I cringe when people say “You Deserve it!”

by Jamie Brazil, Portland
Her blog
Author of Prince Charming, Inc.

You’ve come a long way, baby since you deserved a break today. Remember those old advertising lines?  If you do, then you’re old enough to remember a time when entitlement disorder wasn’t a buzz phrase.

Today I’ve got a beef with two words in the English language.  So I need to warn you up front that this post is a rant.

Every time I hear “YOU DESERVE” I cringe.  My hackles rise, my belly tightens, and I grit my teeth.  It seems you deserve has become the catch phrase of 21st century.  Watching just a few minutes of a TV talent show the other day the judges crowed the phrase multiple times.  I should turn off my TV.  Between advertisers and politicians, you deserve has become a syntax staple.  Sales people at the malls love this phrase, too.  I tried on a jacket and the words shot out of the retail associate’s mouth.

You deserve it, she announced, confident she’d make the sale.

She didn’t.

My point is, what do we really deserve?  And why is this insidious phrase being heaped upon our consciousness night and day?

As a nation, we’ve earned free speech, the rights to vote and bear arms… and, if we get in trouble with the law, we have a right to fair and speedy trial.  But there’s a big gap between what our constitution says we deserve (the pursuit of happiness, not necessarily actual happiness) and the current opinions peddled by influencers.

I assume McDonald’s is still certain that I deserve a break today.  Decades later, I’m pretty sure Virginia Slims would like to sell me the glamorous cigarettes they hatched in my pre-teen brain.  Somehow, despite their best efforts, I have yet to buy a McLatte or light up a smoke.

I’ll continue to cringe every time I hear those dreaded words, you deserve, because frankly, I don’t know what the heck we deserve anymore.  But I know what I want.  A little peace and quiet, and a few moments I’m not being sold a bill of goods on what is deserved.

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