I've been such a sucker today. And not in a benign, goodness-me-I'm-so-cute-in-my-self-deprecation sort of way. While visiting with a friend this morning, I found myself giving vent to some really unattractive parts of myself as I elaborated upon the shortcomings of another person. At the very least, you'll ask, did I keep it short and sweet, keeping it to a strict recounting of objective detail? O no. I languished in the telling of my tale. I didn't gloss over this unsuspecting person's less attractive qualities. Instead, like a dog who's just discovered the pungant rot of something dead, I rolled around in it, thoroughly imbedding the stink of it into my fur. If I'm going to be honest, I'd have to say that the filth was satisfying to roll around in. For the brief moment of the telling of it. But for that brief moment only, as is the way of these things.
The part that I find so especially disturbing is that it was only after the fact that I felt badly about my behaviour. I wish to be that woman who doesn't feel inclined to do these ignoble things to begin with. I wish to be that woman who doesn't have to show up, woefully after the fact, tail between her legs, offering up feeble apologies because she's been so stupid, so tasteless, so unthinking.
The other part that bothers me is that part of how I define myself inside my own head is being just the very opposite sort of woman. I tell myself that I hate gossip. When I hear it lofted up on the wind in elementary school line-ups from the really cranky mothers, I feel repelled. I try to stand as far away from these people as possible. I like happy women spilling out happy talk who wish the whole world well. I love these women because, to me, they emanate wholeness and beauty. They don't need to poke their bitter stick at the life of another to feel momentarily better about their own. And yet, despite all this, for a far-too-big chunk of my day yesterday, I was that bitter woman with her venomous stick.