A few years back, I made a bold discovery in the world of anatomy when I came across a previously unknown organ in the human body, located directly between the brain and the mouth, called the Siphorudis Valve. This organ’s function is to siphon all thoughts leaving the brain and filter out those which are inappropriate before they enter the mouth and (resultingly) exit through the lips. As you may already know, the word siphorudis is derived from the Latin sipho, which means “watch what you’re saying” and the Greek rudis, which means “you stupid, mean bitch.” And of course the English valve, which… uh… means “valve.”
I found the Siphorudis Valve only after years of careful self study, while trying to determine why I was forever voicing whatever I thought without any concern about the appropriateness of my comments and remarks. My research led me to the
invention discovery of this imaginary never-before-seen body organ – and the conclusion that I am clearly lacking one. Which should make my condition quite forgivable.
But it doesn’t.
And since the Siphorudis Valve has only recently been
entirely made up discovered, an effective procedure for transplantation is still years from perfection. So in order to fit into society (and maintain my friendships), I am forced to compensate for this rude behavior anatomical deficiency by trying to remember that just because something’s on my mind it doesn’t necessarily need to be on my tongue.
I’ll bet you didn’t even know of what I suffer, what I must bear, all you good, courteous people with completely functional Siphorudii (i.e., the plural of Siphorudis). Yes, YOU. Carrying on in conversation without a care in the world for what you say because the perfection of your anatomy will protect you from the holy-shit-did-I-just-say-that moments which all-too-frequently haunt me.
But this heavy burden is set upon those like me who are Siphorudis-less, and we must constantly check ourselves to ensure that if it’s unkind, insensitive or simply not called for, we must not speak it. And after years of attempting to master this skill, I have an important announcement to those of you blessed with a fully functioning Siphorudis Valve:
This is shitloads harder than it sounds.
I mean, really: consider Every Stinking Thing before I say it? Honestly, it’s fucking exhausting.
But I am making progress. Why, just yesterday, someone pontificated on the good manners of her hideously behaved tot, and do you know what I said? NOTHING. I merely smiled and nodded. It killed me, but I did it.
Oh, yes: I’ve certainly had myriad setbacks. Like last week, when I told my wonderful friend, Margie, that – thanks to her new haircut – she now bore an uncanny resemblance to Mister Spock (especially since her ears are unusually pointy). But I must focus on forward movement and carry on in my efforts.
In the course of my endeavors, I’ve taken careful notes of the important points I have learned:
No matter what I think, not everyone needs my opinion. Or wants it, for that matter.
Starting any sentence with well, since you asked, or if you ask me, or now that you mention it, or I think you should is an invitation to disaster.
Following up any sentence with but I didn’t mean it is insulting.
There’s a difference between truth and accuracy. While everyone claims to want the truth, accuracy can be far less dangerous. And far less messy.
Honesty is a very good policy – but not always the best one. Apply appropriately.
With tricky questions, the shorter answer is typically the better one.
There’s usually something positive to say. Do what is needed to find it.
In many cases, the best thing to say is NAST. Not. A. Stinking. Thing.
Being supportive doesn’t always mean offering a thousand suggestions.
When all else fails, the words interesting and unique are truly mighty as one-word responses.
Mostly, I’ve learned this: not talking all the time isn’t half bad. In fact, this listening stuff is pretty neat.
I still struggle sans Siphorudis, but I am slowly learning to adapt – and getting much better at it.
Alas, the hardest thing of all is knowing I’m the only poor soul who’s afflicted with this terrible condition and must monitor Every. Stinking. Thing. I say before it spews forth from my mouth.
Or am I?
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