Right after we grow out of the irritating age of saying “Why” to the answer of a question or explanation of the reason something is the way it is, the next step is to respond with, “Ya, but…”  This answer goes way beyond just plain old why.  It moves us into the next level of age related responses. “Why” can be followed by not, did, are, etc. While, “Ya, but—“starts a whole other conversation.

“Ya, but—” is my very favorite beginning of an explanation as it can go either way.  Ya. But I didn’t know it was wrong.  Ya. But everyone else was going. Ya. But it was just a little over the speed limit.  My life’s “Ya, buts…” are numerous some are more memorable than others. For instance…

Just a few short years ago, okay in my pre crow footed years which could be as few as ten depending on the lighting—On a lonely stretch of Highway 50 I was being conspicuously followed by a car with these pretty red and blue lights flashing on top of it. Figuring the driver of said car wanted to converse with me I pulled to the side of the road. (You’re smiling aren’t you?) So the nice gentleman in the blue uniform and flat brimmed hat comes up to my window and low and behold I had apparently missed the sign where the speed limit went from 70 mph down to 55 mph and I was told about it in such a way that I, without even thinking said, “Ya, but I just wanted to get off this mountain before the sun went down so I don’t hit any wayward livestock.”  Where I should have said, “Ya, but I am really, really sorry.” See, “Ya, but…” can be used for good or evil.  I, since that encounter, (in which the nice officer saw my husband in the seat next to me wearing a cast from his chin to his pelvis after his 6th back surgery, took poor pity on me and let me off with a warning, thank you officer) I now attempt to use “Ya, but…” for only good as it works much better that way.

Should there be a limit to the number of times each of us could use this “Ya, but” defense.  Who would want the job of setting the number of times we could ya, but ourselves out of trouble? Who in their right mind would want to have that power? With power comes responsibility, with responsibility comes power.  That is a merry-go-round that if played on too much will only lead to regurgitation of some pretty ugly things, uh if you know what I mean. Off the merry-go-round missy…

There seems to be an age where we go from “why”, to “ya, but” and it varies from person to person. Somewhere between hiding your peas under your plate and finding that squash isn’t so bad. More specifically it is the age where we find we know everything. There is a time in all our lives that, as we cross from why, to ya, but we combine the two. For instance; as a tyke I remember clearly the first time I saw kittens being born.  Now this was my first time having anything to do with the reproductive circle of life. A time that I am pretty sure my dad was not prepared to discuss such things with me as I must not have been much older than maybe 7. The mother cat was nestled in an old blanket in a box in what was an old cemented bomb shelter that was built in the basement of a house we lived in. A left over from the Atomic Bomb scare in the early 50’s.  The cat was howling and I had no idea what was wrong. Just as dad squeezed into the small room the cat jumped into the air, did a back flip and as she landed out popped a fresh kitten in some sort of little sack. Immediately she began the instinctive clean up. I looked at my dad, who had no stomach for these things and began to ask questions of why this and why that. Then it happened I began to cross the line. He said someday I would understand all about the kittens. And as the second kitten came into the world out also popped from me, “Ya, but why can’t I learn now?” There it was, ya, but and why in the same breath. There was no going back.  In no time at all I dropped the why, as I began to know everything and moved on to just, “Ya, but…” And I never looked back.  Well not until I saw those pretty flashing blue and red lights behind me.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on kindle.  Share your thoughts and opinions with her at itybytrina@yahoo.com.

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