I suppose this is somewhat a caveat to the caveat. My responses to people tend to be benign because I lack boldness. This is my problem (this may be a surprise to my readership, or not). I have a hard time saying what I really want to say because I lack the courage to say it. Other times it’s that I’m like Marge Simpson (“Why do I always think of the perfect thing to say when it’s too late? ‘Shut up Becky!’ Yeah, that would’ve been sweet.”) and my comebacks come too late.
So I want to tell you a story about me being bold. Let me begin by telling you about a man I call Lawsuit. An older man, he was likely quite the ladies man forty some odd years ago. He is a kind man with a big heart, and on judgment day will likely be at the front of the line for all of the service he has given to others and the Church. He just has a hard time not patting people on the backside and not saying things that might make people highly uncomfortable.
Well, since this is about my boldness and not about Lawsuit, I’ll get on with the story. He made it a habit to ask BFF Kacy (remember her from a few posts ago?) on Fridays if she had a "hot date" planned for the weekend. Then on Mondays he’d follow up with “So, did you suck face?” (Both direct quotes. Inappropriate yes, but not so inappropriate as suggesting I give my male boss a “smooch on the lips” before I left work for the day.) Well I got fed up with him bugging my dear Kacy who is so kind and sweet and doesn’t get her feathers rumpled by this insensitive oaf like I do. So, one time when he was questioning Kacy about things he shouldn't I came up to him and said in my snottiest tone with the ugliest butt-face expression on my face, “Ever heard of MYOB?” He hadn’t, so I explained that it means mind your own business. He apologized and immediately left with his head down. He was strictly proper with both Kacy and I for the next few weeks.
At first I felt empowered and like justice had been served. But then the guilt began to creep in. I had been rude to him. And Heavenly Father loves him so much. How could I be so snotty to a son of our Father? One who had done so much to build the kingdom of God on earth? Why did I have to be a snot to him?
My guilt, the guilt that acts as such an effective negative reinforcement to keep my mouth shut, compelled me to make an effort to talk to Lawsuit and get to know him. I found out more about him and the difficulties he’s faced and gained a new respect for him, which led to more guilt for being rude. So the moral of the story is that I need to find a compromise in dealing with others that lies somewhere between saying what I mean snottily and being polite but not saying what I mean.
My caveat is that I just wanted you all to know that I’m actually a coward who doesn't say what she wants because she doesn't want to feel guilty later, and not this incredibly well guarded person that can curb her negative feelings towards others. But I'm working on it. Someday...
There. I said it.