Who Needs What?


When I worked at the school for autistic children, I saw that one of the techniques the teachers used to help the kids learn boundaries was the statement, "You need to (a) use your words, (b) keep your hands to yourself . . . ." These were things that the child actually did need to do.

Later, in reading an advice column in The Washington Post, I noticed the "you need" phrase again. This time it was in the context of a lengthy tirade suggested response to a family member or friend who was doing something that annoyed the writer. Setting aside the unlikelihood that the offender would stand still for the three-to-four sentence speech the advisor prepared, it seemed to me that the pronoun was wrong. Instead of "You need to stop using my toothbrush to clean the tile grout," the construction, "I need you to stop using my toothbrush . . . " would be appropriate.  Remember all that stuff we learned  way back then about "I-messages"? Yeah. And leave my toothbrush alone; that's pretty succinct and leaves neediness someplace else.

Yesterday after I complained "in the strongest possible terms" about my full name and personal email address having been posted on Facebook, I was told "you need to bank back your anger" and, in essence, that I was silly to be upset because my "info is alredy [SIC] out there." I checked the internet and even the Urban Dictionary to understand "bank back," but to no avail. It seems to be some kind of  very new faux psychobabble designed to make the speaker sound knowledgable. 

Truly, I didn't need to "bank back" my anger. What I needed was an acknowledgment that wrong had been done, a sincere apology, and to have the post deleted. And as for my info's being alredy out there, I don't know that to be true, but I really do need to be asked permission to share it explicitly.

And, by the way, I'm neither an autistic nine-year-old touching a classmate's spaghetti nor am I Desperate In Bethesda contacting Dear Prudence about my neighbor's outspoken dog. I'm a Cranky Old Woman whose doing the best she can.


Quiltdivajulie said…
Moooooooo-ing right along with you.
Lcrrkhs said…
Who posts that kind of info out there? Oh my that is horrible.

MOOOO - I just turned 50 in the past year. Do I qualify as a Cranky Old Woman?