Like Telephone for Grown-Ups

My life lately is not scandalous enough to justify gossip. I work. I go to happy hour or out to an event or two. I go home. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t hear plenty of other people’s dirty laundry throughout the day. I’d like to say that I never listen to gossip. The storyteller in me, though, loves to hear the more interesting details- a great plot point here, a good line for a character there, and occasionally, a fact that comes in handy for real life.

On Wednesday, my local bartender pulled me aside for an earful. A good friend of mine is dating someone and the rumor on the street was that the date had other dates on the side. As those of you who have been reading since the implosion of my engagement might guess, I’m a little sensitive to the idea of anyone getting cheated on and not knowing about it. I would never wish that humiliation on another living soul.

So, last night I met up with my friend. And broke the news, exactly the way I heard it. We talked through the details, the times and dates, the odd coincidences and decided it seemed highly unlikely that this was true. Honestly, this guy would have to be a genius and a psychopath to have pulled off this scam-of-the-century. But to be safe, my friend headed out to confront the issue head-on in person.

And then, I panicked. While I wanted to be a good and loyal friend, I did not want to be the messenger if any of it turned out to be true. The messenger always gets shot. I didn’t want to taint my friendships with both of them if it was all lies, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut with a clear conscience if it was true. The eternal gossip-collector’s dilemma.

How did it go? Well, it turns out that this rumor was just that. A rumor. And judging the source, it wasn’t being spread maliciously, just ignorantly. Silly plain old gossip. And even better? The messenger, instead of getting shot, got invited to laugh about the whole thing over dinner for three.

Whew. That was a close call.

If you don’t have anything nice to say about anyone, please go sit by someone else. I can’t handle the stress.

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2 Comments

Filed under Building a Better Me, Daily Life, Friends, Relationships

2 responses to “Like Telephone for Grown-Ups

  1. I’m teaching The Crucible right now to my sophomores and we’ve had several discussions about rumors. They all feel the same way you do. At least we’re not in high school anymore, thank God.

  2. Oh, good for you for actually presenting the rumor to the person it was about, without blowing it out of proportion or acting like it was definitely true. THAT is the best way to get rid of untrue gossip.

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