Sunday, November 15, 2015

When Do You Use "We"?

"What do guys see in her?" my wife might ask about any of her friends.

This is obviously treading dangerously into "Does this make me look fat?" territory.  The best response is to shrug an "I dunno" back with a slightly dumbfounded look.  But not too dumbfounded, because, after all, the discussion is about one of my wife's friends.

But in my mind, the answers come easily, "They see a tight ass," or "They'll go after anything in a skirt," or "She looks easy."  Notice that I use the pronoun "They" not "We," even in the privacy of my compartmentalized mind.  But I'm a guy, so why don't I say "We" as in "We see a tight ass?"  Because let's face it, I do like a tight ass.

The reason is that the question, "What does guys see in her?" is subtly loaded with loathing.  It's like asking, "Why do [disgusting] dogs like to roll in shit?"  "Because, my dear, we like tight shit." "I dunno."

Even for neutral questions, I might hesitate to use "We" at least until I'm comfortable with the direction  a discussion is taking.  Consider this exchange:

"Why do engineers always talk about their gadgets at parties?"

"I dunno"

"I mean there's so much to talk about: the latest movies; the weather; the upcoming election..."

"Well I guess it's because they think gadgets are cool."

"Gosh if you've seen one gadget, you've seen them all."

"Oh, but we understand the technology behind them."

The biggest reason I avoid using "We" is because I don't feel I belong to any group.   A quiet sense of alienation has followed me around like a shadow all my life.  I've always felt like an outsider, an imposter, to the human race.

What about you?  When do you use "We?"

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