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When you misspell something during a Google search you'll get a message that says "Did you mean?" and it offers a corrected approximation of your intent. 

I believe it would be great to have that Google feature for relationships and in situations where our communication misses the mark.  

Spouse: "Wow, are you really going to wear that?" 

Google: DID YOU MEAN.... "You look so good in that outfit. Quick, let's go somewhere really nice so I can be seen with you."  

 

Child: "I'm not going to clean my room and you can't make me!" 

Google: DID YOU MEAN.... "I feel so blessed to have you as my parents, along with the free meals, housing, and utilities, that the least I can do is clean and organize my room." 

 

Spouse: “Oh my gosh, you drive me crazy! You’re just like your mother!” 

Google: DID YOU MEAN…. “You have some adorable little habits that remind me of my dear mother-in-law. When is she coming for another long visit, by the way?” 

 

Teenager: “You expect me to be seen driving this old hand-me-down piece of junk? This is practically an antique dumpster on wheels.”  

Google: DID YOU MEAN… “I believe that older automobiles have character. Plus, I’m just grateful to have a car at all. For example, I know there are kids my age who have to ride the bus to school. I shudder at the thought. I recently read about some Amish kids in Pennsylvania who have to ask their parents to borrow the horse and buggy to go on chaperoned dates. Instead, I get almost unlimited use of a vintage 1987 Toyota Corolla with a cassette tape player and manual windows.” 

 

Spouse: “Is this a new recipe?”

Google: DID YOU MEAN… “What possessed you to make barbecue meatballs with canned tuna?”

 

Newly Hired College Football Coach: “This is my dream job. I believe we’re going to have great success turning this program around and winning championships. I see myself being here until I retire.” 

Google: DID YOU MEAN… “Frankly, this is the only offer I got. And I just arrived yesterday but I’ve already fallen in love with the players, the administration, the students, and the concession stand workers. So, I’m staying! I love it here, and I’ll be here until I get fired or get a better offer. And the way I’ll get a better offer is by winning more games here than we lose. Because a bigger and better school will look at me and say, “If he can win games THERE with such minimal talent, just imagine what he could for us do HERE with a bigger budget and better players!”   On the other hand, if the program under my leadership continues its current record-breaking losing streak I’ll likely get fired and pocket a few million dollars in the buyout of the remaining years on my contract. So, either way, I win and make big bucks. That’s why coming to this school is my dream job.”  

 

College Athletic Director:  “We appreciate what Coach Jackson has done for our program. We’re just going in a different direction.” 

Google: DID YOU MEAN… “Oh sure, Jackson took us to four straight conference championships and to two national titles. But that was almost 11 months ago.  This season we’ve already lost two games and at this rate we’ll likely be playing in a mid-tier bowl game. Our fans expect more. Our students expect more. Our trustees and president expect more. Because even though we supposedly prioritize academics over athletics, the success of this football team is connected to ticket sales, television revenues, merchandise sales, student enrollment, and alumni giving—all of which affect the upgrade of student housing which currently borders on being luxury condos, and the expansion of the student activity center which is already essentially a Sandals resort complex and spa plus a two-story rock climbing wall and indoor water park. We just don’t think Coach Jackson has what it takes to get us to that next level. And as Janet Jackson said it back in the ’90s, the question is “What have you done for me lately.” And the answer is “Quite a lot, but not enough.”  That’s why we’re looking at a coach in South Dakota who currently has a 5-3 record leading an untalented team of all walk-on players at a small college with no money. The school can’t afford a locker room, so the players get dressed in an old school bus on the campus parking lot. And if that guy can win some games there...”  

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage & family therapist in Franklin,  (www.ramonpressontherapy.com)  the author of multiple books, and a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He can be reached at [email protected].