Or: My big fat mouth strikes again
I’ve created a list for myself, a sort of self-help list holding a few key things that I hope to accomplish this year. Item number one is: Learn to keep my mouth shut.
I consider it everyday. I try so hard to stop talking before I say something stupid and get myself in trouble. Everyday I fail. I am nearly 35 years old. I don’t think that I will ever outgrow this embarrassing, destructive, and sometimes (OK, most times) humiliating quirk. I have impulse control issues. I get too excited, too upset (usually with myself), too ready to fix the problem at hand – and it bites me in the ass over and over again.
Case in point – today I was on the phone with a friend. A friend who failed to call me back last week and has been, admittedly, a bit of a dick for the past two months. I’ve had a conversation running around and around in my head, a carefully choreographed hissy fit. But here’s the thing: I didn’t say the words I planned, I did worse.
You see, my friend said something very very nice, sweet even, and my reaction was this: “Really? Then why can’t you return a call?”
I am a freaking idiot.
But I’m an idiot that recognizes that I am an idiot. Sure, I could wallow in my misery, I could feel like I’m the only person in the world who suffers from this. I could convince myself that I am a freak, but then I remember we’re all freaks.
When I was younger my quirkiness used to send me into a deep dark hole. I felt completely and totally alone. As an adult I realized that everyone has the same problems and no on is ever alone in their misery or idiocy. You can guarantee that your biggest fear, deepest secret and toughest self criticism is shared with at least 80 percent of the world.
That fact doesn’t stop me from trying to keep my mouth shut, it just helps my wounds heal a little faster when I fail.