I recently wrote a blog about a run-in between a bus driver and passenger in Birmingham, England. The passenger had the last word as he said, “Welcome to the real world” just before exiting. I guess my question is did hearing that statement usher in the driver’s arrival into the real world? Or, was he already in the real world and not aware of it as no one had formally welcomed him? Kind of like driving to Las Vegas and missing the “Welcome to Nevada” sign. You may not know it but you are in Nevada. The different color police cars are the best proof of that fact.
I think when people say welcome to the real world they think it will have a profound affect on their listener. As if that lone statement will cause the person it was directed to to do a complete 180. Change their ways, as per the welcome-er.
FRIEND: Bill you’ve changed? Is it your hair?
BILL: No, I finally joined the real world.
FRIEND: Thank God! I was afraid to tell you. Feels good right?
BILL: Feels great! I’m a little bummed that now I can be affected by gravity. I’ll miss stepping off cliffs and not falling.
The next time you’re tempted to welcome someone into the real world (and basically play God) try saying “It is what it is” Instead. It’s way cooler and just ambiguous enough to be open for interpretation and not make you sound like an A-hole.