Tuesday, August 19, 2003

My Stupid Mouth
By Tia

Is it possible to make an A** of oneself more than once in a 72 hour period? The answer is a resounding YES!!! I have a mild case of foot-n-mouth disease. For those of you unfamiliar with the illness, it’s a condition that renders the victim completely agile and flexible with the final outcome being one’s foot lodged squarely and securely in one’s mouth. Side effects of this disease include but are not limited to: embarrassment, either to the sufferer of the disease, to anyone unfortunate enough to witness disease, or to both, anger (again, to either party), revelation of the sufferer’s ignorance to all within earshot, and the occasional possibility of physical violence inflicted upon the sufferer.

I thought I had rid myself of this dreaded infirmity. Sadly, it was only lying dormant. And like a bad penny, it turned up again. Much to my chagrin, it’s flared up twice in the last few days. And also to my chagrin, there was very little I could do about it. By the time I figured out I’d had an outbreak it was too late.

Over the weekend I went out with a group of friends to a fairly nice eating establishment. It was the culmination to a fairly full Saturday. There were a few new faces along with some old friends and I was prepared to settle in for what I perceived to be an uneventful evening. I should have known better. I won’t go into all of the gory details. But I will say that I somehow managed to say something that not only offended the host of the gathering but her British companion and my roommate as well, while simultaneously causing the three to feel terribly awkward. To make people feel awkward and offended at the same time takes skill. And for some reason there are times when this skill is mine with little to no effort. A dubious honor indeed.

The second recurrence of the disease was not so much offensive as it was embarrassing. Let me set this up for you. I have a teeny crush on a boy. Crushes in my eyes are pretty much pointless. At this juncture in life wasting affections on numerous people is silly and usually fruitless. What’s the point? I understand that there will be the occasional attraction, but it just seems like a waste of time in the long run. Maybe it’s because I’m at a point where I would much rather bestow my affection on ONE person ALL of the time. But I’m only human and I’m a girl. And as such, my DNA states that I will fancy a boy from time to time. Anywho….

There is a boy. A boy I work with. A boy who I will not describe any further because there is a chance this may make its way back to him. Today, one of my co-workers asked for said boy’s extension. A request, mind you, that’s not all that unheard of. It actually made sense to ask me. People have seen the boy and I talking. The woman that asked for the boy’s number has seen us go to lunch together. So it’s not like I COULDN’T fulfill the request. (Truth be told, I DIDN’T know the number. I usually just e-mail him.) But when one feels exposed one tends to allow grace and tact to fly out the window, hence, my reaction. Instead of simply providing the requested information, this was my response, “I don’t know!!! Why would I know his number? I mean I know who he is, but that’s about it. I mean, we’ve hung out once or twice but that’s it!!!!!” The guy in the cube next to me turned around and said, “You like insert boy’s name here!” Of course there was fervent denial on my part, which only served as further ammunition for my accuser. Looking back in hindsight I realize that had I kept either my cool or my mouth shut the situation would have played out much differently and I would have been allowed to let this “twiterpation” run it’s course. Instead, I must now be subjected to the taunting of a guy who is the youngest child in his family and is discovering what it means to have a little sister to torment. Thanks F-n-M.

There is no cure for this disease. But you can suppress it with advance treatment and therapy. For those of you who suffer from this debilitating illness here are a few helpful hints.
1.Shut Up!!!! You can’t get anything in your mouth, foot, stupid comment or otherwise, if it’s closed.
2.Learn how to be a listener. You don’t always have to be in the conversation. Believe it or not, other people may have something to say.
3.Think before you speak. Brain Filters are gooooood.
4.If all else fails, bite your lip. You’ll either be concentrating so hard on figuring out how to do this without looking stupid or be in so much pain that you won’t have a chance to say something that you’ll later regret.

My hope is that this is the last time I will be forced to deal with this unsightly idiosyncrasy. But I’m human and as such inherently flawed. The odds of me saying the perfect thing, at the perfect time, for the rest of my life are highly unlikely. All I can do is try to slow down the Gray Matter Train before it runs aground in the City of Mouth. And if perchance, I’m unable to stop the carnage, I can do everything in my power to make things right.

Martin, if you’re still reading, please forgive me for being such a wanker.

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