I used to find “I told you so” one of the most gratifying phrases in the English language (at least when I was the one who gets to say it; I hate it when my husband says it). I have found, though, that the older I get, the more bothered I am by the reality of having issued a warning that was ignored.
Actually getting to say, “I told you so” doesn’t have the same gratification as it used to… because no amount of getting to be right changes the fact that, inevitably, we are now faced with a mess that was entirely avoidable. The fact that I warned about it, or tried to alert people to it, pales in comparison to the fact that I am now stuck cleaning up something that never should have been a mess in the first place.
This is doubly sad because that “I told you so” moment used to be what made leading the ‘clean up crew’ worthwhile for me. Now that there is no joy in it, it’s largely drained any sense of pleasure I ever had out of cleaning up other people’s messes.