of all”. Whether in a regular argument over trivial matters, current affairs or self-inflicted spats, whenever you hear “first of all”, “are you done?”, “wow” or the simple yet effective “hmm” accompanied by a short blow of air through the nostrils…. Abort mission. Except defeat. Go home. I’ll be praying for you.