It used to be that “I’m NOT going to tell you” was a statement of avoidance—of responsibility or of a reprimand. As in: Jessie, have you brushed your teeth yet? I’m NOT going to tell you (well, you already did). Jessie, have you finished your homework? I’m NOT going to tell you (hmmm, let me guess). Jessie, did you spill this juice? I’m NOT going to tell you (here’s the cloth, dear). Etcetera ad infinitum (to make use of the Latin that my parents paid thousands of dollars for me to learn at private school).
However, as Jessie has entered adulthood, “I’m NOT going to tell you” has taken on a new, albeit equally clear, meaning. As in: Jessie, have you brushed your teeth yet? I’m NOT going to tell you! (yes I have, but its none of your business because they are my teeth). It is a clear statement of independence. It means (if I have the translation right, and given that I do have some Latin (see previous note) I am highly qualified to interpret): stop asking me these questions, what’s it to you, as IF you have any control over me, get a life, don’t you have something better to do?
I look fondly back on those days when I’m NOT going to tell you supported my reputation for omniscience, although I’m not sure why. It reminds me of Jessie’s quip that I have pasted to one of the kitchen walls:
Me: Jessie, your behaviour is getting out of hand.
Jessie: No it’s not, it’s handy.
And what would even be the point of trying to reply to that one?
School volunteer honours his daughter's memory - By Louise Kinross I first met Yoonus Mia in 2003. I’d bump into him in the hospital walking beside a child in a helmet, feet strapped onto the pedals of a...
3 hours ago