Humor · Life

Gossip Girl And The Juicy Tidbit

I Feel So Bad For Her...But Not Bad Enough To Keep My Mouth Shut!
I Feel So Bad For Her…But Not Bad Enough To Keep My Mouth Shut!

I’ll admit it. When I was a teen, I used to be a bit of a gossip. My own self-esteem was so fractured after my merciless stint in middle school,  I felt less “different” when I learned of others’ flaws, weaknesses and mistakes. A good gossip-mongering session made me feel included because everyone was doing it.  Face it, most teenage girls are prattlers – vicious, fanged creatures who can tweet a libelous story about a frenemy faster than they can flip their hair and roll their eyes.

Thus, in high school, joining circles of prattling, adolescent girls while they shared secrets, rumors, and, frankly, big ass lies, seemed like a brilliant idea. After all, if the vipers were hissing about other people, they weren’t throwing shade in my direction. Nothing like the logic of the recently estrogen-infused.

Perez Hilton - I Could Have Been You, But I Have A Soul. And Clothing.
Perez Hilton – I Could Have Been You, But I Have A Soul. And Clothing.

Fortunately, I got older and, eventually, wiser, and learned that words can hurt, rumors can maim and lies can destroy lives. Talk about a paradigm shift for a blogger who calls herself Miss Snarky Pants. I could have been Perez Hilton if not for that pesky conscience of mine. Now granted, I make generalizations about people and take stabs at celebrities who deserve it because IT’S A HUMOR BLOG.  Yes. That’s how humor blogs work. If it’s too edgy for you, please feel free to get your funny on by reading the “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” section of Reader’s Digest. Ormay I suggest, Breaking Amish.

And for every crack I make about Kanye “Officially-As-Narcissistic-As-Trump” West – who’ll become President when gravity turns out to be just a prank (What? The GOP thinks climate change is a Chinese conspiracy.) – I make at least ten digs about myself. After all, I’m uber-comfortable with the whole self-deprecation thing. Why? Because when I poke fun at myself, I’m not hurting anyone else. And with my muffin top, I barely feel the stick, anyway.

As I grow as a writer and a person, I sometimes wonder if I’ll outgrow snark. Then I slap myself and come to my senses.  Still, I continue to learn from others’ behavior and, predominantly, my own mistakes. I note what hurts, who it hurts and why it hurts. Each day, I find myself a hair more compassionate and a freckle more thoughtful.

Very recently, I ached for someone else because of gossip. A tidbit, anyway.

After all, let’s not be ridiculous. I still luuuuurvve me some gossip. I won’t lie. I often kid, “I don’t repeat gossip, so listen carefully the first time.” However, in reality, when it comes to the rumor-mongering game, I’m a catcher, not a pitcher. I don’t like to spread gossip and I despise the idea of disseminating lies, but I love information. Information is, well, information. I thrive on knowledge, even if it’s just the ingredients in my cereal. I will, sometimes, share my personal stories about a person with another because, to me,  it’s not gossip; it’s part my experience and may have impacted the person I am – or was. It may explain why I like or dislike a person. Or it may be something the recipient of the information really should know.

For example, If Gary Busey tries to chat you up at a film festival…run. Fast. Here’s why. Trust me, this is info a person needs if he or she going to be within a 50-mile radius of that lunatic. However, the older I get, the more carefully I choose the stories and with whom I share them. I often leave out gossipy tidbits, that while juicy or lascivious, aren’t necessary, because the harm they could do outweighs their benefit.

Gary Busey - Crazy Isn't An Act; It's A Lifestyle!
Gary Busey – Crazy Isn’t An Act; It’s A Lifestyle!

Recently, I wish someone had done the same. I was talking with an acquaintance – we’ll call her, Blair – who shared some, erm, intimate information with me about a mutual friend, whom we’ll call, Serena. Unsolicited, I might add. I can say without fingers crossed that I neither expected the salacious detail, nor particularly enjoyed it, but I made a joke…because that’s what I do. Particularly, when I’m uncomfortable. Blair wasn’t gossiping, at first. She simply shared a personal story about her relationship with Serena. Then an opinion. And then came, the tidbit. Oh, the tidbit. I could have done without that tidbit in the same way I could have done without peritonitis after my gallbladder surgery.

The problem with that snatch of private information is that it was like butt implants on Kim Kardashian – completely unnecessary. It didn’t enhance the story, nor did it garner Blair any empathy from me. Instead, it made me sad. Sad for Serena – who is a person I care about. Sad that I now know something I can’t forget, but I feel is wrong for me to know. It’s the information a pervert gains while peeking through a hole in your blinds. The car accident you can’t unsee, even years later. It’s a tidbit that I know would embarrass Serena – if she knew that I knew. And it’s not a shameful thing. Not at all. However, it’s a personal one. And I made a joke because I didn’t know what to do, in that moment.

That was shameful.

In retrospect, I should have said something, like, “Hey, didn’t need to know that!” or “That’s uncool.” In the jumble of it all, I didn’t. No, I spurted out a pithy statement that summed up the whole thing and elicited a laugh. The problem with my behavior is that I inadvertently encouraged Blair’s tattling. I rewarded her indiscretion with a quip, when I should have discouraged her revelation, because its harm most definitely outweighed its benefit. The tidbit changed nothing about Blair’s truth. It didn’t encourage me to upgrade her from acquaintance to friend status. If anything, I knew then that my words would forever be guarded in her presence.

It also made me want to apologize to Serena and give her a big hug. But I can’t do that because I know something I shouldn’t know. And it would be totally weird if I suddenly showed up on her doorstep and gave her a bear hug just because it’s Tuesday.  So I’m sending this embrace out into the universe and hoping it lands, warm and tight, around Serena.

Blogging about yourself can be a freeing experience. You’re shedding your mistakes, your embarrassing moments – and your shameful ones – in front of the entire world. You’re coming clean. You feel honest. Still, honesty has a price. It’s not fair when someone else has to pay it, in the blogsphere or in real life.

So, today, I learned something. And while I’m a hair more compassionate and a freckle more thoughtful, I’m still sad – and I don’t feel the slightest bit wiser.

Mea culpa, Serena.

30 thoughts on “Gossip Girl And The Juicy Tidbit

  1. Being somewhat like you (and yet not like you at all), I had to read all the way to the bitter end to see if you spilled the Serena tid bit. Despite the fact that you identified yourself as a catcher of gossip and not a pitcher, I had hope. I don’t even know these people or their real names, but I was desperate to get the dirt.

    1. Well, I’m glad that I kept you reading until the end… even if it was just to get the dirt that I didn’t dish. In fact, I didn’t even tell my husband the skinny because I knew he wouldn’t want to know, either. And I tell my husband almost EVERYTHING. There is gossip – and then, there is nasty ol’ keep-it-to-yourself gossip. The latter, along with agreed upon secrets, never cross my lips. Now bacon…that’s a different story.

  2. But the fact you recognize it puts you ahead of the gossiping game. That recognition is what keeps us from a repeat performance in the future.

    I’m not a gossiper for all the reasons you listed. As I tell my kids when I talk to them about the issue, “Gossip is not only hurtful to the parties involved, it will also come back and bite you in the butt.” I think that’s one of the reasons I like politics so much. It gives us a chance for juicy gossip. And never has that been as true as with this current current GOP mish-mash.

    1. Amen, Carrie! You and I can dish on politics all day. Nothing juicier than Trump gossip. LOL Well, hopefully, others will learn from my foible…and Blair’s. As long as I keep moving forward toward being the best person I can be, I’m happy. I suspect you’re already pretty darn awesome. Gary Busey, on the other hand…

      1. Oh, I didn’t know he was in an accident. That would explain things. Now I feel bad. See? That’s a perfect example of how gossiping comes back to bite us! (Let’s just pretend I set the whole thing up for this ba da bing moment.)

      2. You don’t have to feel bad. I’m the one snarking on about him. You were just busy diagnosing him with some congenital anomaly. The wonderful thing about constant and consistent growth is you never really reach perfection, which always leaves room for snarkiness.

  3. I don’t care how lonely you is, I ain’t telling you nuffink copper.

    Oh alright. All over the news today, David Cameron (that’s our Prime Minister) allegedly committed an obscene act with a dead pig’s head whilst at university. Would you Adam and Eve it.

    The rat bag is, allegedly, responsible for the deaths of those whose disability benefits got cut off but the press are more interested in pork abuse.

    I thought you might enjoy some snark from years ago. A parody of an actual judges summing up which was regarded as favouring a politician accused of a plot to murder his gay lover.

    P.S. How is you head this days.

    Enjoy :-

    1. You always crack me up, Graham. I heard the story about David Cameron late last night whilst falling asleep. When I awoke, I assumed it was a dream. What rational mind would assume otherwise? The American version of that is a film called “American Pie.” Self-explanatory.

      Don’t know much about Cameron, but I would be inclined to think that I’m a Labour girl – although what’s up with the Marxist Socialist they voted into leadership? I’m afraid I only lean as far left as Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist and progressive, who happens to be running for President of the United States. I suspect he’s a really nice chap.

      Thank you for the parody. Will read and comment on later. The head’s good, but I was informed today that the foot is broken. A friend suggested I don a bubblewrap suit to protect myself. I’m in a “boot” for the next three weeks. This summer shall be known as the Medical Malady Summer of 2015. In my mind, it will rank somewhere between Hurricane Katrina and the time I got caught showing my slip to the boys in first grade. I fear hubby will put me down soon. 😉 Still, there have been many lucky and wonderful developments this summer, so I’m grateful for all the good in my life and hope I learn something from the bad. How are you, my friend?

      1. Glad your head is better. Sorry about the foot. Who have you been kicking ?

        I’m OK, thanks. Although I did stub my toe a few days ago. Oh the agony !

        I hope you enjoy the parody what is a sketch/film of satiricallity ( I get a perverse pleasure from confusing the spell chucker).

        First grade naughty ! and what will your hubby put you down. Will it be a rabbit hole like Alice ?

        These and many other questions are of no consequence to the universe whatsoever. Pretentious moi. Have a 🐻 😀

    2. Bwhaahaahaa! So, is a “player of the pink oboe” akin to a “friend of Dorothy?” If so, that’s a new one for me. “Pagan limbo dancing” was another favorite. I think I’m going to have to name a blog post that, just for shits and giggles. Thanks for sharing that. Love Peter Cook!

      1. You mean Dorothy and a …. with ~~ in broad daylight on a __. I can hardly believe it. Oh you gossip you. Wait till I tell the tabloids (in confidence of course) 😀

        You’re welcome, he was quite amazing 🙂

  4. I’m living a situation in which a rumor spread and grew and created a nightmare that is nearly impossible to undo. I never thought such things could happen to me or to my family. I’m big on snarky sarcasm, but man oh man do I wish some people would learn when NOT to spread a story around… Loved this post!

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