After too many people’s prods of, “Oh my god, you haven’t seen it? It’s hilarious!” I finally started watching the show Modern Family on ABC.
And they’re right, those people who pushed it on me. It is hilarious. And this past week, I also found it very wise.
In a scene this past week with Jay (played by Ed O’Neill) and Rico’s dad Javier (played by Benjamin Bratt), they were playing a game of pool and talking about riding motorcycles, when Bratt’s character said this:
Javier: You ride?
Jay: Used to.
Javier: Used to? Used to? The saddest words in any language, my friend.
That one hit me in the gut, because he’s so right. The phrase “used to” is most often paired with a healthy activity you loved and no longer do. Or you say it when talking about a life dream you once had and have since given up on (that came up later in that scene, too, when Javier asked if hitting a curve ball was dream of his, and Jay said, “Used to be.”). And when it comes to dating, you sometimes say it when you’re talking about the ideal qualities you’d want in a partner that you’ve altogether stopped asking for. As in:
Them: So do you think your Prince (or Princess) Charming is out there?
You: I used to. Now I’ll just settle for someone to cuddle with and split the groceries.
Eliminate those sad words from your vocabulary. “Used to” is a sign that you’ve given up on yourself and your dreams. If you used to think your other half was out there, you owe it to your happiness to start thinking that way again. If you don’t believe your other half is out there, why bother looking, right? I believe we all have a half-orange who is perfectly compatible with us, and I hope you do, too. So todd your “used to”s out the window and start thinking about what your heart wants again right now.