This is in response to the daily prompt. I apologize for the long post, but I found that I had more to write on it than just the topic. I had to include one of our travel anecdotes and that lengthened the post.
The prompt: Have you ever managed to paint yourself into the proverbial corner because of your words? What did you do while waiting for them “to dry”?
Scenario 1: My Mom visited me in the US a few years ago from India. She bought me a lot of gifts from India – some simply amazing and some not so much. Of these, there were a few Indian Sarees that I was not particularly attached to. But my dearest loveliest Mom! There was so much love in her voice and on her face when she recited the whole journey from selecting and bargaining for the said Sarees, just for me, that I could not utter a single negative word about any of the Sarees. I wore a few of them on various occasion but a few of them I simply donated while moving to India a few years later.
Scenario 2: One of my best friends is a photographer. A good one at that. A few years ago she was just starting out, learning the basics of photography and processing the shots using some software. One evening we were gathered in her living room going through few photographs that she had last taken. As I am generally a very opinionated person, I pointed out all the photographs that I liked and those that I didn’t. I was being honest since my friend was in the learning stages and I was just general viewer of her work. But she was looking for encouragement, as I know most people are, and didn’t like my comments. I apologized to her for hurting her feelings, but told her that I still stand by what I said of the photographs. And that my intention was to help her improve her craft and not offend her in any way. I also told her that I admire the way she takes up her hobbies seriously by following on them. I did not have the courage to do anything about my hobbies at that time. She was satisfied with my explanation and took my comments at their face value.
What I am trying to say from the above scenarios is that, what I do after I have painted myself into the proverbial tight corner depends on the situation. I used to be someone who spoke her mind without any filter. I found out the hard way that handling things this way hurt the receiver of the sharp comments. A lot. And after this epiphany, I started thinking a little, before I said anything to anyone. I just believe that it saves a lot of hurt and sometimes misunderstandings later on. Having said this, I still like to be honest where it is imperative. Like the case of my friend. I will go to any lengths to explain my intentions and meaning of my comments, but I will say what I feel about a particular thing. Because that’s what being a friend is in this case. And if I don’t say what I really feel, then I am not being true to the other person and to myself.
One can argue that this applies to Scenario 1 too, where I should tell my mother I didn’t really like the gifts and help her gift better in the future. But I can never bring myself to do that. Because Mom is Mom – just perfect. Moms don’t have to strive towards something better, at least where gifting your child is concerned. Gifting is just expressing their love for their child. And she showed an immense amount of it while accessorizing the sarees and buying what-nots to go along with them. And if I had told her that I didn’t like the sarees, the rest of the stuff would have been for naught. On top of it, it would have hurt her. And I can fight with her about a gazillion things, chide her on forgetting her meds and things like that, but I cannot bear to see her hurt just for gifting me few materialistic things I didn’t like. I can still live with a dozen non-likeable sarees to see the love on her face when she gifts them to me.
So, in conclusion, for me, there is no one way to deal with things in these situations. The overall intent and purpose of the scenarios demands a different approach for each situation. Or sometimes there is nothing you can do. You just have to wait until the memory of it fades from other people’s minds. I’ll give you an excellent and funny example of this, below. I have to mention this before you the read the following story that my husband – Mr. A. has a habit of misplacing names, which ends up confusing others to no end, as can be seen from the story below. (Come on! How can you and for that matter how many times can you get confused between Denver and Dayton?!!!!)
Scenario 3: Once the hubby and I, along with a few friends went on a trip to Aspen,Colorado. Mr. A had visited the place once before with his friends. So he was our tour guide. This was almost a decade ago from now, when we had just landed into US and didn’t have a GPS system. And we didn’t think of getting a map of Aspen when we started our journey from Golden, CO. So I was told to write down the routes to all the places we were going to hit in Aspen.
It was autumn and Aspen was simply breathtakingly beautiful. One of the places I was supposed to jot down the route for was some “Red rock Mountain”. According to hubby dearest, it was supposed to be a beautiful place with a lake on top of a mountain with lush greenery and fall foliage around it. I found it and had a nice step by step route written in my journal. We were on the way to said “Red Rock Mountain”, only the place where Google Maps took us to was not actually a mountain, not even a hilltop. It was red alright. But not a mountain. There was a construction crew on work on “top” of the place doing what we didn’t know (Maybe digging up a lake!). We tried driving back and taking different routes but ended up in the same place. By now, Mr. A was frustrated that I didn’t do my job properly. I was chastised and another friend who was sitting at home was called to get the “correct” directions. Predictably, Google gave him the same directions that I had. Finally, we abandoned the idea of visiting Red Rock Mountain and continued our sightseeing in Aspen.
Later, we were roaming around the town centre, where we came upon a map of Aspen and suddenly Mr. A exclaims – “See, this is where we were supposed to go!” All of us, especially me, gathered around the map with a curious expression on our faces to check the mysterious phantom place and there it was – listed in bold letters on the map with the name – “Maroon bell lake“!!!!
Mr. A, as always had misplaced names! I was just chasing after a mirage on google maps. Add to that I had to bear the brunt of his ire on “supposedly” erring on the route!! And to think that there was really a place called Red Rock Mountain in Aspen, which darling husband had not visited and never heard of before, and we simply had to go see the dump! I called it a cruel joke of serendipity!
But to this day, Mr. A is teased and has his leg pulled about the blunder. And as for me, I can just not stop myself from retelling the story of the Red Rock Mountain chronicles 😀 Poor hubby dearest ! He can’t do anything else than grin and bear all of it, dreaming of someday that I forget about the incident. And I can assure you that I may have a memory of a swiss cheese, but this one is not oozing out,ever!
Maroon Bell lake in fall