As most of you know, I have no ability to filter. This is especially tragic because I’m trying to find material appropriate for a public blog, where I can’t just go and spew all my self-righteous political and moral opinions or tell you about illegal things I’ve done or antagonize all my friends and family by sharing all my embarrassing moments that happened to involve them.
(A long-winded aside: Contrary to popular belief, this is not an ingrown trait of mine – it’s a learned behavior I’m having trouble unlearning. I’ve always been a gossiper and I’ve never been good at keeping secrets, but being an out-and-out blatherer and oversharer is kind of new for me. In fact I was downright shy all the way through high school, so much so that kids I knew then don’t even recognize my face a scant few years later (but this could just as easily be put down to my newfound ability to put on makeup). I first got into yammering at strangers when I worked at Curves (the fitness center, not the strip club) in my first semester of college, where I was forced to stand in the center of a circle of bouncing women and engage them in spirited conversation, mostly to keep their minds occupied and partly, I think, to get them a little winded because otherwise the workout wouldn’t have been that strenuous. I greatly appreciate my new willingness to share all these poignant life lessons and witty observations of mine that most other people would generally withhold (apologies to my lab mates who have to endure the incessant noise), because I really feel it fosters an open dialogue and other lofty reasons I’m too impatient to enumerate in what would turn into a ridiculous run-on list for which I might be forced to use semicolons (which are the bane of English grammar and should never, EVER be used for ANY reason), and I’m going to try and train my kids into talking openly from the get-go. If I ever catch them trying to filter I’m going to have to bust out my story about that one time I [edited for content because this is public, that’s why].)
Now I’ve forgotten why I wanted to write about filters.
Oh! There is one downside to not filtering anything, and that’s Post-Verbal-Diarrhea Shame Syndrome. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up the next day and felt intense self-loathing regret at something stupid I said that I devoutly wished I could take back. The feeling is akin to a bad hangover, which is a particularly apt analogy because the occurrence of an Oversharing Hangover is highly correlated with actual Drunk Hangovers. The analogy does break down on the time scale, though, because while an alcohol hangover is usually gone two days later, the oversharing hangover can last a whole lifetime. Think about that. I’m going to be carrying this nausea around with me forever, every time I think about what a patented idiot I was being in this or that instance I can’t expunge from my memory.
So here are a few of the things I wish I could say to certain people who were, in one way or another, victims of my verbal terrorism (because more words are always better for situations where I’ve already said too much):
· I did not in any way mean to imply that I regularly participate in orgies. In fact, I’ve never before had sex with more than one other person at a time. I’m not saying I have anything against orgies in principle, or that I will never in my life end up in one, I’m just saying it’s not part of my regular sexual milieu.
· I did not mean to step on your foot, grab the extra karaoke mic, and duet-ify your adorably abominable rendition of The Killers’ “All These Things I’ve Done.” Yes, you were totally butchering one of my favorite songs of all time, and yes, there was another girl who also got up and helped out by singing into your mic, and yes, you were thankful to both of us and dismissive of my immediate apology after the song was over – but I really should have sat that song out, given that I already had the most mic time of anyone in the place because I am also a sad attention hog.
· I do not mean to talk incessantly about my profound love of women and their bodies every single time I get the smallest bit drunk, and often when I’m sober. This includes that one time I told you, stranger, just how ridiculously hot I found that one chick mingling with her friends across the bar, and then you grinned and called your wife over and told her how I just said I wanted to have sex with her. This also includes all the times that I’ve inadvertently made you, friends, protect my virtue in bars.
· I wish I hadn’t said, “You know what? Go for it.” God, was that ever a mistake.
· I wish I hadn’t said, “Oh, you mean so-and-so?” and thus given away the fact that I’ve Facebook stalked your family.
· I ought not to have hugged you that one time. That was an inappropriate overreaction to your tale of woe. I was drunk, but obviously you know that, and that’s still my only excuse.
· I’m sorry I told your dad what you were getting him for his birthday.
· I’m sorry for being so outlandishly condescending in castigating you for supporting George Bush rather than Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.
· I’m sorry I went off on Bank of America in a vitriolic tirade full of incredibly colorful language while you were still on the phone. I would still have had the tirade, but by hanging up properly I could have avoided that added moment of horror when I heard you ask, “Mrs. Bergfield? Do you need anything else from us today?”
· I probably shouldn’t have told any of you about that one dream I had, even if I find it really funny looking back on it. I probably also shouldn’t have mentioned that other dream, the one that made you laugh at me for an entire evening and that you rightfully still tease me for, because now it’s never going away.
· I’m not too proud of calling you all misogynists in a recent blog post, though I still stand by my claim with the inclusion of a couple caveats that didn’t really fit neatly into that earlier narrative and which I will also not expound upon here.
· I apologize for every time I’ve been dismissive of a religion in front of people who are offended by that kind of thing. (But please note that I am not apologizing for and will never apologize for defending the fact of evolution; the fact of climate change; the rights of LGBTQQI people, women, or any oppressed group; my views on the state of my consciousness, my soul, the afterlife, or a higher power; or my disdain for the bigoted hypocrisy of supposed moral individuals. I just feel bad when I make well-intentioned jokes about Jesus and stuff. For the record I have a lot of sincere respect for Jesus.)
· I deeply apologize for every single time I’ve ever used the R-word. That actually does make me sick and it is unacceptable. I’m working on it.
· I’m also sickened by a couple of things I’ve said that I can’t even reference here because this is a public blog, that’s why.
· Finally, I regret making you uncomfortable. All of you. I should not treat your awkward silence as an invitation to fill it with even more egregious violations of good taste.
I will undoubtedly come up with many, many more apologies the minute I post this. If you feel I’ve left you out, go ahead and shoot me a comment so I can learn to be a better, more withdrawn person.