In school, everything is black and white. Even teachers ask you to answer exams with either true or false. Nope, there is no maybe. As you can see, exams do not prepare you at all for what really happens in life – I mean, how many times have you said “maybe” because it’s absolutely necessary?
In fact, we’ve come up with so many versions of the word “maybe” because one word simply isn’t enough. There’s perhaps, probably, possibly.
And then there are negative and positive renditions of the word maybe. Do you think the thermostat in Starbucks will ever be set higher than a freezer’s? “It’s unlikely but possible.” Do you think Conan O’Brien gets his sense of humor from his skyscraper hair? “There’s a big chance that’s actually true.” See? There are just so many ways to say maybe.
And then there are the reasons why you say it. Is it because you want your response to be subject to interpretation? Is it because you can’t quite decide just yet? Or do you just want to bail out of a situation where both yes and no will get you in trouble?
Ah, of course, “maybe” is also used frequently in mind games. Let the enemy think what he will; let him keep guessing what’s really on your mind. It’s also the commitment-phobic’s favorite word. Do you think you’ll say yes when he asks you out? “Maybe.” Are you free next week? “Maybe.”
Maybe I’m just trying to justify why I always say maybe. Maybe I should cut the crap. Maybe it’s time I lowered my defenses a bit. Maybe I’ve been so cloistered I’ve forgotten the best reason to stop saying maybe.
Or maybe I just drank too much coffee.