Sticking To vs. Making Assumptions

nannyWhen people (yes, generalizing. blah blah blah) verbalize an assumption, it is typically met with the phrase, “When you make an assumption, you make an ass out of you and me.” (Cue The Nanny’s laugh). Most times i want to poke those people in the eye want to explain to them that in most cases this isn’t true, but instead I don’t.
WHAT? Most assumptions ARE TRUE??? Yes.
WHen you step on the brakes in your car, you ASSUME that they will work. When you turn the faucet on the left, you ASSUME that you will get hot water. When you go to Wal-Mart, you ASSUME that you will see people there wearing their pajamas while they’re shopping (see what i did….there)? These are all ASSUMPTIONS, and they are most often TRUE.
Like most things, though, it is the other ones that get us into hot water. Let’s assume, for instance, that you know of a couple who is going through some stressful times. They’ve been overweight most of their adult lives, don’t historically make the healthiest food/exercise/health choices. One (I) might ASSUME that over the course of the year and counting that has passed since you’ve (I’ve) seen them that they would have gained even more weight. Come to find out, when talking with someone who HAS been around them, they’ve actually LOST weight. In this case, one’s (my) assumption would have been proven wrong.
Another case would be that perhaps you assumed that your neighbour was a pretty decent guy. Seems to be helpful around the house, holds down a job, etc. You might have heard him and his wife arguing a few times, but who doesn’t yell? (bracing myself for the onslaught of email about how “my husband/wife/bf/kids/gf and I NEVER yell at each other.” surrrrre. ok…) Then you find out that he has a meth lab in his garage.

NOT meth. Crystal Method. oops.
NOT meth. Crystal Method. oops.

Or that he actually works at a place that euthanizes unclaimed animals. Or that he has [insert something that you wouldn’t have assumed about him]. Again, assumption proven wrong.
In each example, the assumption was WRONG, but only one of them would have really made “an ass out of you and me”. ( <-- punctuation INSIDE or OUTSIDE the quotation marks?? i always guess). So.... Assumptions can be both GOOD AND BAD (or rather appropriate or inappropriate. i don't want to be accused of judging assumptions). I propose that there are some assumptions, when made, that we (I) should STICK WITH. Hot on the left, drive on the right, life is hard, etc. Other assumptions, once made and proven false (either one way or the other), should be let go. In short (too late?), I'll continue to MAKE assumptions, i just won't STICK with all of them.

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