I had an epiphany. It’s been happening a lot lately – not sure why, but who am I to question the resuming of activity in what I was sure were mostly dearly departed brain cells at this point.
You know how people always talk about moderation in the context of diet and nutrition – how one philosophy is that everything is ok “in moderation”? I always understood the concept in principle but sort of failed in the execution. Not enough of the healthy stuff, no apparent moderation of the, ahem, not so healthy stuff. I could sit here and wax poetic about how a doughnut should be considered healthy based on the fact that it has eggs in it (and despite the fact that eggs, as I found out recently, have a cholesterol content that will make your eyeballs want to jump out of your skull, bungee-style, they arguably have some good components, right?). But, alas, I’m too old to pretend to be that ignorant. SIGH.
Then I thought about how, on a blog, you have something called “comment moderation”. Which essentially means that you can approve, delete or, in some cases, even modify comments before they are posted to your blog. This pleases the control freak in me immensely, as I am now able to pretend that I have a teeny tiny little kingdom where I can say, DANCE, PUPPETS, DANCE! (Ok you would totally find this funny if you, too, were slightly in love with “Friends” and snorting yourself into a laughing fit as you recalled the crazy-weird theatric director in the episodes where Matt LeBlanc starred opposite Dina Meyer, ordering them to “act, my talking props!”.) In all seriousness: I love this feature to keep out the crazies. Because, you know, apparently the creators/managers of blog sites don’t see fit that users should be able to remove and/or delete followers. Whatever. Go ahead and follow – but you can’t comment, haha! I WIN! I WIN!!! (she screams in her best imitation of Monica.)
This brings me to my epiphany: I am not a good “moderator”. Moderation is an abstract to me. I understand what it means, how it’s supposed to be applied – but I can’t seem to make it work on or for myself.
Case in point: I may or may not be suffering from an advanced stage of verbal diarrhea. This affliction – as one would assume – seems to strike randomly and without warning, with rather disastrous consequences at times. Now, in milder forms of this degenerative disease, it may be possible to repair any damage done – the worst consequence usually being remorse or, to quote the affable Homer Simpson while slapping one’s forehead, and an overwhelming urge to exclaim “D’OH!”. However, in some cases, verbal diarrhea can cause more than passing embarrassment. It can unfailingly make you want to vomit on yourself just to give you a valid excuse to exit the conversation and STOP TALKING.
Which, in turn, makes me think that I should write to my senator or congress person and ask him/her whether, perhaps, it would be a good idea to introduce a bill for this kind of problem. I think a traffic citation for what might be considered “Runaway Mouth” – exemplified by a speaker whose mouth is clearly working faster than his or her brain, thereby overriding the speaker’s natural (although perhaps underdeveloped) shut-off valve – may be in order.
Verbal diarrhea is, I’m afraid, something that happens to me with alarming frequency. All the more shocking given my “advanced” age and arguably defecting memory. But I would like to register a plea for clemency since I absolutely, resolutely detest “awkward” silences – especially over the phone, and even more especially from someone who called me. I always have to refrain from prompting “AND?” – because, you know, YOU called me?
Also, sometimes I may or may not have the neurons of an excited puppy. Like, when I meet someone who also loves coffee. (Can we have a little burst of confetti in celebration of coffee? No? Fiiiine. I guess it’s ok.) Or we happen to like the same comedian/movies/handbags. Or you can carry on an interesting, intelligent conversation that doesn’t involve the words “diapers”, “epidural”, and/or any mention of Taylor Lautner (because, I’m sorry, unless you’re his age or younger, crushing on him is sort of creepy. Like cradle-robber kind of creepy). I can definitely guarantee that I won’t slobber all over your shoes, and there’s that whole wagging tail thing I don’t have. But I realize that sometimes, just sometimes, excitement and enthusiasm can be just a touch overwhelming.
A recent example involved a situation that was meant to be serious – not in the sense of “life and death” serious, but nonetheless involving someone I had never met before and wanted to make a good impression on. Because, you know, I wasn’t raised by wolves and all that jazz. So I did all the right things – right up until I opened my mouth. GACK! Who is that woman blathering on about stuff her companion is probably not remotely interested in and/or didn’t ask her to elaborate, extol or pontificate about? WHY IS SHE STILL TALKING?
SIGH. Go ahead – groan, roll your eyes, cringe. I won’t even judge you. I’m right there with you. Sometimes I’m almost having an out-of-body experience of the “car wreck” variety: I can see it happening but I can’t stop it. Then I try to back-pedal – and make it worse. It’s amazing how someone who’s fairly intelligent, has traveled out of the country on more than one occasion and can hold a conversation about more than just the weather could be such a social retard (and don’t get on me about how non-pc the word “retard” is, because I’m applying it to myself – that’s totally allowed. Hmpf.). If you watch Pawn Stars, here’s a good visual analogy: I basically imagine that I come across like a female version of Chumlee when this happens. ACK!
At this point I would like to caution you firmly against bringing up any subjects of contention (the obvious main categories being politics and religion) unless you want to see what it’s like when someone’s mouth moves so fast that their words start to sound like a speech impediment. I’m totally opinionated, I’m secure and firm in both my beliefs and convictions – and if you disagree with me I’m totally cool with that so long as, you know, you don’t start burning things in effigy or try to string me up by my toenails because you want to convert me to your “side”. But I get a tad agitated when discussing these topics – regardless of whether we agree or disagree – so I’m thinking? Let’s just not even go there.
I should also warn you that my personality is 50/50 opinionated and sarcastic – and I have a weird sense of humor. Example: I hate crude, crass profanity – but there are episodes of Family Guy that make me laugh hard enough to almost induce an asthma attack. Another example? I’m not a huge fan of David Spade by any stretch of the imagination, and Rules of Engagement is definitely nowhere near my top 100 favorite things to watch – ever – but show me a clip of Russel Dunbar exclaiming “Nerts!”, and you’ve got yourself a girl howling with laughter until there’s streaming tears.
I may or may not snort derisively, scoff audibly, and huff without restraint at things that amuse or irritate me – even if those things are currently only available for examination and comment within the confines of my brain. I’ve been known to laugh at my own jokes (although I usually have the decency to wait until someone else has laughed first – I am, if nothing else, polite) and sometimes, when I’m reading late in bed while my husband is already playing Asteroids in his dreams, I have trouble suppressing my innate desire to laugh out loud, so that instead of bubbling to the surface and erupting, it instead causes my whole body to shake like tremors of an impending earthquake.
So the next time you visit this blog, or when/if we meet in person (don’t take this as an invitation, weirdos – you know who you are!), you may want to bring a splash guard or some discreet noise reduction headphones. Because…you know…forewarned is forearmed.
PS: When I googled “diarrhea of the mouth”, looking for a fun picture to use in conjunction with my pithy post – imagine my surprise at all the hate. There were some serious anger management issues out there – complete with threats of violence. (!!) But then I realized: wait a minute…I may have diarrhea of the mouth, but I don’t have “constipation of the mind”. Obviously none of this crap applies to me – yay! – and I ended up finding a super awesome collage picture (source included below):