24 May 2011

Note to self

I was reminded once again today I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. No really. In life I need to learn to zip it!  Zip it good!

An acquaintance approached me today and asked me a personal life question.

"Did you ever find out what was causing the oozing hives on your nether region?"
Stupid me, I answered her... because that's what I do. Someone asks you a question, the polite thing to do is answer... honestly.  They ask because they're interested, or concerned... right?  Right?!?

There goes my socially-challenged self.

She walked away quickly.  An awkward silence followed her out.

No, dear, sweet, ignorant, Sandi!  Honesty is not valued in this new era, nor is giving an honest answer to every question.  What one needs to do... What I need to keep in mind is... hrm... let me 'splain.

While in high school, our marching band won the regional championship - or something like that.  We went to Wisconsin to compete and while there, all the bands had to perform a number together. The band members were given the music beforehand; they were well prepared.  The auxiliary.. well, that was another story.

I may be getting the facts a bit wrong - it may have been at the Mile High Stadium, or Timbuktu... it was a lifetime ago, but the point is here somewhere.  Let's rummage for it, shall we?

Our auxiliary was led by a stellar man named Steve Miller - yes, I amn't kidding. Our band instructor at the time was proactive in the sense he formed us to be more of a Drum & Bugle Corp - from the glide step to the stoic faces. While other bands were high-stepping like the Budweiser Clydesdales trying to avoid their own horse pies, we frosted the field like marzipan glaze.  We were professionals, damn it!!  We even performed one year with the Drums Along the Rockies.  Booyah!

And, we won ...maybe just placed... in many a competition.

I was a flag.

Not literally... but that's how we girls holding long poles with colorful material atop were referred.
While in the band-mob in Wisconsin, we flags and rifles of the various auxiliaries were instructed on our moves and movements to sync with the other colorguard units of the other bands... and, of course, to "smile and bounce"... yeaaaahhhh. About that...

We'd spent years learning to glide step ~ liquid smooth movements across the field, like flowing music bursting within your vision; a fluid kaleidescope of precision.

And, here's a past-her-prime, vivacious cheerleader instructing us to high-step like little fillies with plastered, plastic, lipstick smiles across our faces...

"Smile and Bounce, Girls! Smile and Bounce!"
...so, what're you going to do, but what the world truly wants of you?

Take a large post-it note in hand.  Mark on it with permanent marker in your favorite color (mine's purple):  "Note to self... When someone asks you a personal question, remember what they're really wanting is, 'Smile... and Bounce!'"

(...and stick it to your forehead.  Better yet ~ over your big mouth!)

In Joy &; Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

In my experience, when somebody asks a "personal" question, it isn't because they truly have a curiosity or concern, but because they're hoping it will segue into an "All About Me" moment so THEY can impress you with some delightful tidbit about their lives. I, too, have post it notes everywhere to remind me - JSTFU and N/C. I also have a drawing of a zipper in plain sight to remind me to keep my mouth shut! Currently working on benign, one word answers to all questions and keeping my private life as private as possible. Conversation and the give and take it requires is a dead art! Good luck!

zirelda said...

My big one is RTFM. But your post reminds me that when people ask you how you are, they don't really want to know.

My grandmother used to tell them exactly how she was. Took forever to go through the diverticulosis and other aches and pains and it was frequently funny to watch the reactions.....

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

That's funny! I can't wait 'til I get old enough to just let it all hang out and not care what I say, who I insult (by having personal beliefs) or how fat I've become. :o)

pass the popcorn, please!