Thursday, February 9, 2012

Big Mouth Betty (Debby Downer's BFF)

I am a faulty machine. If you bought me, hopefully you kept the receipt. For instance, sometimes I have a big mouth. No, I don't mean the actual size of it, though it is large. Actually my mouth isn't so large as my gums are ginormous. When I smile it is equal parts gum and teeth. Some might say large gums are not aesthetically pleasing, and although I haven't yet had a dentist say, "You're lucky, you have large gums," I prefer thinking of them as well-endowed. I imagine that some day I will be old and have no teeth, and then I will be happy that I have such large gums to fill up my smile. What was I saying? Something to do with talking too much... Oh right, what I actually meant by having a  big mouth was that I say things without thinking. They call me Big Mouth Betty (fortunately no one's ever called me that). She's best friends with Debby Downer. I wish I could say that at least I mean well. Unfortunately when you say something without thinking, you don't have time to sneak good intentions behind your words and use that as an excuse. And telling someone you mean well instead of apologizing is about as effective as telling someone you didn't mean it. Didn't you? Didn't you? Then there are the times where you actually do mean well but you still shouldn't have said it. You may have been thinking before you spoke, but you were thinking of bunny rabbits. These are some of the ways it happens:
  1. I want to be funny, so I say something slightly hurtful but hilarious.
  2. I have this desire to share things with people but some things are not mine to share.
  3. I like to talk.
  4. I usually think I am right (I usually am) and so I argue for no reason (except to prove your ignorance, obviously).
  5. I am always overtired and when I get irritable sometimes bad things come out.

I think that for a fault, it's a pretty common one, but it's something that almost always ends in hurting someone else and that is the worst fault of all. It can also be a kind of avenue for other faults, where the really bad ones make their attack in dark alleys and reveal themselves in evil words. For example, if you're fault is getting angry like the Hulk, you say angry things (and your clothes burst off). If you're selfish, you say selfish things. If you're greedy, you say greedy things (I have no idea what that means). If you're slothful, you say slothful things? Or maybe you are just too lazy to talk. And every once in a while it really comes back to bite you in the butt. You feel like the biggest moron in history. You suddenly question whether you are a good person at all, whether anyone should even like you, whether you have the right to ever speak again. Maybe you should become a mime.

So I've decided on my new profession: miming. Obviously I can't handle speaking, and I can't imagine any other reason why anyone in their right mind would become a mime (I will have to be careful of unicorns, see the Avenging Unicorn figurine. Unicorns find miming very insulting. They think that you are egging them on by pretending you are in a glass box that will protect you from being impaled. They feel it is their duty to prove you wrong). But really, that's not solving the problem, it's squashing it into oblivion, which, though a much more appealing way of solving things, doesn't bring any healing for you or anyone you've hurt along the journey of your disaster-words-train-wreck. I once got a fortune cookie that said, "You have the wisdom to think before speaking," and finally I had proof that fortune cookies are lies. No one used to believe me, they thought fortune cookies were delightful little cookies with a secret message inside, but now all I have to do is show them this one and they have tangible evidence for what I've known all along, the fortune cookies are lying to us. Maybe as an old lady that fortune cookie will be true and I will have finally mastered the ability to think before speaking. People will think I'm slow in the head because I will take five minutes before answering anything, and when I do, it will be all gums, so you won't be able to understand what I'm saying anyway. The thing is, I never want to hurt someone's feelings by speaking without thinking. "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (THE BIBLE, Proverbs 18:21, it's a secret.) AKA my tongue is freaking powerful and I better learn to control it. Or eat poorly. As another wise man once said, with great power comes great responsibility (Spiderman). So the question then remains whether I am going to use my power for good or for evil. And then this other guy Jesus says this and that's how I know I am completely lost without Him:
I know. You're thinking, "I never
want to see a tongue again."
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:34–37).
Oops. My bad. So here is what you do when you mess up: as I learned at church the other day, shame pushes us away from God, but guilt brings us to Him, bawling and snotty and crawling on our knees, the way we should be. Like babies. So get your guilt on, and apologize, apologize, apologize, before something worse happens. It's this beautiful thing called damage control. And pray that the person you've hurt will forgive you. Or run. Run away and never come back and live your life on trains.

P.S. I was just running up the stairs for my twice a day run-up-the-stairs-at-work exercise and as I was up at the top, huffing and puffing from ten flights and doing random, awkward stretches the building's security guy came up and found me. He must have wondered what the heck I was doing up there, because the only thing at the very top is the elevator maintenance room. I said, "Just getting some exercise," and he said, "Oh! Okay," and I ran away. It would be romantic if he wasn't so old.

No comments:

Post a Comment