Some people are born with a filter and some are not. This filter I’m referring to is the one that stops you from saying things in public before you realize that you shouldn’t say them. Please hang with me, people, while I share a few nightmarish stories that are unfortunately factual.
Four years ago, right after I had reached the B I G FOUR-O Plateau of Life, I found myself sitting at a scrapbooking event with a table full of women that I was not acquainted with. Across from me sat a beautiful younger woman who was ready to deliver a child in the next twenty minutes, if my calculations were correct. She made me feel old. Making friendly conversation and assuming that she was 20 years my junior, I asked if it was her first child. Her answer shocked me. With a terribly ungrateful tone she blurted out, “It’s my fourth and my youngest is 12!” Knowing exactly how she was feeling with three older kids of my own at home, but taken aback by her response, my filter malfunctioned and I spat back in all honesty and truth, “THAT is my nightmare!” Oh boy. The good news is, I’ve never seen her again, and thankfully that was one of the only times I remember a filter malfunction.
My husband does have a filter, but it has much larger holes than mine does, allowing more humiliating information to pass through. Yes, only humiliating for me. For some strange reason I can think of SEVERAL instances to share with you. From three days ago, as a matter of fact, comes my first example. We were at a wedding, seated around a table with 6 members of my family, one acquaintance and two strangers. My dear husband blurts out, “Did you see the wedding cake?!? It looks like the Wailing Wall!” Now that would be all funny and amusing, but my mother went pale, made a horrible face and slightly shook her head four times. Both my husband and I saw her response and glanced around the table to see what the big deal was. No sign of anything that I could detect, but we later discovered that stranger #1 was the son of the cake maker. Great.
Another recent occurence is only nine days old. Rick and I were asked to attend a leadership conference to see if we are interested in serving on a state-wide committee. It was slightly an interview-type meeting. We lunched with current committee members whom we knew by name, but not by face. They didn’t know us from Adam and Eve. There were three other couples and the two of us sitting in a corner of a banquet room conducting pleasant conversation when it happened. BAM! Just like that! I had an out-of-body experience hearing my husband tell a story that is not “new-committee-member-appropriate” about a cycling trip, unexpectedly running into old friends and then finding out later that he had holes in the back of his biking shorts. GREAT! We haven’t been contacted by anyone on the committee since the fateful holy-stretchy-shorts story. Maybe this was God’s way of keeping our responsibilities to a minimum.
Another time, when we were up in front of a married couples group…. with microphone in hand, my dear husband actually told everyone to wait a minute while I wiped his bum. For that story of awesomeness, please go here: http://mysistersjar.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/a-little-dessert-please/ (Someday my sister-in-law, Jennie, will show me how to use links for your viewing pleasure.)
Okay, I just thought of the other time my filter leaked out a response that was less than cordial. It is a 25 year-old story. My husband-to-be and I were in a shoe section of a major department store looking for steel-toed boots for Rick. The salesman brought out two specimens for him to try on, one with a smooth leather curve from the laces to the sole, and the other with a sewn ridge around the top of the toe. Curiously I asked, “Which one is more durable?” The salesman, somewhat cockily answered, ‘Obviously THIS one.” And my filter did not stop me from firing right back, “OBVIOUSLY, that’s why I asked!” Oops. :o)
Seriously, I could think of twenty-seven more cool stories about my husband and the missing filter topic, but I’ll spare you for now. (Blog topic dedicated to Mary Ann, a filterless friend.)