I like to think that as I've aged, I've learned to reason out my answers, measure my words, and make what I say count. However, there are times when my mouth moves in a gear faster than my brain.
Case in Point 1: I was told a colleague had been going through difficulties in her marriage, although this colleague did not want anyone to know. She had also lost a great deal of weight. I don't run into her often, so I resolved the next time I saw her to make a positive comment about her weight loss. Sure enough, we saw each other in the work room. My mind had already prepared an energetic compliment about how good she looked.
She said, "Shelly, have you heard about me?"
Ah, perfect opening for my weight loss compliment to her. My mind was already sending the message to my mouth to say, "I can see you've lost so much weight! You really look terrific!"
My mouth, on the other hand, was already engaged and didn't get that message. Instead, what came out was this, with the same enthusiasm and tone I was reserving for the weight loss compliment. "You're getting a divorce!"
She was very gracious, and that is what she had wanted to talk with me about, so we had a conversation about it, but I had put my foot so far in my mouth it was lodged behind my tonsils.
Case in Point 2: Oh, I hesitate to tell you this one. The shame of it sticks to me like a scarlet S. Please, don't judge me...my mouth has a mind of it's own.
I have a number of large fitness balls I keep in my room that my students sit on in place of chairs (there are great studies out about how this helps kids focus) and then I also use them a couple of times a week in my fitness class. They are yellow, blue, or green, and the kids love them. When I returned yesterday after having a sub, two of them were missing.
I had to go through a huge amount of paperwork to get these and I didn't want to be missing any. My whole focus was on getting them back. Perhaps another teacher had just borrowed them, or some of the kids had left them in the gym. The quickest way to get word out is via the intercom, so off I trotted to the office.
My mind prepared a quick announcement about getting the fitness balls back rapidly to my room. I pressed the button that would send my voice to every office and classroom in the entire district.
Ohhhh, this is hard to type. Again, please don't judge me. It was my mouth. My mind had nothing to do with it.
Here it comes.
"Will the one who has the two big, blue balls please bring them to the office?" I cheerily intoned.
Only when the words came out and my ears heard that horror did it register what I had actually just said. The secretary looked at me, eyes wide, and then dissolved into hysterical guffaws. The principal staggered out of her office gasping as if she'd been hit with a poisoned gas attack, clutched her chest, and sank to her knees from laughing so hard. I slunk back to my room and saw I had already received several emails from other teachers. "Really? BIG, blue ones?" and "Who do you think is sitting on the big, blue balls?" The others that continued coming through the entire day I will not even repeat, but you get the idea.
I am sorry. This is not the vernacular I use in regular conversations. But this is what happens when the mind is not allowed to evaluate in advance what comes out of the mouth.
So, dear friends, there you have it. My mouth operates in a universe all its own. And please, if you have your own stories of a mouth that moves at lightning speed, feel free to describe it here. It would make me feel oh, so much better to know I am not the only one.