Friday, July 21, 2006

Social Suicide

I have a talent for getting myself into trouble, especially where the written word is involved. My latest feat has been to unthinkingly steal someone's thunder. I wrote a fairly witty and candid email and sent it off to an entire mailing list. After about an hour it dawned on me that "I probably shouldn't have said that." Too late. I really hate that about email. I sent off another note, this time to the person whose thunder I stole, but since he is on vacation I haven't heard from him yet. Sigh.

Enough with the foot in the mouth. How about when someone gives you a backhanded compliment and you think of a zinging reply - several months later? I wish my brain would let go of these things but no, my subconscious seems to want to chew them over and then spring them on me in moments of low self esteem. Is this a forgiveness issue? I don't feel like there is any malice involved on my part, but there's still this memory like a bruise that I can't help poking just to see if it still hurts. I came up with a doozy this morning and since I have nowhere else to share it, I'm going to post it here.

I once came upon two of my catty sisters-in-law obviously gossiping about family members. I thought I heard my name, but perhaps not. It doesn't really matter; their general subject of conversation was clear. When they realized I was approaching, they turned the talk to something more mundane, like the weather. I chatted a minute and then, because they seemed rather reserved I said, "Well, I'll leave you two so you can go back to talking about me," in a joking manner. I didn't care what they had been saying; I was on vacation and in a good mood. One of them replied, "Oh, don't worry. You're not interesting enough to talk about." Ouch. I don't remember my response, but I'm sure it was lame. Maybe I said thank you. Maybe I just said oh. But this morning the scene jumped into my head and I thought of the best sting, "That's nice. I feel exactly the same about you."

Except, of course, now here I am talking about her. Sigh.

1 comment:

Brad Shorr said...

Your post reminds me of one of my favorite "Seinfeld" episodes, where George is snarfing down shrimp at a meeting and a co-worker says, "George, the ocean called. They're running out of shrimp." After the meeting George thinks up the perfect comeback, so he goes to great lengths to recreate the scene. But when he unleashes his comeback, he gets out-zinged again.