Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ever said something stupid? I haven't.

Have you ever said something stupid...I mean, really, really stupid?

Yeah, I haven't, either. I've never said anything like:

"You look super tired today. I mean, you look sort of like you've been working hard. I mean, mornin' to ya!"

"Remember when you used to be thin? I mean thinner. What I mean is, remember when we were younger?"

"How many months pregnant are you? Oh, I see.Well, are you thinking you might someday want children?"

"How old is your son? Oh, sorry. How old is your daughter? You know, my daughter used to be mistaken for a boy all the time, too. Not that yours is mistaken for a boy all the time. Anyway, how are you?"

I've got many more examples of idiotic statements I've never made. Thank heavens that the good Lord has blessed me with that filter which catches my moronic thoughts before they make their way into audible goodness for the recipient's lucky ears. I'm trying to decide which impulsive sputterings are more potentially damaging-those made to our spouses or those made to our co-workers.

At work, our statements, if severe enough, can be escalated to a human resources level, where everything is documented and can result in embarrassment, reprimand or even termination. The stakes are high, and we need to be ever-cognizant of what we say and to whom.

For instance, I know to which guys in the restroom I can say, "Hey, man, try to hit the urinal, mmmkay? Or else bring a tennis court squeegee with you next time," and which guys I must keep my dirty thoughts to myself. I know to whom I can say, "Come on in. I know the elevator is really crowded, but, lucky for you, I brought my special personal elevator lubricant. Put some on and squeeze right in."

At home, the consequences of our insensitive comments are eternal. My wife can cite every ignorant, mean, ridiculous or stupid remark I've ever made. She can pull it out of nowhere. "Remember right after I'd given birth to our first daughter and we drove home. Remember?" I always know what's coming at this point. "I was as fat as a cow," she continues, "and the woman next door was sunbathing in her bikini, and you just looked at her and said, "'Whoa'. Just that one word, 'whoa.'" The only reason I remember is because I'm reminded of it every year on my daughter's birthday.

Every time I blurt out an insensitive sentence, I think, "Okay, that's it. I've exhausted my arsenal. I'll never do this again, because next time, I'll wait one second, just one, and the impulse will have passed." Wrong.

But wait. Hang on just a minute. I almost forgot, I've never said anything stupid.

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