“I Just Want To Do X First…”

What they’re really want to say, but can’t!

This article is rated: relationship analysis overload. Best read with your feet up and a big cuppa. Fiction level: — how true the story is/close to actual events (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐

Who’s kidding who? We ALL do it!

If you think you’ve never uttered a cryptic one-liner or offered a confusing explanation, you’re living in denial.

We’ve all produced ambiguous answers to questions, or excuses for breaking dates. Even worse, reasons for breaking up that we expect the other person to decode. And accept.

These little decryptions aren’t biased; men, women, lovers, friends, mother, ex-neighbour. What we say, or think we’re saying, doesn’t discriminate.

If you’re like me, it can be fun working out what everyone means. But when your translating is complete, you rarely expect what you learn.

“I just want to do X first…”

All those times you’ve asked a friend to give you a helping hand. Or when you’ve requested help from a colleague with a big problem. Or the thousands of times you’ve begged your partner to get involved with your life. How many times have we heard all-too-familiar fob off “I just want to do X first…”

Though some might actually say what they mean (shock horror), it’s more likely they’re saying:


“I have other priorities before committing to what you’re asking of me. I need to get what I need completing first before doing what you need. Give me a moment to complete this task, and I’ll get back to you.”


“Back the fuck off. I have a million other things in my life I need to do first. And you know that. You fucking know that, and yet you’ve asked.

Seriously, hold-your-fucking-horses.”


“I’m trying kindly to say no. I don’t have a good reason, but I know I want to say no. And if you ask me what the thing I need to do involves or if you can help, I will lie.

It’s just an excuse, ok?”


“I don’t think you understand the logistics of what you’re asking.

You want me to run before walking. You want me to swim in the Olympics when I’m still wearing floaties. Order and process; it’s time for you to learn these concepts.

Because I can’t do what you’re asking without doing X first.”


“I’m probably never going to say yes, but this will stall the process. Hopefully, by the time I can actually help you will have found someone else to help, and I will be off the hook.”


“Maybe you should learn to do this task/handle this event on your own. It’s easy, very fucking easy, and you don’t need me.”


“What about ME?!

You always put you first.

So now I have to say it, now I have to exercise physical restraint and make you wait. For once in your life, I wish I didn’t have to make you put me first. But here we go…”

Oh, hey there! Welcome to The Little Black Book!

I’m Ellen McRae, writer by trade and passionate storyteller by nature. My want is for a better opportunity for writers, especially fictional, in an increasingly technology dominant world. I write the stories that have formed my life and comment on the experience along the way.

Relationships. Drama. Gossip. Innuendo. Bad Dates. Failures. Learning about life/business/love the hard way// https://ellenjellymcrae.com/

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