It's occured to me recently that I generally blog about all the Susie-Sunshine moments of my life.  And for fear of giving you a falsely one-dimensional picture of my life and myself, I feel inclined to share an unattractive little something about me and my heart.  Sound intriguing?  I'm hoping that in the sharing, I'll find some measure of cathartic accountability and that the following story will feature one of the very last episodes of this particular grossness in my life.

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.

02/26/2011 6:13pm

I cannot get over your writing. You pull me in, hook line and sinker.

I am sitting with my laptop reading this Black Heart Blog, while my husband looks on to see me filled with expression - talking to the computer, laughing, reflecting, saying "I cannot believe this girl!"... all the while secretly praying that I was not the girl that you languished in the telling of the tale about.

love you.

02/27/2011 9:53am

I too have done this one-too-many-times and always find myself wracked with grief and anger at myself for my stupidity and way at which I spoke. I appreciate your blog on this Jen ~ its honest and real.

02/27/2011 10:56am

I'm glad you've said this, Ang! Being the social thick brick that I am, I didn't stop to think that maybe some reader or other would wonder if I referred to them in the whole gossip scenario. I can say with almost 100% certainty that if you're reading this blog, then it wasn't YOU whose name I blackened in that moment, poor maligned girl.

And to both of you, thanks for your gracious responses. It feels very affirming to confess something really gross about yourself and to then be met with these kind of responses. Thank you.


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