See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Text No Evil

Here’s a scary fact:

There are two people inside of me.

170515voices (641x800)

Okay, wait. That sounded much more alarming than I wanted it to. Let’s try that again.

I hear two voices.

Nope. That doesn’t really work either.

And this has nothing to do with the whole author thing where we train ourselves to get inside a character’s head and write from their perspective, which, when you really think about it could be considered a bit invasive and creepy.

170515head (573x800)

What I’m actually talking about are the conversations behind conversations. The things that come out of one’s mouth when in dialogue with another versus the things that get whispered, grumbled or screamed inside your head and nobody but the real you is there to hear.

We all do it, so there’s no need to fear I need a few week’s rest in the nearest laughing academy—although a softly padded rubber room and a nurse with a needle full of snoozing juice could be considered a worthy vacation at this point in time. I may reevaluate the idea.

It’s just that lately I’ve become more aware of how loud that inner voice is growing.

Maybe it’s the fact that I have teenagers and realize that no matter how hard I try, putting parental lessons in my best Disney Princess Voice is no longer a viable tactic, but my Nurse Ratched routine isn’t gonna fly either.

170515ratched (800x626)

Or it might be that I’m preparing a series of presentations to schoolchildren about food and have this desperate desire to get on my hands and knees, grab them by the shoulders and shout that “Scientists have discovered rats will work eight times harder to get sugar than they will to get cocaine!” Except this will have me escorted out classrooms and libraries faster than a gun fight in a phone booth.

The art of communication is tricky.

I think we all probably remember that well-drilled-in childhood lesson stating If you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe you’re not cut out for social media—or something like that. But I’m realizing that of late I’m growing quite desperate to allow my inner ‘best if kept caged’ thoughts to escape and run rampant.

Many of these urges happen when I’m texting. There’s the response I actually text, and then the response I actually say while typing out the text. Oftentimes they’re contradictory, or one is passable for the National Security Agency’s eyes and the other is my “air text” which is the message my fingers were itching to type.

And I’m getting pretty good at spotting the air texts written by other folks as well. Especially those of my kids. A typical conversation might go something like this:

Hey Mom?

Hi, Bud. What’s up? (read: Why are you texting me in the middle of the school day? You’d better not be in trouble. Is there a police officer standing next to you?)

I’m not feeling good. (read: I’m sick of school.)

And? (read: Ask the office for an Advil and head back to math, Mister.)

I think I need to come home. (read: I’m so not ready for the chemistry quiz.)

Sorry to hear that. (read: Suck it up, buddy.)

170515hydra (616x800)

I just need to get into bed. (read: I really want to watch the next five episodes of Archer.)

Are you sure you can’t stick it out? (read: If you think you’re skipping out on the rest of the afternoon to binge watch Netflix you’re about to be sorely surprised.)

No. Please call the office and get me excused. (read: Show some mercy here, Mom. I CAN’T TAKE THAT QUIZ!)

Fine. (read: Did you hear how loud my sigh was? It was deafening on my end.)

I have to stop and get gas on my way home. (read: I need snacks while I binge watch Archer.)

You’d better have a raging fever and be tossing your cookies once you open the front door. (read: There actually wasn’t any finger itching air text here. I sometimes actually write what I mean.)

I think it may be more challenging to squish a troublesome inner voice if you’re naturally a snarky individual, or determined not to be judged by the size of your brain but rather the size of a brain you’re convinced you deserve, or if you’re nearly certain there’s an 18th century sharp-tongued fisherman’s wife controlling your vocal chords—all of which are true, and do not make the task an easy one.

170515fishwife (586x800)

On the flipside, these growing urges to speak my mind may stem from a healthy diet of female empowerment slam poetry Youtube videos or maybe just an extra large serving of Beyonce lyrics—it doesn’t matter. The point is, the older I become, the more ankle I want to show.

Or perhaps it’s simply a matter of deciphering what are the most important messages I need to get across and what’s the most precise manner in which to do so.

Maybe those extra voices in my head fighting to be heard aren’t all brash and uncouth. Maybe it’s not tact I’m fighting for, but truth I’m fighting against. Maybe with each successive year I’m realizing the unbridled freedom of truly saying what I mean.

Or it could be that I forgot to take my meds this morning.

Time will tell I suppose. It will surely reveal if any of these musings are worthy and will likely determine where my next vacation will be.

~Shelley (or Sybil)

*ROBIN GOTT’S NEWEST POST!* (click)

Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.

91 thoughts on “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Text No Evil

  1. THAT…was a riot. I like to speak my mind simply because there’s not much of it. Once everything has been said, it’s all quiet in there.

    I like my life.

    p.s. I’m a loner. It works for me.

  2. I actually use a lot of subtext. “Good luck with that,” to my niece who’s scheduled herself on a bus that leaves before Metro opens; “always a pleasure,” at the end of a very even tempered email in response to an unpleasant colleague. I get a workman’s satisfaction from managing the pleasant, innocuous, double-edged phrase. If we couldn’t do this, we’d all go a bit bonkers with generalized anger. I’m with you. Keep up the two-lane conversations…

  3. What an interesting perspective (read: Thx. I’ve had teenagers. I had successfully blocked them out), Don’t worry, he’ll turn out fine (read: Yeh right! Based on my experience?????). As long as he’s not doing anything illegal (read: Good luck with the little manipulative, lying, cheating twit). It’s just a phase he’s going through (read: He’s probably taking after you and following your examples). Good luck. (read: I hope you get as hard a time with him as I got with mine. He’s only being his age (read: Tell the little sod to grow up and accept his responsibilities.

  4. 🙂 Teenagers will do that to you! The funny thing is they grow a little older and start asking our opinions instead of endlessly trying to emotionally blackmail us, or practising the art of telling us what they think we want to hear in order for them to get what they want. I so enjoy being old – older? – I no longer care what people think of me; if it needs to be said, I say it. I’m guessing you will find such a nice way of saying what needs to be said any way. Subtext guessing could become a popular pastime – but it’s all based on assumptions unless it is our own subtext that is keeping us amused…. This comment being a small example of what goes on inside my head – the stream of consciousness evoked by reading your thoughts 🙂

    • I think, Pauline, that you nailed the one reason a good chunk of my friends and family believe I may need a supervised, medicated rest for a few weeks: it’s all the chuckling at internal head chatter.
      And as far as growing older gracefully and with great style and panache–I think you’ve got it all figured out. Thank you for plowing that path. I plan to follow as best I can.
      xo

  5. Over the years I’ve had to adjust my ‘second speak’ as I think I might have got it wrong. To a text from my eldest daughter who might say “I’m coming home, school is shut for a half day due to plague” I’d reply ,” That’s a lie” while thinking It’s possible you may be mistaken, stay where you are.We never had the best relationship in the world for some reason.
    I do like the fact that at my age I can be more honest than I used to be even if sometimes I do still have to employ lot of tact with those I don’t care for. One great thing is that I can be more open with my grandchildren than I was with my children as I don’t face the comeback and it pays them back for the heartache years.”Of course daddy’s not allergic to giraffes, I think he just wants to go fishing tomorrow rather than the zoo”.
    Sending Humongous Hugs Shelley ( and Sybil of course) xxxxxxxx

    • Allergic to giraffes! *snort*
      And you brought up such a good point in your comment, David. Don’t you find it absurd that we spend so much time and energy being tactful with strangers and very little with our loved ones–or those we’re genetically related to by birth? And living here in The South I am surrounded by generations of good breeding and finely-tuned diplomacy. The talk is as sweet as the tea. I don’t mind it, but sometimes it’s interesting to ponder the purpose. Because you really have to dig down deeply beneath the surface of what’s said to you to find the true message. It’s there. Just buried beneath a load of civility.
      Still laughing at the giraffe bit.
      big hugs to you too (from all of us) xoxo

  6. Hey Shelley,

    I truly believe as we get older we’re stripped of our “Oh, I might hurt someone’s feelings” attitude and we relax our guard a little, oft times saying exactly what’s on our mind. Much like Nana or Grandad who, at their age, don’t care and say the first thing that hops into their heads. Oh how easy life would be if only we could get away with it before all the crinkles and wrinkles set in. 🙂

    Clare

    • Excellent point, Clare. When responding to David’s comment above, it really set me to thinking about where it is we live in relation to just how course or courteous our speech is to one another. I believe it to be a cultural thing as well as an age thing. Say something that wasn’t sanctioned by the tutors in your cotillion class and you’ll likely never find yourself invited back to another grand uncorking of an 18 yr old bourbon barrel while playing lawn darts on the plantation. Say what you mean in Brooklyn and folks will slap you on your back and buy you another beer.
      It’s curious. And definitely has me thinking more about the whole topic.
      And … it’s so good to see your words here, Clare. I hope you and Dean are faring well!

      • Thanx Shelley,

        I totally agree, although that guard becomes relaxed, we still need to be carefully about what comes out of our mouths. My head is like yours with two voices at constant odds with each other. I just hope most times it’s the ‘right’ one that speaks up.

        Dean and I are faring really well, thank you for asking – you are too kind. We have only six days left in Tasmania. Then it’s back to the mainland and that is going to make me a little sad 😦 (although my internet access will improve).

        Clare

        • I do hope you get a chance to make the rounds of both beautiful lakes I saw on your website. And seriously, I really hope you and Dean are thinking about putting this spectacular trip into book form. What an incredible journey you’ve taken. I’m so amazed.
          okay, and super envious too, but mostly amazed. 😀

          • Thanx Shelley,

            For your kind words and encouragement and we have spoken about that book you suggested. From little seeds, big trees grow and we’re watering ours everyday at the moment 🙂

            Clare

  7. Ha, hilarious Mrs P! Those voices keep getting louder and I am sure they are also telling us to wear purple hats. For all the inner editing some of us do there are those who seem not to edit at all. Good luck with those ten year olds, you may have an easier time with the rats. 😁

    • Thanks, Cheergerm. I’m thinking that if I come into a classroom wearing a dress made entirely out of sewn together candy bars I shall have their rapt attention. Or get devoured.
      Could go either way.
      Cheers!

  8. So glad I’m not the only one hearing voices. They do keep me company in here, and a noisy, nasty cacophony it is at times. As for showing a bit of ankle as we age – it’s one of the many benefits and freedoms of growing older (isn’t that lovely, ‘growing older’ rather than ‘getting old’?) 🙂

    • Yes–love the whole ‘growing older, getting wiser, being bolder, still a miser’ kind of attitude. Maybe not so much the last bit. It’d be great to be of the purple hat variety of “older” versus the pinchfisted breed.
      Time will tell, eh? 😛

  9. Dear Sybil, Love your piece this morning 🙂 I find my own Mrs Angry getting the better of me rather more these days, and whilst my Mrs Tactful says honesty doesn’t have to be brutal my new Mrs Reckless says there are times when we all don’t give a damn 😉 🙂

    • I think there is something so refreshing in finding a person who is comfortable in calling a spade a shovel. Even more becoming if they have an element of artful finesse behind well-chosen words. In another life, I wouldn’t mind coming back as the female equivalent of Winston Churchill, but perhaps a teensy bit less biting and bit more attractive.
      And here’s to heavenly laughter, Sarah. I’m all for it!

  10. Bonjour Shelley, bon dimanche à vous.

    I thought I was thee only one who self talked (mind texted… to others). There are days that I feel no matter what or how I say something to another, it comes out, no, rather is recieved completely opposite as what I want to convey to those who are closest to me. I need help. And, yet oddly, I use to be confident as a politician…, no, rather as an ER doctor as how I could communicate, or, share my thoughts thoughts politely.

    Today, it seems more difficult. I feel like I am always walking on a bed of coals, never wanting to push anyone’s wrong buttons. I miss the age of innocence, and, I miss you. I’ll keep trying.

    Mon amour pour vous . À l’église bientôt dans le brouillard.

    Stoshu

    • I think self-awareness of one’s speech can be a great thing and also debilitating at times. Being politic can sometimes get in the way of being effective.
      Thankfully, you have the language of food to communicate within as well. I love reading stories about how chefs tell tales and convey their feelings through their dishes. That’s magical.
      Hope those coals cool down, buddy. That’s gotta be rough. (Although it might be a big relief from the normal frozen tundra terra firma you have to handle ten months out of the year!)

  11. Oh, I’m so glad I’m not alone – I most definitely have an inner fishwife, and sometimes it’s not so hidden when the kids break something having been told NOT to do whatever it was for the umpteenth time and then they turn around and say, ‘But it was an accident!’ Yes, an accident they’d been warned would happen until I was blue in the face. Sometimes my husband too, now I think about it, Sigh.
    Rob’s cartoons seem particularly spot on this week. I’ve been sitting for ages trying to pick a favourite, but I can’t single one out, they’re all fab. As always I’m in awe that you two come up with such gems week after week. 🙂

    • Aw, Laura, those are some truly lovely words. Thank you for that. A total daymaker. ❤
      And I'm thinking lately that maybe we should embrace our inner fishwife. Maybe let her have a go at it a little more frequently. She's probably the most sharp-witted of all the speakers in my house. And I do like an acerbic-tongued opinion on a situation every once in a while. It puts things into crisp perspective. (and then I usually apologize profusely, but still, good to know she's there.)
      😛

  12. Ah, dear Shelley/Sybil…..you are quite a pair over there. Had me laughing from the start. Alas, I think I’m a bit ahead of you in all this. At this point, I don’t even need the other person’s retorts/replies, I am part-time predictive text/speech all on my own! I can manage whole conversations in my head and save myself the trouble and aggravation of that third-party nibbing in…..this is the wonder of having adult/teen sons. I think basically I’ve gone past the whole actually conversing with them thing, had the conversation in my own head, made the decision that needs to be made, and just cut to the chase when I do deign to enlighten them as to how things will proceed. When they come after me, it won’t be because I’ve forgotten my meds, it’ll be because they’ve determined I’m too smart and enlightened without them! 🙂

    • That is brilliant, Torrie. I so love the idea of short and sweet, blunt and pithy. Finding that short-cut conversation has got to be a real mental mercy. And I’m entirely embracing the thought of the transition from “Quick, hire a teenager now while they know everything” to “The older I get, the smarter my folks become.” Fingers crossed I live to see it.
      Maybe I should start working on my Buddha belly now–for authenticity sake? 😀

  13. When I saw your title I expected to read something along the lines of “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. Then as I started reading I thought you were going to explain that you now have to write in crayon. Imagine my relief when I realized what you were talking about. I think most people air text (I do so like that phrase). However few are able to present it as artfully as you. You and Rob do create such a nice little concerto every week. for which I thank you. Cheers.

    • I’ve got this wonky image in my head now, Benson, of being a crudely refashioned Ms. Dark who is covered with the faces of countless poor children all tattooed onto my skin in crayon. I’m kinda liking the idea.
      And thank you for your incredibly kind words. They are warmly received and expertly expressed.
      Cheers

  14. As a child-free person, I am stricken to silent amazement by the realization of how things have changed, such that your offspring can text you while at school. It used to be that all pleas for mercy had to take place before the arrival of the school bus. But now, theoretically, they can go on all day, texting, emailing, calling, tweeting, and sending you FB messages. Mind boggling.
    So true about social media as a vent for people’s inner Ratched. Why not the inner Mr. Rogers, I ask?

    • Yep, mind boggling is the perfect descriptor. I know some instructors have a basket at the door for kids to deposit their smart phones into before sitting down at their desks, but as most classes use all forms of technology to teach with and a great deal of info is transferred from teacher to student via personal computers, it leaves ample opportunities for the kids to take advantage of multi-tasking while in class. On the flipside, occasionally my daughter has connected me to her lecture with either video or audio feed for a few short seconds if she thinks there’s something of particular interest to me. I’ve been amazed on that end of the benefit of new technology. Pros and cons.
      And you make a terrific point about the alternative available to us, Linnet. Love the idea of a Ratched/Rogers debate.

  15. Oh, dear Shelley, I have the inside voice/outside voice argument in my head all the time. Sometimes you’e just gotta let ‘er rip though. Or face the very real possibility that your head could explode from all that pent-up stifling. Or maybe that’s just me.

    I saw a meme a while back, “If you’re passive-aggressive, you’re doing it wrong.”

    Heh. That’s me. aggressive-aggressive. 🙂

  16. Ha! Great post, Shelley. My big mouth has gotten me into a lot of trouble with my grown teenagers. Now they are adults and no longer feel it necessary to refrain from talking back because they will be punished. All those supressed years of wanting to tell me what they really think about my wisdom, my discipline, my values–they are savage at times. Now, I, must bite my tongue and I’ve never been so politically correct and calm. Now my characters say what I really think and feel, and it’s a release I wasn’t expecting. 🙂

  17. Great post, as always. And you’re so right about saying one thing and thinking another. I would never deliberately hurt someone with my words but I do have a tendency to be a bit too blunt especially when I feel passionately about something or if someone has asked for an honest opinion. But I also (and slightly in contradiction with what I’ve just said ) found it very difficult to say no – until quite recently. And I’d find myself overloaded with doing favours for others. But I’ve practised hard and got much better at saying no – politely but assertively. And I do try to remember ‘it ain’t what you say but the way that you say it’ that often has the most impact.

    • Sage words, Anne. Sage and that which requires great effort. As writers, you’d think that we practice spilling out words so often that the art of diplomacy should be a breeze. How I wish it were so.
      I do have hope that with enough effort, the polite decline will get easier. You’ve given me a pinch of promise that it does.
      Lovely to see your words as always!

  18. Oh yeah, been there, done that!
    Texting is a pain with the auto word spell on ALL THE TIME and it’s a game trying to switch it off so that the end result is the word I want to use! Oh well, suppose I should be lucky my phone texts at all. I’d had it two years before I realised what the buzzing tone was.

    • Hahaha! Oh, you poor thing. That is such a hoot.
      I’m hoping you didn’t miss anything important. From my experience, most texts conversations are just a bunch of prattle, but there are a few great stories of autocorrect gone terribly wrong. Hugely funny stuff if you not seen any as of yet.

      • Luckily I didn’t have reams and reams of messages (guess the important people didn’t know they could text me anyway). Best thing now is my nieces don’t understand why they can’t send pictures to my phone. I’ve tried to explain that this old fuddy duddy aunt has only just got used to the miracles of mobile communication (my phone is one of the first texting nokias) and transmission of images are by those old fashioned things called photographs (or email attachments if you want to be really flash). 😀

  19. I have a reputation as a nicey-nice person which is probably why my protagonists are wise-ass women who don’t take much guff. Love the flying Nurse Ratched ! I don’t envy teachers these days who have to deal with texting students! Yikes.

    • See, Jan? You’re probably channeling your inner fishwife right into your heroines. I love it.
      And I’m guessing teachers are always finding themselves challenged to stay on top of tempting technology these days. It cannot be easy for them.

  20. Shelley, if you ask me, which I know you’re not, teenagers usually, not not always, will take advantage of the good fairy princess. In fact, usually the only one that will get their attention is the fire-breathing dragon. Way far back when I was a teenager, my mom was strict. Yet, because I never saw a knife in her hand, I waltzed right around what she expected me to do.

  21. speaking from the child’s perspective, the older i get the more the table turns and i have to double speak with my parents. the double speak ends (as does almost all communication) when we start talking about the really tough topics – like computer problems. that’s when i tell them, in my politest voice, “hey you get what you pay for.”

    oh and if you have any tips for communicating with elementary aged children i could sure use them. so let me know if you post about them. cheers to you and a good week too!

    p.s. so true shelley, social media is tailor made for positive/nice comments.

    • Tips for communicating with elementary aged children? Oh, yeah, Mac. I’ll soon have a whole mess of them, but I’m guessing it’ll likely be more like how not to communicate with them.
      Trial and error all the way.
      I shall keep you posted. o_O

  22. Love that image of the double-headed nurse and the fisherman’s wife. I have issues with this ALL THE TIME. I’ve worked in the service industry most of my life (14yo-23yo) and then I became a teacher. Sometimes I want to say what I really mean…but, ooooo boy, I know better than to let that missile fly! Besides, it pays off in the end…. more flies with sugar than vinegar, as they say. 😉

    • My kids detest when I roll out the phrase, “Let’s play devil’s advocate.” Seriously, someone usually sighs so loudly it sounds like they may have done some damage to their esophagus or they quickly exit the room shouting, “I just remembered I have to be anywhere but here.” But you, Alex, are not one of my teenagers, so I’m taking a chance by saying I’d bet my left lung that your missiles–because of your grasp of language and you’re multicultural skills–would be direct, but tactful if you decided to release them. And this is the bit I think, if I’ve read many of the comments correctly, is what a good chunk of us struggle with until we reach a comfortable age where we no longer give a rip.
      Wouldn’t you love to find that marking on the dial of ‘not too subservient, but not too offensive’ and not have to wait until you’re 75 to do it? Good heavens, I do.
      Although I think you’re going to have a devil of a time getting over the whole Canadain background bit. You folks are bred with liquid politeness coursing through your veins. 😛

      • I am unfortunately American, so any Canadian politeness I’ll have to gain through osmosis from the girlfriend. 😉 then again, I’m also Southern-born, so I have a slight tactical advantage over some, haha.

        Being in control of that lever is essential! I admin for a group of about 7,000 writers… As you know, writers tend to have THE personalities, so being able to stay diplomatic but firm is essential, haha.

        • Okay, scratch the liquid politeness and replace it with mint-julip gentility.
          I had no idea you were of the crowd born below the Mason Dixie line. That again explains a lot.
          And 7000 writers? Seriously? You’ve not leapt off the nearest cliff yet? I so hope there are wages commensurate to the pain and suffering you’ve faced thus far. Poor girl.

  23. My two voices are often mediated by my Shoulder Angel of Truth:

    Person: The movie ‘Titanic’ was so scary! Wouldn’t it be scary if that happened in real life?’
    Me: >.O
    Shoulder Angel of Good: Poor thing. Don’t embarrass her, just agree with her. At this point in her life, new information might pop her fragile brain anyway.
    Shoulder Angel of Evil: Screw that! If she doesn’t know her history by now, school her! You’ll feel better about yourself and your own intelligence.
    Me: Shoulder Angel of Truth, what should I do?
    Shoulder Angel of Truth: Hmm…. You should always tell the truth.
    Me: *to person* …… You’re dumb. o-o

    fin

  24. “all the yooz yoo uhl superlatives” (good, semi-succinct, basis for a mini-mini-seareez unto itself, funny, punny, SHOULD win some sort of award, etc.) … on the other hand (be-sigheds the diffyrunt phingurz) i think of dawnWawn/CarlosCastanetta intoning STOP THE INFURNULL DIALOGUE. sometimes i do. briefly.

  25. Ah, Shelley, thank you for the much needed laughs tonight as I gradually recover from a pesky virus. I find in the last few years I am more apt to speak my mind rather than hide that inner voice – which feels refreshing but I am sure is often scary for other people. 🙂 This made me think of my struggles to teach politeness to my son – “you can think whatever you want, and it may even be true, but that doesn’t mean you have to say it.” Children know what’s real, and it’s when I have to explain these things that I realize how crazy adult conversation really is. 😉

    Also for some reason this made me think of Magnum, P.I. and his inner voice that he was always talking about. Sometimes we just need to go with our instincts!

    • Magnum P.I.! I haven’t seen that fabulous show in donkey’s years. Ah, the memories.
      I have to say, Sue, that over the years there have been handfuls of “lessons” I’ve taught my children that I wish I could go back and have them unlearn. Happily, I have no issues with telling them that over the years I’ve gleaned new insight from further education and life experience in general and now believe differently than when I first told them something I now contradict. It’s just growth. As long as they realize that life’s hard fast rules are actually not as hard as we once imagined them to be I think they’ll be fine. Recalibration is essential these days. This is what MY inner voice keeps shouting with fevered pitch.
      Hope you’re feeling better soon, Sue. Sending buckets of get well thoughts up north. 😀

  26. Only two voices? I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I’m pretty sure there are close to a dozen rattling around in my old gray matter.

    Seriously though, I hope your son was only mildly unwell, just enough to warrant coming home and falling asleep on the couch so that he missed all the episodes.

    My inner critic has a really big mouth and my sugar-craving, soda-drinking voice tells my sensible voice to get the heck out of the way RIGHT NOW. The conversations are a bit tiresome.

    Great piece, Ms. Sackier.

    • Your ‘old gray matter,’ Alys is about as old and gray as any bright and fresh new rainbow. Of this I am certain.
      And the illness? Yeah, I think after sixteen or seventeen years you begin to see patterns emerge that are predictable as wretched weather on the one day of the year you plan a picnic. Easy to spot. Time for plan B.
      And wouldn’t it be great if there was a way we could vote our inner critic right off the island? Maybe threaten to take all the yous to group therapy. I wonder how much a psychologist would charge for that …
      😛

  27. Yes, Sybil, the art of communication is definitely tricky. Especially when we are passionate about something. This begs the question of what you are really saying while Shelley is busying typing sweet responses to all her readers’ comments. Perhaps I’d rather not know….

  28. That two-voice phenomenon has proven a problem for me also on occasion, like when the send button is accidentally pushed on an e-mail before the first snippy comments are edited, or when “publish” is pushed instead of “send” on a wordpress post (those two buttons are perilously close to each other).

    Supposedly we all have major snarks inside us, held in check by well-developed frontal lobes. Nothing like a teen to chip away at those frontal lobes.

    And good point you make: what is reality? The niceties we exchange, or the first responses? The acid test for me is the Mel Gibson test. Under the influence of alcohol, some really impressive snarks escaped from his lips. Would the nurse Ratched comments that first come to mind end up changing people’s perspective on me forever?

    Here’s to speaking our minds. Sometimes.

    • That’s some profound thinking, JB. You’ve posed some great questions.
      The one that has me most moved to join your chorus is the bit about that troublesome blue button. Why oh why won’t the kind folks at WordPress make publishing more idiot proof? Move the button maybe? Ask me if I’m really sure with a little pop-up window? Have someone from headquarters phone me to personally to double check that indeed I did mean to press publish and should they give the thumbs up to launch pad director working the main console?
      Oh, so many problems would dissolve away.

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