As you probably know, my husband and I are in the market for a new house in our new home state. Happily, we received an acceptable offer on the house we currently love, and have to be out by October. So the urgency of the house-hunting just got ramped up a degree or two.
I've been spending a metric butt-ton lot of time on real estate websites, and I've noticed an irritating trend: lots of them won't give the square footage of the house. Well, they'll give it, but they'll give a range. As in, say, 2200-2700 square feet. I don't know why they do this. The real estate companies know the square footage of the houses. When we listed our house, the realtor knew the square footage when she walked in. It's not a state secret. Why not just tell me? That way I can avoid wasting the agent's time and mine looking at a house that's too small.
But I shouldn't pick on the poor real estate companies. They're not the only ones approximating. Politicians do it all the time (I've paid income tax at a rate of at least 14%.).
So do my kids (Me: "Honey, are you done with your homework?" Kid: "Just about." Which means, "I have a thirty page research paper due tomorrow, along with forty math problems, a science lab, and two midterms, none of which I have finished preparations for. But I have completed putting reinforcements on some notebook paper.")
Even my husband, who is perfection itself, is guilty from time to time: "I'm leaving the office in fifteen minutes. Or maybe an hour."
I've been so rule-bound all my life, I've always felt obligated, when questioned, to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I'm sure that's why nobody ever asks me to knock over a convenience store with them. Because they know I'm a slow runner and I'll get caught and blow them in and testify against them.
But since all the cool kids are being imprecise, maybe I can, too:
At the DMV: "Weight?" Me: "Between 110 and 152 pounds."
With employers: "When will you have that article to us?" Me: "Sometime between Tuesday and 2016."
With my husband: "Damn, honey, I just bought these Oreos yesterday! How many did you EAT?" Me: Between one and twelve servings."
At confession with my priest: "So, what's burdening you?" "Well, I've committed between two and seven deadly sins, along with between five and seventy-two lesser sins."
With my kids: "Mom, when will dinner be ready?" Me: "Between now and whenever the hell I feel like it. Probably closer to whenever the hell I feel like it."
I'm sure I could come up with more examples, but I've got to clean my house. Sometime between now and when I move out.