Counting to five
Some great stories for you from the last week. And they are all examples of how counting to five before allowing personal thoughts to projectile vomit into public consciousness could save embarrassment, upset and friendship.
It was Sunday afternoon and my female friend and I were sat talking, minding our own business somewhere. Suddenly into the room walked a rather aggressive man. He slammed in and said: “Don’t mind me, you carry on talking about periods or whatever.” Oh wow.
Had this just happened? Did that sentence actually just get said? Hang on, wait a second I just checked my watch and the date suggests 2016, not 1970. It was quite amazing, a jaw-dropping moment. I had no idea men said things like that for serious. I’m not a feminist in the sense that I start crying when a man says something stupid, but I just found it weird.
Later that afternoon it was my very own inability not to take five seconds that was the problem. Still, if you’re going to talk utter bollocks at least keep it to your inner circle, and I did, so that’s something.
I was tipsy on what’s app talking to a guy about how hilarious 50 Cent was currently being on his Instagram and a message came through from another friend saying they would be free to meet next week. At that precise moment in my mind it was already next week, so I was thinking it would be a further week until we could meet. Who’s that busy? Like nobody.
So I went into some kind of Shakespearian sonnet in reply, and then finished it up with a rather laddish remark that sounded hilarious in my tipsy mind, but shit in real life.
After sending it I realised it wasn’t very good, and much like me and my female friend didn’t like being accused of only talking about periods earlier in the day, it occurred to me that perhaps guys don’t want to be talked to as if they are a piece of meat…
Rather than just leaving it where it was – because actually this person knows me very well and knows 80% of what I say is in jest – my red wine and I had MORE to say. And so therefore I did say more. I then had a rethink and offered up a weak apology and an even weaker excuse that involved a red wine glass emoji and a gun, which was then swiftly ignored. Probably for the best. I’d have only started voice-noting if he had replied.
Surprisingly the third example was not by me. It occurred on Monday morning and it proceeded to ruin my whole day.
A friend, somebody I’m actually very very fond of, was messing about with me on Monday morning. He had said something and I was joking around that it was boring, and had sent me to sleep (we know I have the attention span of a young child). In response to this, instead of him saying something witty, he decided to tell me I had bad breath. Not just once. He repeated it two more times, making a tally of three in total, just to really get the point across.
I’ve always felt pretty safe in the knowledge that I don’t have bad breath. I’m actually terribly psychotic about my teeth maintenance routine. I have a very good electric toothbrush, I never ever miss a teeth brushing occasion. Two to three times daily. I go to the dentist every six months, I don’t smoke and I even use moisturiser on my teeth after brushing. Yep you heard that here first. The turmoil I was in having been told I have mild halitosis was akin to being informed of a pet death. Not a dog, cat, horse, or any of the good ones. Like a fish.
I immediately cried. The friend was mortified and was like “I’m obviously joking, as if you stink, this isn’t like you not to take a joke.”
And he was right, I can take a joke. You can say most things to me and I won’t be insulted. I have no problem with being taken the piss out of, I usually do it first. But to tell someone they stink usually means………they stink.
After many tears and a phone call to my best friend who told me she’s never thought my breath stinks (and I guess she would know), I continued with my Monday with an enormous sense of depression. When it hadn’t lifted 38 minutes after the event, I made four distress calls to my dentist. I even made the receptionist pull him out of an appointment on one of the calls.
He reassured me that I don’t have halitosis and was welcome to come in for a check-up despite my last visit only being a month ago (a visit which ended with me getting a Disney Princess sticker for great teeth). Eventually the dentist surgery blocked me and said I was allowed to come back when I was less hysterical. Whatever.
These are three occasions where some words actually spoke many many more words than the words that were immediately spoken. The damage one’s words can sometimes cause should enable us all to take those extra few seconds – to think before we speak. Unless pretty much everything you say is hilarious in which case, talk more.
Speak easy. XO