Monday, February 7, 2011

No, No, That's Not What I Meant

True Confession: I am afflicted with a condition politely known as “Edaisms,” and impolitely known as “oral diarrhea.” The best definition for this “disease” is “Edaisms” are when words totally unrelated to what I want to say or what should say come cascading out of my mouth. These moments occur when my brain is multitaskin, and I’m not solely focused on what the unsuspecting speaker is saying. Sudden silence either in the room or at the other end of the phone usually awakens my consciousness to the fact it is my turn to talk. With that, I try to think of what was last discussed before my brain drifted elsewhere, and unless I admit that I didn’t quite hear the speaker, it is not uncommon for me to make a fool of myself by my answer. To combat this “illness” I try to repeat to myself, “stay focused” over and over. It usually helps, but not always.

“Edaisms” cause two things: unintentionally offending someone or having someone think I’m missing a link. Last week, when a friend called to firm up previously made plans, I was mortified and petrified. I had no clue to what she was referring to because I inadvertently didn’t write the date—made over a month prior— on my overcommitted social calendar. Hubby and I had made unchangeable plans weeks prior with several other couples for the same date, and that date was on all three of my calendars and set in stone.

As I said in previous blogs, forgetting scares me to my core because of my very real fear of dementia. My error of not writing the first date or referring to my calendar when I made the plans that I had to back out of, offended someone whom I adore. In an effort to defuse the situation, I wanted to say, “I wish I could be more flexible with my schedule.” Wanted—but didn’t. Instead I said, “I wish you could be more flexible.” The words came out, and to be gross, sometimes things come out that really stink. Common knowledge: stinks can’t be put back. You just have to hope there is plenty of fresh wind to blow them away before they do real damage.
A few days later, someone who is very well traveled and knows the ropes—someone whose opinion I would seek if I needed travel advice—told me she was going on a particular cruise ship. What popped into my head was, “She will be the one to let me know if the ship is really great or too oversized—both views that I have heard.” Instead of keeping my thoughts internal, I blurted out, “Some of my friends hate the ship and others loved it.” I HATE when people do this to me—tell me I might regret plans already made—so why on earth did this stupid comment flow from my lips? I was so upset when I got home, I sat and ate half a gallon of Moose Tracks ice cream. I rationalized it was sugar free but ignored the fat content.

The next morning I shared my latest bout of socially unacceptable “Edasims” with a friend who is a therapist. My friend immediately hit the cause of the resurgence of my socially unacceptable “disease.” She told me that something must be in the water of our community. “Not only was one of the men we were out with last night guilty of “oral diarrhea,” she said, “but I responded the same way and my answer had me up the entire night.”

Her story dwarfed mine. Her tablemate assumed she had a “nose job” and told her so. Despite her insistence to the contrary, he kept harping on the fact it had to be “plastic” since it was so perfect. She knew the only way she could stop the conversation was if she changed the topic. “How many years ago did you get you’re penal implant?” she asked.

Silence filled the air. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what others in the room must have been thinking. Me? I’m glad I don’t live on her block. The drinking water there is more toxic than mine. My “Edaisms” might become so rude, I’d have to move!

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