Dear Adam,

I’ve got a tough decision to make, but it’s complicated. I can’t go into details. It’s kind of a long story. The basic question is: should I go through with it?

On the Fence in Fairbanks

Dear Fencer,

It’s not a tough decision. It’s an easy decision. You want it to be a tough decision. You want the bad option to be good. But it’s not. You’re asking for advice in the hopes that someone, anyone will tell you the bad option is the good option. Nobody thinks that. It’s an easy decision.

And it’s not complicated. People in simple situations say that they’re complicated all the time, when the only complicated aspect is the hundreds of layers of bull required to put a positive spin on something so obviously negative. “I didn’t get fired . . . it’s complicated.” “I can’t commit to a long relationship . . . it’s complicated.” “Your car isn’t ready yet . . . it’s complicated.” “We didn’t get the loan . . . it’s complicated.”

And it isn’t a long story. People always try to cover up their obviously bad choices by threatening you with the length of the story. Sure, if you try to make it sound good, it gets real long. But if you keep them true, they are always short stories. Here are the short stories from the previous examples: “I got fired for stealing at work.” “I don’t want to be exclusive because I don’t like you all that much.” “The valet stole your car.” “We have bad credit and no money.”

So if you’re wondering if you and the imbezzling, disinterested car thief should buy a new house together with a no-money-down subprime mortgage . . . sure, go for it. Send me a postcard from Alaska. Just spare me the complicated long story.



2 Replies to “Complicated”

  1. Yeah, but it’s complicated. Long story. 🙂

    Seriously, there are a lot of examples I could give, but none of them specifically inspired this post. I’ve just been laughing recently at the use of those two phrases . . . they are so rarely true.

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