There are sometimes that I use a word in a mental monologue and wonder if I was using it correctly. Sometimes I am not using the word correctly, but mistook it for a similar sounding word. Other times I amaze myself when I used the word correctly. I ask myself, “how did I know that?” The only answer I have is I must have heard someone else use it and deduced the definition of the word by the context of the sentence.
And then there’s the word ubiquitous. Now I’m sure that I’ve heard people use this word, but I never realized that I had derived the definition from the context of the sentence.
So what does that have to do with dogs? Well I was thinking about “ubiquitous we” as a title for a blog post and I wanted to make sure it was correct concerning what I was talking about. Yep, it was correct. And for those who don’t know, ubiquitous means that something is seemingly everywhere at the same time.
That still didn’t answer the question. I know. I’m getting there.
Before I was married, I used to go to the dog park and socialize with the dog owners. I, like many of the single dog owners, hoped that maybe…just maybe I’d find someone that I’d connect with and then eventually date. Though I never found a date, I did connect with a bunch of people both male and female. We connected over our love for dogs, or Shih Tzu, or toy dogs, or merely because our dogs liked each other’s company as opposed to the company of the other dogs. Some owners I saw once, but others were regulars.
When I talked with owners, especially attractive male owners, I was often stumped when they kept saying “we got the dog” or “we this” “us that.” My thoughts were, “So who is we? Your significant other? Your sibling? Your roommate? Your other personality(ies).” I never actually asked who the “we” this person was talking about. Somehow I managed to keep up this inner monologue while giving the appropriate response and telling my anecdote using first person singular rather than plural. It was just odd to me that they didn’t specify and it seemed like everyone who wasn’t single did it (hence the ubiquitous in the title).
Then I got married and I realized that it was so much easier to say “we” or “us” rather than “my husband and me” or “my husband and I” depending on the context of the sentence. It saved words and you could get to the punchline of the anecdote a lot quicker. It makes me wonder though, do people wonder who “we” are when I say we? Or do they just assume that I’m talking about a significant other? Or do they assume at all? Perhaps they’re just waiting for me to end my story so they can relate a similar story (i.e. top the story I just told).
I ask myself this question, does the “we” even matter? Now that I’m married it doesn’t matter, but for single dog owners looking to connect with (i.e. hook up with) other single dog owners, the “we” makes a big difference. It determines whether you stay and talk with that person or you look for more eligible dog owners.
Well that’s all I have to say about the ubiquitous we. I think that would be a great chapter title in the dog memoir that I intend to write, but may or may not actually write.
Until next time, keep the we’s close, the I’s closer, and your treats the closet.