Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Say what?

There is a file in my computer titled Things I Wish I’d Said Aloud, mostly because of a smack to the face at 14 years old for saying a really fabulously snarky comment to a rather unsavory character who I still, to this day, assess as a giant cheeseball.  You’ll forgive me, if 35 years later, I don’t regret saying it one bit.  Sure, it stung but the satisfaction of speaking my mind and having a room full of adults burst into laughter (stopping only at the crack of a palm across my cheek), showed me the incredible power of words and I’ve never forgotten it.  Still, I know some things are better left unsaid.  At least, out loud.


Time and experience have taught me countless important lessons about how Loose Lips Sink Ships, which is a phrase the American War Council used in a poster campaign during WWII.  They understood the importance of “avoiding unguarded talk” – yeah, I get that.  Often, my mouth has a bad habit of running off without bringing the part of my brain familiar with civility.  Not the best combination.  It’s just that, sometimes, it’s an effort to remember that not every poisonous bon mot has to be served. 


Benjamin Franklin said, “Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”  Oh, Benny.  You cute, chipmunk-cheeked rascal, you.  I liked you better when you were quoted as saying, “I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.”  We were closer to being simpatico then.  Because I have a waaay better grip on what goes into my mouth than what comes out of it.


As the mother of a child with autism I have had both the great pleasure, and sometimes equally great mortification, of watching my son express himself with nothing standing in the way of the thought process.  If an idea pops into his head, it promptly falls straight out of his mouth with nothing in between.  My little warrior, young He Who Speaks with No Filter.  Whatsoever.


For the most part, the kid has good intentions, like when he walks through Las Vegas casinos telling smokers “Stop, drop & roll!  You’re on fire!!” or “Put that out!  You don’t wanna die, do you?”  It does warm my heart to see that many people seem to find his honesty refreshing, realizing he doesn’t intend for his comments to cause any harm.  Well, except for the one poor woman filling out the bread aisle in the market as he blurted out, “Lady, you gotta stop eating.”  Not my proudest mommy moment, to be sure and we have since spent a lot of time talking about not saying every wee thing that pops into your noggin.  Sweet boy, you can think it.  It just does not need to be said.


Unlike my son, I have no neurological impediment (that I know of) to prevent me from engaging some kind of filter before opening my mouth.  In fact, the filter I do have is pretty elaborate and has modified over the years, as experience and maturity have dictated.  As a result, I have become pretty adept at biting my tongue and keeping my comments to myself.  But, I’m not gonna lie.  Sometimes I forget.  Or, more likely, an ill advised glass of wine at an uncomfortable social event will get me into trouble.  Sort of like this past weekend when a bride-to-be was given a book of recipes at her shower and I suggested (out loud) that a Zagat* Guide might have been a better choice.


Sometimes, I just cannot get to a computer fast enough.

*The world's original provider of user-generated content, provides trusted and accurate restaurant ratings and curated restaurant reviews for thousands of top restaurants worldwide.


One thought on “Say what?

  • ohkeeka says:

    Okay, I shouldn’t have, but I laughed out loud at this:
    “Lady, you gotta stop eating.”
    I’m sure it was mortifying for you (and her), but gosh is it funny to read in a blog.
    I have no filter either. I’ve always felt that if something popped into my head, it merited saying out loud. This year, I’ve really started learning the value of keeping my mouth shut. It saves me a lot of angst down the line. But it’s really hard sometimes. So hard. Have I mentioned it’s hard?

Leave a Reply