I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: My life would be so much simpler if I could learn to filter what comes out of my mouth. Being a victim of verbal diarrhea really sucks.
Here are some recent work-related examples:
Me (upon learning that my boss was placing an order for flowers for his wife, just because): Awww, that’s sweet of you.
My Boss: Well, thank you, but I’m very lucky to have K as my wife. Sometimes I take her for granted, and I try to take time out of my day remind myself of the reasons why I am so lucky to have her.
What I SHOULD have said: “K is a beautiful, kind, wonderful woman who is an incredible cook and the two of you are blessed to be married to each other.
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: “Are you kidding me? The way that woman cooks, she could be pockmarked and oozing puss, talking in grunts and slithering along the ground while pulling herself forward with her one good arm, and she still would have been a catch!
My Boss: Silent, creeped-out stare.
And then there was last Tuesday, when one of my coworkers wore a gorgeous, white dress that showed off her toned surfing muscles and beautiful tan (keep in mind I work for a Christian company.)
What I SHOULD have said: “Greetings, my coworker. That dress is very beautiful and you look very elegant. I applaud your taste in clothing.”
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: Giiiiiirrrl, look at those legs! If you’re ever wondering what dress you should wear to go out trolling for men, that’s the one! I married AND I don’t swing that way, and even I am wishing I could ask you out for a drink.
Coworker: Ummm. Well. I don’t really “troll for men”…. But. Uh. Thanks?
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: Oh, I didn’t really mean “troll for men”. I mean, I didn’t mean to imply that you look trashy or desperate…. You don’t! You look really pretty! Trolling makes it sound like I’m implying you’re some kind of street walker. I totally wasn’t. I mean, I know that’s not you. A hooker. I mean, I know you’re not like that… I mean, I didn’t mean to say “troll” or “hooker” at all. I don’t even know why I brought it up. I was just saying you’ve got great legs… but now that I think about it, that’s kind of weird, since we don’t even know each other that well. So, uh, yeah. Um. I guess I just meant to say you had a nice dress.
Coworker: Silent, creeped-out stare.
Ah, yes. Verbal Diarrhea. It’s not that I intend to be creepy or inappropriate… it’s just that it makes so much more sense in my head. There’s usually a lot of thought that gets put into each comment. The problem is, I edit most of the pre-thought, so the person who is left staring at me in creeped-out confusion doesn’t really understand where I’m coming from.
Here’s a good example:
This morning I met with my boss. As an executive assistant in a fast-paced environment, I get paid good money to juggle a lot of balls at the same. Some days it’s a lot of fun, some days it’s a little overwhelming, but one thing is that it’s never slow and I never have any downtime. This morning was definitely one of the overwhelming times. After typing out seventeen (yes, I said SEVENTEEN!) pages of emails and letters between 7:30 and noon, I walked in to our daily meeting feeling a little stressed. When my boss handed me a stack of additional work about 10 miles high, and then handed me two dictation devices chock-full of uber-important emails that needed to get out immediately, it was all I could not to cry.
I mean, I only had two hands.
But wouldn’t it be cool if I had more than two hands? I could get so much more accomplished.
On the other hand, I’d need additional arms to put the hands on, otherwise they wouldn’t be all that helpful.
Come to think of it, having extra arms would probably be frustrating, since I could never buy clothes at the store. I’d have to make my own shirts, with their own extra armholes, and that would just defeat the time-saving purpose of having additional arms in the first place.
And you know, it’d probably kind of weird/gross looking. I doubt the Bean fantasizes about coming home a stressed-out wife, waving strange tentacle-arms in every direction, going on and on about needing to go to the fabric store to buy more cloth for her arm-holes….
On the other hand, what if I could make the arms appear and disappear at will, like Stitch off of Lilo and Stitch?
Eww… what if I had to look like that in order to make it happen? No… no. The Bean’s an understanding guy, but I don’t think he would really appreciate me morphing into a squat, bug-eyed blue thing just to get stuff done. That’s not sexy at all.
OOOoh! What if I were like Inspector Gadget?
He was pretty normal-looking. He had a really cool hat, too. I could make my extra arms come out of my awesome hat, and then just retract them at will, and it would be…
My Boss: “Becky, did you get all that? It’s important that these emails get out before three.”
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: “Go, go, Gadget hands!”
Boss: Blank stare.
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: “Gadget hands! Like Inspector Gadget? You know, from Nickelodeon?”
Boss: Blank stare.
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: “He had all those hands that came out of his cool hat…. Don’t you remember the theme song? Doo-doo-doo-doo-DOOT, Inspector GADget… Dooo-doo-doo-doo-doot-DOOOO-dooo…”
Boss: Blank stare. Raised eyebrow.
Verbal Diarrhea Becky: “Uh, yes sir. I’ll get right on these.”
It always makes so much more sense in my head.