*Terms and Conditions

Most of us do it. You see an app in your phone’s virtual store, or you find a product in your favorite online warehouse, or you discover a favorite food service will deliver right to your door, and after paying whatever they ask for, (and getting irritated that you go a dollar over budget because of those pesky delivery fees) you click through a series of boxes and screens.

Are you sure you want to make this purchase?
Yes. I’m sure.

Are you sure this is your correct address?
(sigh)

Yeeeees, I’m a platinum member of this website!

Do you agree to the Terms and Conditions?
Yeah, whatever! SEND ME MY STUFF!

Admit it; you don’t read that stupid page of “terms” or “conditions.” You just click the box at the bottom of the screen and keep it moving. Yet, you’re the first one to get angry when those exact things you agreed to are being used against you. Things like:

  • Giving OnStar the right to call the police on you if they suspect you’re doing something illegal in your car.
  • Giving Amazon permission to delete your account, delete the digital files you just bought, or come and get the stuff that just came to your house.
  • Giving Publisher’s Clearing House the right to send you stuff you didn’t order, charge you for it, and then send you to collections when they don’t get it.
  • Giving Instagram the right to use your photos for commercial use even if your account is private.
  • Giving that cash app the right to take money out of your bank account for any fee they come up with at any random time.
  • Giving iTunes the right to geo track and log every move you make even if your GPS is turned off.
  • Giving your OK to that whole Facebook/Android relationship that went off the rails these past few weeks.
  • Giving permission to that weird little guy to take your firstborn child if he spins straw into gold this one last time. (I have on good authority that saying “Rumplestiltskin” terminates this particular contract.)

You can be big mad all you want, but you agreed to those terms and conditions once you clicked that little box. Just face the facts that you’re suffering the consequences because you’re not patient enough to read through all those lines.

…or between them.

And now some truth: This very impatience has led to some other “terms and conditions” you’ve ignored but agreed to–especially in relationships.  Things like:

  • Knowing their last boyfriend/girlfriend took a restraining order out on them.
  • Their insistence to know your every move during all moments of the day.
  • Their pending, felony court case for assault and battery.
  • Their overbearing, meddling mother.
  • Their, “Don’t worry, baby. We’re just friends” relationship with their ex.
  • Their lack of ambition, 0 dollars in their bank account, and their “I’m not living with my mama, she’s living with me” excuses.
  • Their insistence to use your passwords/bank card/car/ because they don’t have one/overdrew their account/wrecked theirs.
  • Their umpteenth reassurance to trust them because the divorce is almost final which means you all can be together.
  • Their declaration that they don’t believe in titles or monogamy.
  • Their unhealthy attachment to their friends.

Whatever adverse terms and conditions you saw on that first date, you completely ignored. All the signs were there; they literally showed you their hand when you all broached the topic of relationships. None of what you’re dealing with is surprising because they literally spelled it out for you. Yet, here you are tying to figure out how to get out of this terrible “contract” without any drama. Adding insult to injury, every argument between you two includes the phrase, “You knew this when we met!” or “It’s not like any of this is new!” or my personal favorite, “You said you’d be cool with this.”

They’re right. You clicked the proverbial box. And whenever you click that box you are saying to that person, “I agree to the terms and conditions you are presenting.”

And the funny thing about those “terms and conditions;” once you agree to them, you can’t change them. You may think you can, and you may even try…but nope. You pretty much get what you get.

There’s a simple solution…just like in real life…

Just. Don’t. Agree.

When it comes to apps on your electronic device, you’ve pretty much shrugged your shoulders because we know good and well the government has been spying on us since the early 70s. (Wave to your personal FBI agent.) But when it comes to relationships, just don’t agree.

Stop living with the ludicrous idea that you have to put up with things you don’t want just so you won’t be alone. That’s a terrible reason to agree to anything.

You can always get rid of your phone, but you have to live with you; and you should be happy with the person you decide to share your time with. Make sure you two have “terms and conditions” that both of you can live with.

You know I’m right.

-Danita LaShelle

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