Promises, Promises and more damn Promises

Throughout our lives there have been numerous promises; promises that were made, and most likely, even more, that were broken, Promises by us, promises by others and especially promises by all the politicians.

We all probably made, and most likely broke, our first promises before we even entered grade school. Promises we made to keep the secrets of friends and siblings like; “I won’t tell the other kids you still wet your bed.” Or, maybe that you broke that window or vase or stole that piece of candy.”

And then there were the litany of promises made and broken later while in grade school. Promises like, “I won’t tell Sally that you have a crush on her, or maybe, that you still wet your bed?”

Of course, many of these grade school promises, especially among the girls, were Pinky Swears? As best I remember, that practice passed me by while I was growing up. Maybe I lived in the wrong place, or it was a different cultural thing, but I promise, I never made a pinky swear. However, it did get me doing a bit of research on what is Pinky Swear and how did it start?

First, from Wikipedia, I learned, to pinky swear, or to make a pinky promise, is the entwining of the pinkies of two people to signify that a promise has been made. In the United States, the pinky swear had existed since at least 1860 when it was first mentioned in the  Dictionary of Americanisms.

I further learned from another source that pinky swearing started much earlier in Japan, where it is called yubikiri. It was the highest of all promises and meant that, if you broke the oath, the wronged party could cut off your pinky. Isn’t that nice! Well, at least that is better than them cutting off some other parts.

As we got older, maybe while in Junior High or later in High School we started making those promises to our special friends. We made promises to boyfriends, girlfriends or perhaps even our steadies; promises of friendship like, “I promise I will be your best friend,” or promises of fidelity such as, “I promise I won’t date anyone else,” or “I promise there is no one else but you.” Then, of course, there were those promises of repentance after a fight or breakup like, “I promise he or she was only a friend,” or “I won’t do it again, I promise.”

And then for some of us, there were even those promises made before, during or after that first shared secret moment of intimacy. Promises like “I promise to be gentle”, and “I promise I will …. never mind, I’ll skip those”, or the promises elicited from you afterward like, “Promise me you won’t say anything about this to your buddies, your brother, my sister, etc.”, or “Do you promise you still love me?”

And later on, most of us had those wedding vows, for some of us more than once. Promises we made at that time that hopefully we truly intended to keep.

Then, of course, all through life, we have the myriad of campaign promises made by all the politicians. Some of these are genuine promises made at the time with well-meaning intentions, although which they and we must realize most likely would never happen.

Some of the promises made by politicians we know are also just outright lies or just pure bullshit, which we know they have no real intention to enact if elected and are designed only to elicit voter support.

And then we have the worst of them all, those senseless inane promises made to drum up voter support from the more radical fringe elements, which we sometimes later learn, to our surprise and utter dismay, the politician actually plans to enact.