The truth of the statement “timing is everything” was reinforced for me today in one glorious moment. In a wonderful epic moment, two friends of mine separately made my night.
First, a friend of mine wrote a blog in which I was mentioned. It was one of our “Things Not to Say” lists that we often create on particularly rough days when senseless comments are getting to us. (Today, mine came from an older Navy Vet who saw me bend down to retrieve a tossed Hot Wheels Car for my son. I now have a spread-legged squat typical of month 5 of pregnancy, so he felt compelled to say, “You can’t get down much lower than that!” Yep. Thanks, Sir. I did look a bit like a squatting potbellied frog in that instance)
Just as I finished chuckling at the audacity of some people’s thoughtless comments, my dear friend Becky called. Becky is a few years older than me and in many ways a role model I wish to emulate. Picture an attractive blonde in her 30s who is nicely dressed in a classic but 40s-nodding style, always walking with excellent posture and well-spoken. She often kept the more excitable coworkers in line. At the present moment she is returning from a long family reunion trip where she drove her 90+ grandmother around and met her every need. After 48 hours of this and weeks of intense local political campaigning, Becky was exhausted. She and her darling husband stopped for a meal. Becky’s was coupled with a lemonade martini that apparently packed a punch. Before hitting the road, Becky made her obligatory trip to the ladies’ restroom. That’s when things got interesting.
“In the restroom was a woman in her early 40s or so, looking absolutely stunning. Cute retro dress, great hair- just lovely. So, I told her she looked divine and had a great dress. However, my mind just went to the fact that she looked good for her age. She smiled, thanked me, and revealed, “I’m getting married tomorrow!”. At that point my mind had registered that she did look a bit older and had tiny starts of crows feet but still looked great. Realizing she was getting married at later age, my mind took control of my mouth and I said something HORRIFYING. It’s totally the kind of thing you would blog about.”
Oh, happy day. My picture of poise was about to be my muse.
“I just kept fixating on how cute she was, how she was marrying later, and out of my mouth popped, ‘Is this the first time?’ “ OH MY. The bride smiled nicely and said it was her second marriage; her first had been very young. She bride to be was gracious and kind. Poor Becky.
“Who says that? Drunk, terrible idiots! I didn’t know if it was in my mind or out of my mouth. She should have said what a tacky thing that was to say so I could have agreed with her and told her to hit me! What on earth? I’ll bet she would use my picture for a dartboard at the bachelorette party. I am so mortified.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. She gave me her blog blessing and told me to use her name, claiming she deserved it as punishment. I can’t help but adore her and wish I had been there to help.
We all say thoughtless things sometimes. Words can just jump into our mouths and we spew like a shaken Coke. When we get sick and tired, likelihood of spraying word-vomit is more likely.
What’s humorous to me is that this was not an intentionally mean comment or a trite consolation, but Becky was mortified. Honestly, it hardly qualifies as the worst I’ve heard, but thinking of Becky saying this is a bit like the first time I heard my grandmother cuss.
In this society where every thought can be public domain in seconds, it seems people are very loud and proud. It’s never fun being next to the obnoxiously loud tables full of yelling restaurant patrons. “I just say what I think” is not always something to be proud of- especially because many such people really don’t think through their positions or comments. These are what I call ‘Say it LOUD girls’: “ Say it LOUD- I’m obnoxious and proud!” These are the ones who are likely to get in fights or feel insulted when equally obnoxious guys hit on them without so much as a hello before beginning a fist-bumping Night of the Roxbury impression. These days it seems if you can’t say something nice, chances are you’re the one talking.
I’m all in favor of the ability to speak one’s mind… but I am sure Becky would join me in reinforcing the importance of keeping one’s mind in check lest we embarrass ourselves. I find I am loose-lipped when I am tired, sick, or exceptionally hungry. Some get loose-lipped when they drink, are surrounded by opposition, or feel uncomfortable. Others just have no filter at all. When some loose lips start talking, proverbial ships start going down like the Titanic.
I am very thankful that my friends are providing me with some great material. After all, what happens in the ladies’ restroom…gets told to the husband, family, friends…and gets written in a blog.
Speak responsibly, my friends.