What's the best way to finish that phrase?
My personal favorite way to finish it is "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." I fully admit to occasionally (or more than occasionally) being a bit of a catty gossip. I feel that I get this honestly from my mother, who has been known to say something catty (usually about my ex) and then slap her own mouth and say she shouldn't be that way. She also quite regularly fills me on on all the latest scandals that go on in the lives of her friends and our relatives and obviously has no intentions of stopping.
She's clearly a far cry from Thumper's mother, who reminds him of his father's advice, the other (less-than-fun) way to finish that phrase:
So really, it's not my fault that I enjoy a bit of gossip. I was raised to be this way, forged in the fires of morbid curiosity and born with an ear perfectly made for listening.
And I can't say that I believe that gossip is all bad. It's true that it can be false and hurtful and damaging. I don't go in for gossip like that. But, it is a great means of effectively spreading news. Word of my getting divorced two years ago spread mainly through word of mouth, which freed me up from needing to send out some kind of anti-save-the-date notices. I knew all I had to do was to tell a few select people and soon everyone would know. Easy as that.
Gossip is also a strange binder of people. Sharing is caring, after all. If you feel confident in sharing some juicy piece of gossip with someone, it usually means you trust them (at least a little bit). You're inviting them into a confidence, into a secret club of those in-the-know. The relationship between two people changes as soon as reasonably private information begins changing hands.
There are limits.
There are always limits.
No one likes anyone who's negative all the time. No one likes someone who never has anything nice to say about anyone or anything.
And sometimes? Sometimes if you don't have something nice to say, you really shouldn't say anything at all (damn you, Thumper's dad). Because it's unprofessional. Because it's just plain mean. Because it would hurt feelings.
I can't say that I haven't been given quite a great deal of topics lately that I'd love to blog about. Because Lord, there's a lot I have to say. Of all the daunting thoughts that come with writing a weekly blog, no one ever warned me about the vast number of amazing topics that would float into my life that I simply cannot talk about for professional and personal reasons.
And so I will not be a catty bitch this week. At least not here. But feel free to come sit next to me the next time you don't have anything nice to say. I'm genetically predispositioned to listen, after all, and I don't want to waste my talents.