Who Are “They”?

They say drinking a glass of red wine everyday is good for your heart. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They say owning a pet lowers your blood pressure. They say driving a red car increases your chances of getting a speeding ticket. They say more and more children are being diagnosed with food allergies. They say playing video games contributes to Attention Deficit Disorder. They say purple is the new black.

So I have just one question: Who exactly are “They”? Because it seems that “they” sure have a hell of a lot to say. I mean, is it just me, or has anyone else ever wondered about this?

Recently I was having lunch with a friend, making regular small talk and naturally “They” came up in the conversation. I don’t remember in what capacity exactly, though it doesn’t really matter. It might have been something like: You know, they say that the polar ice caps are melting at a much faster rate than initially projected. Or maybe: I just heard that they say carrying a few extra pounds is actually healthier, so lets ask the server for another basket of bread! Or perhaps: They say it’s better to wash your hair every OTHER day, rather than every day.

Whatever the topic of discussion, I stopped for a moment and asked her: Have you ever wondered who THEY are? I mean we are always quoting what THEY say and we seem to base a lot of our decisions on what THEY recommend. If THEY are so frickin’ important, how come we don’t seem to know who THEY are?

She didn’t know either, but confessed to both reciting and following the advice that THEY offer with some regularity.

Who are these people that we would constantly listen to whatever “they” say? They seem to know everything, from what we should eat to what we should wear. What medicines we should take for what ails us and when. What we should read, drive and listen to. What we should do for fun, for improved concentration, for effective time-management, for better-behaved children, for healthier relationships, for better sleep, for better sex, for slimmer thighs, for thicker hair, for cleaner floors, for softer skin, for whiter teeth, for gingivitis, for wrinkles, for snoring, for dragon breath, for athlete’s foot, for dandruff, for excessive flatulence, for bad credit, for NO credit, for better bowel movements, for increased productivity, for more laughter, for more friends, for more love, for more fulfillment, for better quality of life.

I mean, if THEY know sooo much… I for one, would like to meet these people!! THEY have been telling us what to do for centuries now, and THEY seem to enter our conversations on a daily basis, if not an hourly one. I don’t know who THEY are, but if anyone out there does… PLEASE let me know!

In the meantime, while we continue searching for the ever-elusive, all-powerful, all-knowing, collective “THEY”… be aware the next time you hear yourself or your companion utter the phrase: “You know, they say…”