I Listened To Myself And Heard Myself Say Stupid Things

For the love of all that is uttered, why do I say some of the things I say?

It’s one thing to say stupid stuff to my kids like “we don’t pick our noses,” which is a bold-face lie and stupid, because what do you think I do in the car the second I get a moment to myself? Yes, I’m a picker; we can discuss that later.

I also told my husband that I love his cream-colored Henley from circa 1990. Again, a bold-face lie and stupid, because I am the one who’s going to have to stare at it until the next time he purges his closet.

But yesterday I found myself saying something to someone that was not true, helpful, or entertaining.  My friend is going through a break-up– the kind that requires her to move out and furnish a new apartment on her own.  Even self-centered old me can imagine that is a daunting and emotional task.  When I asked her how it was going, she told me how she is focusing on the bright side and that she’s excited about her new furniture.

Here’s one stupid-weird I said: “God, I can’t wait until the day I can furnish a place by myself.”

Um, what?  What does that mean exactly? I can’t wait until I go through a break up?  I can’t wait to cut Jeff out of the process of furniture buying? I can’t wait to be alone?

As those words came out of my mouth I felt like I was saying, “I am so jealous of your break-up. You’re so lucky.

Back the hell up, Outlaw Mama.  I wanted to be there for my friend. I wanted her to know I had her back. I wanted to say something encouraging about how proud I am of her and about how much (many?) emotional cojones she has.  Somehow that all got twisted up in my brain and came out as me saying something like I can’t wait to have another slice of break-up cobbler.

When I heard myself say that I decided to listen a little more to myself.

Turns out I say stupid shizz all the time–mostly because I can’t handle silence or the prospect of not having something sage and ameliorative to say to people I love who are in tough spots.  When I catch myself saying something like this, it reminds me of all the other times I said things that were wildly inappropriate.  Such as:

  • The time I told my thesis advisor that when she asked us to read her work in class, I thought it was a real “Norman Mailer move.”  Ya’ll, not every lesbian cultural & queen studies scholar wants to hear that she’s like the arch-misogynist, Normal Mailer.
  • The afternoon told my super religious Southern Baptist Grandma that I wasn’t sure that I had fully taken Jesus into my heart.
  • When I told my friend who was hot that “maybe it was menopause,” even though she was only 45, but extremely touchy about her age. (It turned out to be flu, so I should have kept my mouth shut.)
  • When my 44-year old boss showed me his wedding pictures, I couldn’t think of anything to say except, “I guess if you can find love, anyone can.”

Luckily, most of the people I’ve said stupid stuff to have been graceful and gracious, except for my Grandma who marched me to the Forreston Baptist Church to discuss my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Other than that, people seem to be extraordinarily forgiving of my mouth, which runs without my permission.

Still, it would be nice if I didn’t have to depend on other people’s social skills since my own are still so . . . weak.


45 thoughts on “I Listened To Myself And Heard Myself Say Stupid Things

  1. This is so funny. Your boss one made me pee my pants a little bit. I suffer from this affliction too. I just want to say the right thing, but of course no one ever really knows the exact right thing that the other person needs to hear. Sometimes I am close. Sometimes I want to ask for a mulligan. Did I really just say that?

    • The worst things I have said were to women who were trying to conceive. Such a fraught time and here I come with my big old mouth. I couldn’t bring myself to print any of those.

    • I used to joke all the time about the Baby Jesus. Then I realized that not everyone love a Baby Jesus-themed joke. In fact, it’s offensive. I’ve stopped but I still say it in my head because the Baby Jesus I know has a wicked sense of humor.

      • “Why, baby Jesus, why?” is a popular refrain IN MY HEAD. I don’t say it anymore because I figure most people aren’t praying to “baby” Jesus anyway. My issue is staying completely silent instead of saying even the wrong thing. I just seem disinterested.

      • Right. I agree. When I am the person in emotional tumult, I would rather someone say something…as long as it’s not mean-spirited, I would welcome something stupid over silence any day. And my head is a veritable shrine to baby jesus.

  2. Well according to your symptoms, you suffer from a disease (which by the way most everybody suffers from – including me) called Egotism. On a less diagnostic note, your post was super funny. 😀

  3. Eeek and cringe are the first two words that come to mind because I know the feeling, sort of. I tend to think before I say something, choose not to say something after considering then someone gets upset with me because I didn’t say something. I was accused yesterday by my neighborhood BFF (who’s unfiltered words run out) that I am the tightest lipped person she knows. I was shocked!

    You are one if the funniest bloggers I know/read. Keep sayin’ the shizz so I can keep laughing…with you of course!

    • You do seem polite and polished in a way that I think I may never be. I would LOVE to be though. I’m too much Eliza Doolittle. Would it surprise you to hear that I almost never think before I speak? Don’t answer that.

      • Maybe it’s because I’m like a billion years older than you! If you would have known me in my 20s and early 30s you would have had a riot laughing at what came put of my mouth. I was as Melisa calls a delicious mess but boy was I fun to hang with. I attribute “the change” to those damn kids I had 22.5 and 20 years ago. They sucked the crazy out and slapped in a behavior AND speech filter. I’m thinking about making a come back though (just in time to move back to the city).

  4. This is me, but I’m afraid I’ve said horrible things. I’ve lost sleep over stupid things I’ve said. I usually decide not to bring it back up in the name of an apology when I circle back around to everybody does it sometimes. The people who know and love me call again, have coffee/lunch with me again. I have a couple of friends who always say the right thing. Wish I could do that, say the right thing always.

    • Sometimes I think it’s because my brain moves too fast, which is a generous way of thinking of this. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a social awkwardness thing. Sometimes I think it’s codependence– wanting other people to like me and not have to sit with negative feelings. Sometimes I think about other things….like whether my bangs will ever grow out.

      • It was quite clever, too. I see now that I didn’t complete all the comment posting steps. GAWH! So anyway, I was rambling on about how I can totally relate to this post and how I have had verbal vomit my whole life and how whenever there’s an awkward pause and I can’t think of any commentary I insert a lot of random questions and that comes with its own bag of annoying tricks. Trust me, the original was much better. xo

  5. so funny! we all say stupid things – generally they are well meaning or awkward social cover-ups… some of course, are just stupid. hahaha!! the one with your boss killed me!! and i love the opening line. 🙂

  6. One time I told a very pregnant friend she looked fat. I don’t remember the exacting phrasing, but I used the word fat. I meant it as a joke. Like I didn’t realize she was pregnant when she so obviously was… Oh my GOD I still feel a little sick to my stomach thinking about how STUPID that was. Aaaaah!

  7. I make joke out of everything. I just can’t help. The cops could be at thee door telling me my mother had just been violated by a grizzly bear and then ran over by a tank and I would make a joke.

    I just pops out before I even think about it. I have learned many times that sometimes the situation is not laugh-worthy, regardless of how funny my words were.

  8. I love your examples at the end. I can only imagine I’d STILL be at the Baptist church if I’d said that to my Mamaw. Oh, Lawd! –Lisa

  9. I say lots of stupid stuff too. I’m not exactly afraid of silence, but I’m a huge introvert and get all awkward and weird when I have to interact with people too much and for too long. If I don’t have time to recharge, I totally lose all ability to converse like a normal human being. So, been there.

  10. I have a friend who actually said it must have been a relief when my mother died. I know what she meant, but come on. So at least you didn’t say that to someone. Also, please don’t say that to someone 😉

    Since I wasn’t the recipient of any of those things you said, I found them quite amusing.

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