The Efficacy of Desire #1LinerWeds Twofer

I learned early on that wanting something was far from the same as getting it. How did I learn this important lesson as a child? Well, it was by saying, “I want [fill in the blank]” to my mother. She had two possible responses.

When I was of tender years, she said:

Want in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets full first.

When I reached an appropriate age, it changed to the pithier but equally pitiless:

People in hell want water.

Thus, I learned that, if you want something, you should either do something to get it yourself or do without it. Thus, I learned that there’s a difference between I want and I would like or It would be nice to have. I also found that Santa often brought me things I said I would like or that it would be nice to have. The more demanding I want got me nothing but a pithy aphorism.

My mom. Crushing entitlement, one child at a time.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about entitlement and, if you like, the crushing thereof.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

One thought on “The Efficacy of Desire #1LinerWeds Twofer

  1. Ally Bean

    March 11, 2020 at 7:09am

    This is a great post. My mom was all about entitlement crushing, too. No wonder we’re the delightful adults that we are now!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 11, 2020 at 10:44am

      It’s a delicate balance between fostering self-esteem and crushing entitlement. My mother erred on the side of crushing, but I can’t think it was entirely a bad thing. I’d rather struggle with self-doubt than run rough-shod over other people.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 11, 2020 at 10:45am

      Except for those in the lowest circle of Dante’s hell, which was a frozen pool. They would be like, “A cold day in hell? What is this — the Ohio River Valley?”

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Mitchell Allen

    March 11, 2020 at 12:28pm

    My Dad said that one to me, about the poor souls in Hell. For some reason, that imagery sobered me much more effectively than my Mother’s go-to phrase for guilting me in to eating something I DIDN’T want: “There are starving kids in ___.”

    Thank goodness I wasn’t smart-alecky enough to tell her to send my food to “___”. LOL I’d a been knocked into next Wednesday’s One-liner!

    I did your prompt some time ago, as it turns out. See the link.



    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Kirizar

    March 13, 2020 at 7:21am

    I wouldn’t have thought that “wanting” something per se as a bad thing. But wanting things we can’t have (love/the body of a Swedish swimsuit model-but not in that creepy, stuffed-in-the-trunk-of-your-car way) bad kind of thing.

    Also, I was weirdly reminded of a story I read about called “For the want of a nail.” Where the meaning of “want” expresses a lack or loss. It’s a word that has hidden meanings. It’s loaded—like a baked potato.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 13, 2020 at 10:46am

      The bad part comes from stating my desire as a demand, Kiri. I love your metaphor. It’s very apt. Just like that potato, it takes something that’s not necessarily bad for you and loads it with negativity. Yeah, by the time I finish garnishing potatoes or oatmeal, they’re no longer healthy. 😀

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. joey

    March 13, 2020 at 8:28pm

    As you know, crushing entitlement is part of the job! LOL
    My grandmother was big on those phrases. BIG!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.