I just finished watching the Super Bowl. The Patriots almost won it. But they didn't -- they lost. (Sorry, Pats fans!)
Which got me thinking... (Have you noticed that it doesn't take much to get me thinking about random things?)
In what other situations does almost not count? Of course, you've heard about horseshoes (the closer the better, but you don't have to ring the post to succeed) and hand grenades (like most explosive devices, close is still going to destroy stuff, although a direct hit is always preferable). But what else is there in the realm of almost? Here's what I came up with:
1) A Passing Grade. While watching the Super Bowl, I was helping Mary grade papers (which, for some reason, I really enjoy doing, and she hates doing). On one particular quiz, if the student missed five questions, their grade would end up being a 67. Which is three points short of a 70, which is a passing grade. These kids were almost there, but they didn't quite make it. They failed. Oh well! They should have studied harder.
2) Your Favorite Pants. Have you ever noticed that when you're trying to lose weight, that one pair of pants you really want to be able to fit into are the last ones you actually can wear? Oh, they almost fit, but not quite. So you keep them until you can fit into them. Call it motivation. Or separation anxiety. Whatever. You just can't, or won't, let them go.
3) Being On Time For Work. I'm especially guilty of this. I always struggle to make it to work on time, and rarely succeed. So I end up having to work over, or take a shortened lunch, to make up for the lost time. Some days I have my act together and actually get there only five minutes after I'm supposed to. I'm almost on time. But I'm not. I'm late. (Slacker!)
4) Understanding What People Are Saying. Confession: I have a hard time listening. Not hearing, mind you. Listening. I try really hard, but I just don't catch everything. Sometimes I start listening after someone has started speaking, and sometimes I stop listening before they're finished speaking. I don't do it on purpose, I just struggle with this. Usually listening to almost but not all of what someone says completely destroys the context and meaning of what's being said. You might say "I don't feel really good." And if I don't hear the "I don't", I may reply "that's great!" Which might annoy you. And for most people to whom I do this, it does. Sorry about that.
I could go on and on with these, but I've still got papers to grade, so I'd better get back to that. At least this was a mildly diverting brain break. Well, almost.