Ok folks here's the scenario. A friend has just gone through a really bad breakup, dumped by the one who promised to love and adore them forever. They are feeling really low and it's up to you to try and help them feel better with a few choice words of encouragement or support. What do you say?. Do you choose all the wonderful things about them and prepare a little uplifting pep talk to convince them of their self worth? A little hug combined with a reassurance that they really are not all that obnoxious to be around?
NO!.. You go with the old faithful. "There's plenty more fish in the sea." Never EVER have I heard a phrase as useless and as annoying as that. I have yet to meet anyone on this God-forsaken planet that has EVER actually taken comfort from such a statement.
But it's not just that, there's others along the same lines using different metaphors, such as "There's plenty more pebbles on the beach". Now who came up with all this complete and utter crap as a method for comforting someone? It never works, yet everyone seems to say it at some point. I try not to, I can't remember an occasion when I ever have, (although no doubt someone will come forward and claim I did and if you do I'll deny it with my last breath). If I did I would at least try and be original. "There's plenty more furballs to be coughed up," would be one, gross, yes, but that might at least may raise a smile. But, I digress.
"There's plenty more pebbles on the beach."
Now then, let's hold this up to a little close scrutiny...if it can withstand it. Does this phrase mean that you should start dating pebbles or stones? Do these people find you so awful or annoying that they think you should give up the opposite sex altogether and just start dating inanimate lumps of minerals? They say it's impossible to get blood out of a stone, how difficult must it be to have a mutually fulfilling sexual relationship with one (although there is a true story of a guy who got arrested for having sex with pavements and road bridges.)
And what sort of stone do they mean?... igneous rock like granite and basalt (these are really hot ooohweee!) or sedimentary rock like sandstone if you only feel you're good enough for the leftovers. How about wiping the 'slate' clean with a nice metomorphic rock?
Then there's the problem of finding the RIGHT rock for you.
Rocks are renowned for not being the most talkative of inanimate objects, how are you supposed to find out about its personality? Let's face it, looks aren't everything even with rocks.
And what about gender?.. I'm sure there's nothing worse for a homophobic, heterosexual guy than discovering he's been dating a male rock masquerading as a female one.
But anyway, for argument's sake, let's say you've found a beautiful, witty, intelligent, female, sedimentary rock. You may think your problems are over, but they're not. Can you imagine having to vacuum after a sedimentary partner.. those rocks are famously crumbly. The rock you'd decided to spend the rest of your life with would crumble to nothing in a matter of years.. then where would you be?
BACK WITH THE DAMN FISH, THAT'S WHERE!!!
Glug, glug, just stick with the hug....