to the chase! When did it become OK to interrupt someone and say
this? Why not just say, “I don’t feel like listening
anymore”, or “Get to the point because I’m bored”.
Everything is being sped up. Everyone wants the bottom line. Wasting
a second of someone’s time is criminal. What’s everyone
doing that’s so important?
If I send someone an email longer than five sentences I’m
worried it will take too long to read and they’ll give up.
The three words no one wants to hear are: “Let me explain”.
When someone tells me to cut to the chase, I usually do. I figure
I’m better off. And also, naturally, I assume I must be
rambling and going into too much detail. Or, maybe the person
I’m talking to has somewhere they need to be and they don’t
want to miss the ending of what I’m leading up to. I try
to be positive.
But there are women out there who men would never tell ‘cut
to the chase’. Can you imagine Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie
sitting down to breakfast? She starts talking about Darfur and
he tells her to “wrap it up”? Anjelina can talk for
18 hours without a break and no one would mind.
I’ve been in plenty of situations where someone is telling
a story that is dragging on but I would never order them to cut
to the chase. It seems rude. And, completely unnecessary. Why
do that when you can simply stop paying attention?
Especially if you’re talking on the phone. How hard is it
to interject “Really?” and “No!” while
doing dishes or making the bed. That’s the considerate way
to treat people.
The other day I began telling a friend about the results I got
back from the doctor and she told me to cut to the chase. “Fine,”
I snapped. “I’m going to live.”
Then I was explaining about an assignment I’m working on
and when I started to get to the part I thought was most interesting,
this person said, “Get to the point.” “Okay,”
I said, “The point is: war sucks.” They seemed pleased
with my brevity.
Is this what it’s come to? Have attention spans become so
truncated that any verbal communication has to be reduced to bullet
I admit, I can get carried away. My father once said, “When
I ask you for the time, I don’t need the history of Switzerland.”
But now, I’ve lost all perspective. The other night I was
out to dinner with someone and he asked what happened with a recent
break-up. I asked him on a scale of one to ten how much detail
he wanted. “Four.”
Four? That seemed impossible. But fine. I proceeded. And then,
just as I got going he began to wave his finger in the air in
circular motions giving me the ‘wrap it up’ gesture.
I was giving him detail level four and it was still taking too
“Forget it,” I said.
To make matters worse, I’ve always been drawn to the cut-to-the-chase
type of man. When people ask me what type I’m attracted
to I should say: the type who will rush me to get to the end of
a story so that he can go back to what he’s doing. Like
taking a nap.
I went out with someone once who would set an egg timer. I’d
have to get to the point before the time ran out. I felt like
an athlete in training. The kind of athlete who didn’t care
People love to point out it’s the journey, not the destination
that matters. So how come that doesn't apply to when I'm telling