Looking Up!

An old friend and colleague from my working days rang me up today to ask me for something that I thought was not quite right for me to do. I told him that he should ask someone else more qualified and worthy than I. He however insisted that I help him.

During the conversation, his leitmotif was that he had always looked up to me and hence he wanted me to undertake the task. That more or less settled the matter as I was touched and flattered at the same time.

Let us not go into the task but what amused me was that literally, he is at least four inches taller than I am. Quite how he could have looked up to me beats me!

Some figures of speech really can be confusing when taken literally.

19 thoughts on “Looking Up!”

      1. Yes, but what if you are one of those poor sausages who don’t have any friends? Best case scenario all your friends have died. So no one can point the finger at you for you being friendless, instead wondering the graveyards.

        Actually, reading your assertion “if you want to know yourself look at your friends, and if I took it seriously, I’d squirm. Or become a recluse. Or, last resort, just die – if it weren’t for the Angel and my lust for life.


  1. A lot of popular expressions make no sense when you think about them. “Grasp the nettle” is a good example. All you get if you grasp the nettle is to be badly stung. In which case you shouldn’t grasp the nettle at all, you should grasp something less injurious.

    1. You could always wear gloves, Nick, whilst grasping a nettle. Having said that I once weeded my parents’ newly acquired garden full of nettles, gloves on. I was only about nine or ten, a light weight in the face of a not easily dislodged nettle at least half a meter taller than me (something to look up to). On the nettle’s sudden impact giving in I fell backward. Gloves or not, the nettle full in my face. Nothing that a bit of cold water wouldn’t cool. Still, know what you mean. A lot of sayings sound grand. On closer inspection they are just so much hot air. Or a blister.


  2. I look up too… Often… References, words for crosswords, recipes, choices for stuff that I need…. I used to look up a relative or friend till we got a major grounding by a pesky virus.

  3. If anyone ever said to me “I look up to you” I’d shrink. Too much responsibility.

    Having said that I look up to my son. Literally considering he is a lot taller than me (and will bend down when kissing me on the forehead) but also metaphorically. If ever I have seen a head on shoulders. I don’t say that because I am his mother. Even mothers can be objective.


  4. Its been said to me a few times but in other ways like : “I want to be you when I grow up” even though the person saying it might be older than me. I never take it seriously. I know mine own self too well, warts and all.


  5. ‘Looking you up’ and ‘looking him up and down’ sound similar, but have different meanings. This post reminds me of a confusion of ideas when someone (mis)understood “blow for s.thing” as “blow to s.thing” and some angst had to be diffused. It a funny old language.

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